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
Well into the second year of the pandemic, occupational health and safety (OHS) is top of mind for many organizations.
In the second quarter of 2021, job openings for OHS inspectors across Canada were up more than 37% over the same period a year earlier. That’s based on data from the Labour Market Information Council.
The Ontario government alone hired over 100 new health and safety professionals in the spring of 2021. And it 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).
“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.
OHS expert Navin Homenauth has more than 10 years of experience developing health and safety programs.
He says managers need to ensure that both employees and executives understand what’s expected and why those measures are in place.
“Clear and consistent communication about roles, responsibilities, process, and procedures is key.
For OHS managers, part of the job is educating others about WHY safety programs are important and fostering a culture where health, safety, and wellness are highly valued and a top priority.”
☑️ 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, as Navin points out.
“Certification from the BCRSP is the gold-standard requirement for any safety professional.
Having this certification tells employers you’ve met a high standard of training and have the knowledge and experience to add real value to the OHS team.”
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 $56,000 and $102,000 a year.
The median salary is $76,000.
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.