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Why present-day workplaces need NEBOSH-certified safety personnel

Written and published by the British Safety Council, India on 14 April 2020.

The key to building a successful and sustainable organization is getting the right people to perform the right functions. That means getting the people with the right set of skills and credentials for specific roles. And a lot of enterprises do that for most functions, such as hiring a PMI-certified project manager or an ICAI-certified accountant. Doing so ensures that organizations get people who are equipped with all the industry best practices and know-how so that these tasks are carried out with maximum efficacy and efficiency.

 

The same applies to the function of health and safety management. While there are multiple examination boards and international organizations offering accreditation to safety professionals, few are as well-recognized and widely accepted as NEBOSH, or the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health. However, most organizations, especially in India, fail to recognize the need for a safety manager with NEBOSH training, or any certified training for that matter. That’s because they fail to comprehensively understand and appreciate the role of a safety officer in modern enterprises. So, before understanding why safety personnel need NEBOSH training in India, it is important to recognize the role of safety managers.

What does a safety officer do?

A safety officer is primarily responsible for communicating and enforcing safety practices among the employers of an organization. Their core objective is to minimize physical and psychological harm to employees as they engage in their day-to-day work activities. In most Indian organizations, the role played by safety officers is to ensure that workers, especially in manufacturing units, follow standard safety regulations prescribed by law. This means supervising the daily operations to spot instances of non-conformance to safety rules. However, the need for a safety officer extends way beyond supervision.

 

In addition to overseeing the employees’ adherence to safety practices on a regular basis, safety officers are tasked with the responsibility of devising long-term strategies and solutions to safety problems. This may include:

  • creating awareness of safety practices in the workforce,
  • conducting internal health and safety audits,
  • proposing systemic changes to build safety into business processes,
  • ensuring organizational compliance to safety regulations, and
  • initiating every measure possible to minimize risks and hazards at the workplace.

 

Doing all of this requires the ability to analyze existing work systems, a keen eye for spotting non-obvious risks, and the knowledge of designing safe work practices. And these are what a NEBOSH-trained safety officer specializes in. 

Why do safety officers need NEBOSH training and certification?

NEBOSH offers numerous training programs and certifications to safety officers based on different areas of specialization. For instance, the NEBOSH International Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is among the most comprehensive and sought-after safety courses that can equip managers to lead safety initiatives in any industry. Alternatively, an organization that is highly prone to fire hazards can look for a safety officer holding a NEBOSH International Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management, or enrol their safety officers for the same. NEBOSH also offers special certifications for highly risk-prone industries like construction and oil and gas. These NEBOSH training and certifications enable safety officers to:

To perform safety deep dives

NEBOSH training involves assessing the various components of work systems in depth and identifying potential hazards, even those that may not be very obvious. Identifying such hazards requires a systematic approach towards hazard identification, which NEBOSH training imparts to safety personnel.

 

As a result, these safety officers can help organizations to foresee unexpected risks associated with every element of the business process, which an untrained person may miss. Therefore, a safety officer with NEBOSH training can help businesses identify safety issues through safety deep dives and potentially prevent previously unforeseen accidents.

            To help design safer work systems

NEBOSH training also teaches safety officers to design safe work systems and work plans by eliminating any risk by design. This minimizes the risk of accidents and helps employers provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment without risking excessive expenditure of resources in safety training, litigations, and medical care. They can help in framing standard operating procedures that maximize safety, suggest the incorporation of engineering controls where applicable, and advise the management on creating new safety policies.

To build a safety culture at the workplace

In addition to improving the processes and policies, NEBOSH or any other safety training emphasizes the need to inculcate safety as a value in the people. By building a safety culture in the workforce, businesses can get complete buy-in from their employees on all safety initiatives. While non-safety business leaders and production managers may exhort their employees to focus on safety, in many cases, neither is safety their biggest priority nor are they well-versed in safety principles. A NEBOSH-certified safety professional, on the other hand, is not only knowledgeable in implementing a safety culture but also has safety as his top priority. These professionals can plan and execute initiatives to build a safety culture in the organization without getting in the way of regular operations.

To ensure compliance to safety regulations

Safety laws are constantly evolving and their enforcement is getting stricter every day. A safety professional with NEBOSH training is aware of the most recent laws and regulations issued by international as well as national labor regulatory authorities. As a result, they can guide their organizations in implementing practices to comply with safety regulations. Since they understand how health and safety audits are conducted, they can ensure that their organizations are always prepared for safety inspections. As a result, NEBOSH-trained professionals can minimize compliance risks for organizations.

 

For individuals committed to upgrading their skills in health and safety management, or organizations seeking to upskill their safety leaders with the industry-standard practices and skills, British Safety Council is among the most trusted providers of NEBOSH training India has to offer. To know more about how you or your employees can access and benefit from NEBOSH training in India, you can request a callback from us.

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