What they do
Safety inspectors visit workplaces to ensure that they are adhering to government and industry standards for occupational health and safety, from busy factories in the state's busy industrial centres, to mining operations in our regional areas.
They advise employers and employees about safe work practices, help to implement health and safety management systems in various workplaces, inspect specific machinery or equipment, and ensure that the correct protective equipment is being used by employees.
Safety inspectors also enforce health and safety legislation by investigating complaints that refer to accidents or occupational disease, report on the results of their investigations, and serve infringement notices to employers that do not comply with legal requirements.
Safety inspectors may be based in an office and travel to various work sites in order to conduct inspections, or they may work at one specific larger site that requires constant safety co-ordination. These are more likely to be industrial environments, such as factories or mine sites. They may be required to work at heights or in confined spaces, and may get dirty as a result of inspecting some work sites.
Tools and technologies
Safety inspectors often need to wear protective clothing such as a high-visibility safety jackets, hard hats, steel-capped boots, safety glasses, overalls and earmuffs when working in industrial and mining environments. They may also need to be familiar with specialist electronic equipment such as noise, airflow, heat, lighting and solvent monitoring equipment. They may use cameras, measuring instruments and electronic notebooks to record information about the work sites they visit.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a safety inspector, you usually need to complete a qualification in health and safety.
The Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety, are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also undertake a traineeship in occupational health and safety (Level 4). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
You can also complete a degree majoring in health, safety and environment, or occupational safety and health. Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.