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JasperW  
#1 Posted : 01 October 2020 14:12:09(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
JasperW

Hello,
I'm looking to work in H&S as a career change, and my query is this: as my interest is focused on health, wellbeing and safety in office and restaurant environments, is it possible to specialise in these areas and not get too involved in construction sites, railways etc?
Any advice much appreciated.
Regards, 

J. 

biker1  
#2 Posted : 01 October 2020 14:31:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

It depends on what you mean when you talk about specialising in these fields. Employment wise, you can of course specialise in any area you want. If you mean health and safety qualifications, these tend to be more general to give you a good grounding in the law and best practice in a variety of work environments. Any health and safety qualification worth having will be far more comprehensive that just office and restaurant environments. And who knows - you may value some knowledge of construction safety even when focusing on offices, or of course you may want to change the field you work in at some point in the future.

Edited by user 01 October 2020 14:32:40(UTC)  | Reason: Typo

Kate  
#3 Posted : 02 October 2020 07:12:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

If you advise on H&S in an office or restaurant, you will still need some knowledge of construction H&S to be able to deal with situations such as modifications to the building or major maintenance works which may come up from time to time.  Obviously not as in-depth as if you worked for a construction firm, but you would need to understand legal duties of a construction client and have an awareness of what does and doesn't look safe (eg how to use a ladder safely).

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
jodieclark1510 on 02/10/2020(UTC)
peter gotch  
#4 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:19:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi Jasper

Welcome to the IOSH Forums and congratulations for managing to find them.

Obviously we don't know what your background and qualifications are, but perhaps if you are considering attaining an occupational health and safety qualification, you should also consider studying food hygiene standards.

At the end of the day a restaurant is far more likely to make lots of people ill (or worse) from unsafe food as from the occupational and public health and safety standards in the premises.

Good luck, Peter

RVThompson  
#5 Posted : 02 October 2020 11:30:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
RVThompson

"congratulations for managing to find them"

Nice one Peter!

Took all week for a smile, rather than a grimace to arrive on my face...

thanks 2 users thanked RVThompson for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 02/10/2020(UTC), Yossarian on 02/10/2020(UTC)
JasperW  
#6 Posted : 02 October 2020 14:39:09(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
JasperW

Thank you for all these replies - they're really useful.  One of the things I'm going to do right now is have a look at food hygiene qualifications.  J.

martynp1000  
#7 Posted : 13 November 2020 12:53:31(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
martynp1000

Originally Posted by: JasperW Go to Quoted Post

Hello,
I'm looking to work in H&S as a career change, and my query is this: as my interest is focused on health, wellbeing and safety in office and restaurant environments, is it possible to specialise in these areas and not get too involved in construction sites, railways etc?
Any advice much appreciated.
Regards, 

J. 


I was a civil servant for my 40 years career and much of the time the greatest risk was from a paper cut whilst opening the post.  However, as others have said, you need to have a grip on the wider range of  health and safety issues - we had people driving for work to meetings in remote areas, people monitoring the health and ear tags of farm animals, people working on fishing monitoring vessels, people working as wardens craftsmen and guides at remote ancient monuments. 

In addition around the office all maintenance work was undertaken by external contractors and all IT systems were provided by contractors.  We frequently had press and broadcasters on site.  All of this required a degree of competence to be available so the organisation could be assured that it was compliant.

I became experienced in issues that were described as "sick building syndrome" and gained sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to challenge a contractor on their advice that (e.g.) dropping the relative humidity to below 30% through the A/C systems was a good idea to save money and energy but with no regard to the impact on the workforce, or to identify the cause of headaches of computer users when eyesight tests, new spectacles and visits to GP proved fruitless.

So yes there is a market for the skillset you seek - it may not be easy to break in however.

Martyn

Edited by user 13 November 2020 12:55:32(UTC)  | Reason: typo corrections

Mark-W  
#8 Posted : 16 November 2020 08:15:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Originally Posted by: JasperW Go to Quoted Post

Hello,
I'm looking to work in H&S as a career change, and my query is this: as my interest is focused on health, wellbeing and safety in office and restaurant environments, is it possible to specialise in these areas and not get too involved in construction sites, railways etc?
Any advice much appreciated.
Regards, 

J. 

I'm a consultant, I don't have a specialty but cover FM, offroad organisations, publishing, adult social care. But I won't go near a construction site unless it's imperative. I have done in the past and tradies onsite in general are good but you always get the bloke who knows best. I can't be doing with that sort of stress during the working day.

The last site I visited, I was walking around with the site H&S manager. We came across a plasterer mixing up a bucket of muck with his powered mixer.

H&S bloke asked him to stop and put some RPE on, answer was , I'm only going to be 5 mins so no need. Roll forward 15 mins and they are still arguing the pro's and cons of RPE. In the end the tradie was given a red card and escorted off the site within the hour. Now blacklisted by main contractor.

All that hassle and stress when the tradie could of just put some RPE on. 

So like others have said, have an understanding of construction so that you know the basics, if you need more info then the HSE website is your friend.

Whatever you do, you need to enjoy it. Don't make life hard for yourself

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