The demand for safety officers is rising as employers become more aware of providing a safe and healthy workplace, says James Cheung Chun-wah, director of James Safety Consultants.
"It's required by law that industries employ registered safety officers to overlook workplace safety," he says.
To be a registered occupational safety officer, one needs to have matriculation education level and complete a professional diploma course recognised by the Labour Department, plus two years of related working experience. Available at most local universities, the part-time course can be finished in nine months, and is offered at about HK$18,000.
Graduates from the diploma course start as safety inspectors or assistant occupation safety officers.
Their starting salary is about HK$15,000 to HK$18,000. After two years, they will be able to register with the Labour Department and can then make between HK$20,000 and HK$28,000.
Occupational safety officers with more than five years' experience may be promoted to senior status with a salary of HK$30,000 to HK$38,000.
When an occupational safety officer discovers unsafe work practice he should report to the employer and discuss ways to correct the problem. Accidents have to be investigated to find out who should be held responsible and action must be taken to prevent them happening again.
A government occupational safety officer starts with pay of HK$19,000.
Those with more than 20 years' experience can become a deputy chief occupational safety officer, with a salary of more than HK$90,000 a month.
- Physically fit to work outdoors and visit construction sites and other workshop facilities
- Good communication skills to implement safety systems effectively
- Good language skills for writing inspection and investigation reports