Updated February 2023
It likely won’t surprise you to hear that Canada needs more health and safety managers.
It has always been important to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace, of course. But the need to keep people safe on the job has garnered new attention since COVID-19 upended our lives.
Health and safety managers are responsible for developing and implementing policies to minimize risks and foster a culture of safety and wellness throughout an organization.
And more and more companies are realizing the value that these professionals bring to the table.
In this post, we explore the factors behind the rising demand for health and safety managers as well as the skills and qualifications that are on employers’ most-wanted lists.
Considering a career in this growing field? Here’s what you need to know.
THE DEMAND FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGERS
Occupational health and safety (OHS) is top of mind for many organizations, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.
In 2022, job openings for OHS inspectors across Canada were up more than 12 per cent over a year earlier. That’s based on data from the Labour Market Information Council.
The Ontario government alone expects up to 3,000 jobs in OHS to become available across the province over the next few years.
David Johnston is the president and CEO of the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP).
He told OHS Canada that the pandemic has wrought long-term changes which will keep generating demand for people with skills in health and safety management.
“What I hear from many other OHS professionals is that they found themselves very much in demand and at the forefront of protecting workers and responding to the many and changing risks presented by COVID-19….
Now that the value of an OHS pro has been made manifest, the demand for qualified and competent OHS pros has increased substantially and I believe this trend will continue.”
WHAT DO EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGERS?
So what skills and qualifications do employers want in new health and safety managers? Here are some top examples:
☑️ Communication and interpersonal skills
Health and safety managers should be able to build good relationships with everyone in an organization.
You need to communicate effectively in order to influence the people around you and get them to buy in to your proposed policies. A big part of them involves educating both workers and managers about WHY safety programs are important.
☑️ Supervisory or training experience
Experience with training others or leading a team is a huge asset for aspiring health and safety (H&S) managers.
Companies like to hire H&S managers who have a proven track record of setting organizational goals, delivering safety training, and resolving conflicts between colleagues.
Experience in the OHS field is obviously best. But any role that allowed you to demonstrate your leadership skills can be valuable.
☑️ Health and safety certification
While certification is not required to work as a health and safety manager, it can definitely boost your career prospects.
Employers commonly look for H&S managers who either are or are in the process of becoming a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).
This designation is offered by the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) and is highly regarded in the industry.
HOW MUCH DO HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGERS MAKE IN CANADA?
Salaries for leadership roles in health and safety can vary widely.
According to PayScale, health and safety managers in Canada earn between $57,000 and $110,000 a year.
The median salary is about $78,000.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGER?
Want to advance your OHS career and capitalize on the growing demand for health and safety managers?
Start by exploring the Health and Safety Management certificate from Kompass Professional Development.
It’s designed for experienced health and safety pros who want to improve their leadership skills as well as mid- or upper-level managers who want to learn more about promoting safety within their organization.
All training is done online and can be spread over 10 to 20 weeks.
Click below to learn more about the certificate and connect live with an admissions advisor who can answer your questions. Classes start weekly.