Inspector for safety and health

Inspector for Safety and Health

Your task will be to guarantee employers adhere to all safety and health laws, as well as creating a secure work environment. This involves inspecting businesses, offering advice, investigating accidents and upholding the law.

Although the HSE is the primary employer of health and safety inspectors, you may also find work in smaller agencies or larger organizations. You have the option to join a team or specialize in an area such as construction or forestry.


Your activities in health inspection may differ depending on where you work and your specialty, but the general rule is that you must:

  • Inspection of industrial and commercial premises to guarantee safety and health can be conducted.
  • To identify violations of safety laws, investigate accidents and complaints filed with the authorities, you are encouraged to visit these establishments.
  • Conduct inspections of machinery, work environments and structures. Measure noise, heat and vibrations levels; take photos if needed and sample material if applicable.
  • Make sure workers wear the appropriate protective gear like eye goggles, ear protectors, gloves and other clothing items like that of an engineer or architect.
  • Be mindful of industrial diseases and take necessary precautions.
  • Be familiar with procedures for working with potentially hazardous substances or in hazardous environments.
  • Stay abreast of recent legislation as well as safety and health standards.
  • Stay abreast of developments in specific sectors such as construction or agriculture.
  • Provide expert advice to organisations and businesses on safety and health matters, making recommendations on any necessary changes that need to be implemented.
  • Communicate with managers and operators to resolve any conflicts between safety and profitability.
  • Compile detailed paperwork and write reports detailing the results of investigations and inspections.
  • Once you identify when action is necessary (e.g., notices and prosecutions may be needed), gather and present all relevant evidence, then create safety and health working programs and strategies with key personnel involved.
  • Methods to predict potential hazards by utilizing historical data, experience and other relevant information sources
  • Preparing and presenting court cases (this varies in Scottish Law).
  • Employers and trainees can receive training and support.


  • Trainee inspector salaries begin around PS26,000. After two years of training, HSE trainee salaries rise to an annual maximum of PS40,178; London weighting is available at PS4,378 per month.
  • Health and safety inspectors with three to five years of experience and who have completed their training can earn between PS35,000 and PS50,000.
  • Senior-level specialist positions may offer salaries up to PS90,000.
  • Salaries vary based on the organisation, specialization, geographic location and level of responsibility.

These figures should only be used as a general guide.

Hours of Operation

  • Typically, office hours are 9am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday. However, in case of serious incidents or accidents, overtime may be necessary.
  • Part-time work, career breaks and job sharing are all common options. But it’s essential to stay abreast of health and safety laws as well as specialty areas.

What Should You Expect?

  • Most work takes place in an office setting; however, there is also plenty of outdoor and indoor workspace available for employees.
  • Working environments can be demanding, noisy, unpleasant or hazardous. You may need to wear protective clothing.
  • Sometimes it’s possible to work for yourself or freelance. You could become a consultant in occupational healthcare offering advice and lectures.
  • Opportunities abound in all major American cities.

Even though hours are flexible, it is not uncommon to travel for extended periods of time. It’s common to leave home during a workday and occasionally return home at night; however, international travel is less frequent but still possible depending on where your job takes you.


This profession is open to graduates of any discipline. However, having a degree in one of the following subjects could give you an edge over competitors:

Engineering disciplines from electronic/electrical, mechanical and environmental design, along with environmental health technology for food applications. Furthermore, both applied and physical sciences are involved.

What field of health and safety you choose will dictate which subjects are relevant. Nuclear inspectors require a degree in either engineering or science, while food technology specialists require certification for work in the food and beverage industry.

Specialist inspector positions require a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate qualification, relevant work experience and chartered membership in an organization. A minimum grade of C in English and maths at GCSE (or an equivalent) is necessary.

For this job, a Higher National Diploma (HND) is necessary and two years of work experience in the relevant field are mandatory. Additionally, having an associated professional qualification would be advantageous. A degree or HND are both necessary qualifications to be eligible for entry.

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