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Heath & Safety Advisor Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Heath & Safety Advisor. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Heath & Safety Advisor
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Heath & Safety Advisor Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Health and safety advisers, sometimes known as health, safety and environmental officers or occupational health and safety officers, are responsible for creating, maintaining and improving health and safety in the workplace. They are responsible for making sure that legislation is adhered to and assist in planning, implementing, monitoring and reviewing the health and safety strategies of an organisation.

The role also includes formulating operational procedures that recognise hazards. They seek to minimise conflict between safety and production considerations and assess risk and propose workable solutions.

Health & safety advisers undertake inspections, carry out accident investigations, keep records and write reports.

They advise on fire regulations, safeguarding machinery, noise, hazardous substances, occupational health and environmental health. Liaison with professionals, such as officers of enforcing authorities like the Health and Safety Executive, is common.

Hours and Environment

Health and safety advisers usually work a 37-hour week but may be on standby duty in case of emergencies or accidents. Shift working and unsociable hours may be required.

Visits to a number of sites may be required. Outdoor working (sometimes in extreme weather conditions) is essential in processing complexes, on offshore installations, on building and construction sites and where the work involves transportation. They may also be required to work at heights or in cramped positions.

Skills and Interests

To be a health and safety adviser you should:

  • have an investigative mind and methodical approach to work
  • be persuasive, with strong negotiating skills
  • have good written skills for report-writing
  • have a thorough understanding of relevant legislation
  • be computer literate
  • be reasonably physically fit.


You can become a health and safety advisor by studying for a first degree in occupational health and safety or health and safety management. Entry to degree courses normally requires a minimum of five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) with three A levels/four H grades. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority

An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Others enter the role with either the NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Occupational Health and Safety Practice or the two-part national diploma awarded by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH). There are no formal entry requirements, and NEBOSH may offer exemptions to those with appropriate work experience.

Many enter the profession after gaining experience in related areas such as technical, scientific or risk assessment work.


Training is mostly on-the-job with additional short in-house or external training courses. Training departments, local colleges or health and safety consultants may provide these. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) also provides a programme of continuing professional development for health and safety advisers.

Study for the NEBOSH diploma may be full-time, part-time or on a distance-learning basis. Part One requires 172 hours of tuition and about 92 hours of private study. Part Two requires about 194 hours'' tuition and 100 hours of private study. The course comprises the management of risk, legal and organisational factors, the workplace, work equipment, and safety agencies.

Holders of the NEBOSH diploma, or of NVQ/SVQ level 4 and who have three years̢۪ relevant experience can apply for corporate membership of IOSH. After a year as a member and three years̢۪ post-diploma experience, you can apply to be included on the IOSH Register of Safety Practitioners.

Those with responsibility for health and safety but not employed full-time as a safety adviser, such as managers, supervisors and site agents, may complete the shorter NEBOSH General Certificate or Certificate in Construction Safety. NEBOSH also awards the Specialist Diploma in Environmental Management for health and safety advisers to increase knowledge and understanding of the environmental impact of work activities. In addition, the British Safety Council awards a Diploma in Safety Management.

For those working in radiation safety, there is an NVQ in Occupational Health and Safety Radiation Protection Support at Level 2.

All health and safety advisers are required to keep up-to-date with developments and to undertake continued professional development.


Health and safety advisers work mainly in an industrial, manufacturing or processing company. Other employees include the hotel and catering industry as well as public services like hospitals and government departments.

There is scope to move to management positions although promotion may be achieved by moving to a large company or specialising in a certain aspect of the work. There are some opportunities to work overseas. Self-employment and consultancy may be an option.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Income for new entrants is likely to be £17,000 to £18,000 per year.
Experienced advisors earn in excess of £35,000 per year, and some with particular knowledge and skills may earn much more.

Performance related pay usually applies and additional allowances may be paid for working in London and the surrounding areas.

Further information

British Safety Council
National Safety Centre
70 Chancellors Road
W6 9RS
Tel: 020 8741 1231

Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH)
The Grange
Highfield Drive
LE18 1NN
Tel: 0116 257 3100

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH)
Dominus Way
Meridian Business Park
LE19 1QW
Tel: 0116 263 4700

Other Useful Heath & Safety Advisor Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Heath & Safety Advisor job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Heath & Safety Advisor Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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