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What does a Safety Director do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 22, 2024
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A safety director may work in any type of industry or corporation. He or she is usually responsible for all aspects of a company's efforts to develop and maintain a safe, healthy workplace for all employees. Heading special projects as well as working on routine daily activities are the typical general duties of a safety director.

For example, safety director jobs tend to focus on both emergency preparedness issues and regular inspection policies. In keeping with safe operation guidelines, company vehicles and equipment will need to be inspected regularly according to a certain schedule whether that is daily, monthly or more or less often. Safety directors ensure that these inspections are carried out properly. They write and keep inspection reports. While those routine duties occur, the director will also have to ensure a company has adequate emergency first aid supplies and an evacuation plan in case of fire.

Safety directors manage fire drills and send emergency evacuation plan details to managers. They may also hold regular meetings with managers so these leaders can then instruct the employees who report to them on certain safety matters. In some companies, the safety director will teach safety concepts to groups of employees at once. He or she may also lead volunteer safety committees of employee volunteers who will organize supplies such as water and non-perishable foods to place in a company storeroom in case of an emergency situation such as an earthquake.

Staying within a budget is something a safety director must do. He or she may have to propose a yearly safety plan at an annual budget meeting and have the amount approved by senior management. Safety directors must hire and train safety staff while keeping to the set budget. Any communications material or safety equipment must also be purchased within the budget.

Using computer programs to analyze and track the effectiveness of current safety programs is typically part of the director's job description. He or she may have to take regular career refresher courses to maintain safety director certification. Depending on the industry and business, safety directors may have to travel to inspect field equipment or facilities.

Working with local, regional and national governments to ensure compliance with safety laws is an ongoing responsibility of a safety director. Traveling to attend annual safety seminars or workshops may also be required. The director usually reports the basic highlights of these meetings to corporate management or departmental managers.

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