The Employer’s Guide to Hiring a Safety Professional
Use this guide to assist you in hiring a competent professional to manage safety and health risks in your organization.
PLEASE NOTE: The Full Version of this GUIDE is available here:
The Employer’s Guide to Hiring a Safety Professional (Interactive Version)
This Guide covers different aspects of hiring a safety professional; some topics include:
ASSE recommends that you look for the following qualifications when evaluating the competency of safety professionals. By requiring these qualifications, you will be ensuring that you will be hiring or promoting safety professionals with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to perform the core functions of the position. There are five separate sets of suggested qualifications depending on what level of safety position you are looking to fill. In addition, a safety-related interview guide is appended.
Tips from ASSE
When evaluating a candidate’s work experience, focus on the aggregate amount of time devoted to safety engineering or management and the performance of the core functions of the safety position (or other sub-disciplines of the safety practice). Some jobs with - "safety" in the title actually have minimal safety-related responsibilities.
- Human Resources –on organizational culture or climate issues, return-to-work programs, and training, to change employee behaviors, influence managers, share tools and technology, improve legal and regulatory compliance, and boost employee morale.
- Operations, Planning, Design, or Engineering - to ensure that, to the extent possible, safety risks are designed out of proposed process, plant or equipment changes, or are considered in acquisitions or expansion plans.
- Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability - to ensure that safety and health considerations are integrated into the organization’s sustainability program.
- Environmental Protection - on handling and storing hazardous materials, indoor air quality issues, training, and regulatory compliance.If you are considering hiring or promoting a safety professional, ensure that you are fully leveraging the position to benefit your organization. Consider, for example, whether the current reporting structure allows the safety professional to work effectively with:Ask candidates to provide writing samples in the technical subject area of the position to demonstrate their competence in this area. Determine if the candidates have recently completed safety-related continuing education courses to stay current on emerging issues and new developments. Look for courses that qualify for continuing education credits from accredited certification organizations.
- Safety certifications should be from organizations accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB), or a nationally recognized accrediting body which uses certification criteria equal to or greater than that of the NCCA or CESB. Beware of safety "certifications" from unaccredited organizations.
The Employer’s Guide to Hiring a Safety Professional contains questions that were developed to assist hiring managers in the interview process. The questions are designed to test the depth of the candidate’s experience, analytical abilities, business acumen, and understanding of organizational behavior within the context of the practice of safety. This Interview Guide should be viewed as a resource for questions to supplement an interview, rather than as a complete, scripted interview. The questions selected for the interview should be based on the responsibilities of the particular job.