Is an Occupational Health and Safety course right for you?

Who should study occupational health and safety

Companies and industries are required by law to implement certain health and safety practices and regulations. The law also requires that for every 20 employees a company should appoint an occupational health and safety representative/coordinator. Most companies designate an employee to this role and which then becomes and extra duty. Industries like mining, construction and health will employ someone whose sole responsibility is to identify health and safety risks and implement procedures as well as develop new safety procedures specific to operational needs. These industries may have many of their own regulations that aren’t included in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and people who would like to work in these sectors may have different requirements they need to meet to secure a job.

Who will benefit from our occupational health and safety course

The courses offered by College SA are specifically for those who currently fulfil the role of OHS representative/coordinator in their company or would like to. Our OHS Representative and Coordinator in the Workplaces courses cover important information necessary to fulfilling your role. You will learn the basics of First Aid, how to run a Safety Inspection and Audit, how to identify Risk Factors as well as SHE Awareness; SHE awareness refers to the physical displaying of signs in the workplace to warn others of potential dangers.

It may also be beneficial for anyone that manages or owns a small business – less than 20 employees- to study a formal course. It is important that you are informed about the health and safety risks that can affect your business and day-today operations.

Characteristics and skills of an OHS representative/coordinator

It is important that as an OHS representative/coordinator you possess certain skills and personal characteristics that will help you do your job well. You should want to help companies implement and adhere to safety procedures and you should enjoy spending time informing, and in some cases, training other employees or co-ordinating fire drills and other emergency procedures.

Personal Characteristics

It is recommended that anyone who is responsible for the health and safety in the workplace have these characteristics:

  • Inquisitive
  • Likes problem-solving
  • Tactful
  • An interest in laws and regulations
  • Adaptive to change
  • Able to communicate effectively


You will have to acquire some skills through formal training and experience. If you would like a full-time career as an occupational health and safety representative gaining experience is vital. Some people gain experience through working in an entry-level position while taking a formal course through a distance learning institution. General skills that are required are:

  • First Aid
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to turn laws and regulations into practical steps that employees and a company can follow

Becoming an OHS representative/coordinator means that you are able to take responsibility and encourage others to be responsible within the workplace. You also need to stay up to date with any changes in health and safety regulations and laws. It is important that you take initiative when it comes to identifying risks and finding solutions for them. Many times your role will be very straightforward and you will just have to ensure that general safety procedures are followed. But, there may be times were you will have to see what others don’t and warn management about the potential risks so that safety measures can be designed and implemented.

Occupational health and safety is important as it helps you prevent potential accidents or disease that can hinder the productivity of employees and in turn negatively affect your company both operationally and financially.