Looking for a career in safety?
Occupational health and safety is a major concern for Australian employers and employees alike. After all, you wouldn’t want to go home with a missing limb and a hefty fine.
Safety Officers prevent that from happening in mining sites, construction areas, city offices and everything in between. How do you become one?
The first step is to get qualified. This will give you the necessary skills and allow you to gain valuable work experience.
Below are 5 of today’s top courses you can take that may either expand your current job responsibilities or help you start a career as a safety professional.
1. Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
The current training standard among safety representatives in Australia is the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. This qualification allows you to manage risks and hazards, respond to accidents and contribute to the safety systems of your workplace.
Professionals with the Cert IV WHS are able to apply national and state regulations in a wide variety of workplaces, instead of being focused on a single industry. This means that the principles you learn here, from equipment handling to hazard identification, are useful almost everywhere you’ll go. Similar roles that look for this qualification are WHS Coordinators, Safety Representatives and even Human Resources.
2. Certificate IV in Government Occupational Health and Safety
If you already have a specific employer in mind, you can supplement your skills with industry specific knowledge. The Certificate IV in Government OHS gives you a background on government principles, delivering service to clients and encouraging compliance to legislation.
These are all valuable skills when it comes to health and safety in the public sector.
You then have a choice between electives. One options covers basic occupational safety topics like contributing to risk assessments and monitoring workplaces. The other choice focuses on developing and managing simple projects and policies.
3. Certificate IV in Public Safety (Community Safety)
The Certificate IV in Public and Community Safety is for workers in the protective services industry like firemen and police officers. Instead of assessing your own workplace, public safety professionals investigate fire safety systems, dangerous goods facilities and how to respond to larger emergencies.
This qualification places an emphasis on communities as a whole through units like crime prevention, awareness raising for domestic violence and liaising with local media. Its other electives include leading teams to plan and achieve community goals.
4. Certificate IV in Public Safety (Emergency Communications Centre)
Communication supervisors of emergency centres have their own version of the Public Safety qualification. They are taught how to coordinate emergency operations and conduct briefings instead of being taking up risk assessment techniques. Students can still take up topics like monitoring the safety of workplaces, but they also have a choice of other electives.
It even shares units with the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment like the TAEASS401B – Plan assessment activities and processes because assessing the competence of emergency workers is an important skill.
5. Diploma of Work Health and Safety
If you want to become an expert in the field of occupational health, the Diploma of WHS is an important qualification to have. Just like its Cert IV counterpart, its principles can be applied to a wide range of workplaces.
Here you will be taught how to develop a system for work health and safety instead of just contributing and implementing it. Additional responsibilities for Diploma holders include investigating WHS issues, managing consultation processes and developing hazard management tools.
Summary of WHS and OHS Courses
Ensuring that workers’ health is taken care of in the workplace is a top priority in Australia. If you want to be in control as the Safety Officer of your workplace, there are a number of training options available to you.
- Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety – Standard that teaches the core skills you need to identify hazards and minimise the risk of accidents in a variety of work environments
- Certificate IV Government Occupational Health and Safety – Focuses on ensuring safety and implementing projects for the public sector
- Certificate IV in Public Safety (Community Safety) – Focuses on responding to and preventing emergencies like fires, crime as well as working with local organisations
- Certificate IV in Public Safety (Emergency Communication Centres) – Focuses on coordinating and teaching emergency response teams
- Diploma of Work Health and Safety – Teaches advanced skills like contributing to the development of WHS systems and tools
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