What does a Construction Safety Engineer do?

Median Pay $88,510
Growth Rate 5%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A construction safety engineer ensures all workers at a job site are safe. This includes all aspects of a job site such as personal protective gear, the site’s safety processes and procedures, equipment, and the building’s materials.

This video discusses the safety engineering field:

How to Become a Construction Safety Engineer

become a construction safety engineer

Employers look for construction safety engineers that have a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited program, so you will want to look if the program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (link opens in a new tab). Your bachelor’s program should include courses in advanced math, physics, and various engineering courses. From there, you may start gaining experience as an engineer before learning more about the specialized field of safety engineering.

A construction safety engineer would be expected to have a blend of experience in engineering and safety, though an employer may consider master’s level courses as a substitute for experience. Employers will look for candidates that understand safety engineering, compliance, and how to investigate accidents.

Job Description of a Construction Safety Engineer

A construction safety engineer is responsible to inspect instruction sites to look for hazards that could injure those on the worksite and recommend ways to improve the safety of the work environment. The work environment includes all areas of a work site and could include scaffolding, weight bearing structures, PPE (personal protective gear), and even the processes workers follow on a job site. Basically, these engineers are vital in ensuring that safety standards and regulations are met and that any violations discovered are corrected. They create reports on their findings so that action can be taken to make a site safer for all.

Construction Safety Engineer Job Posting

Let’s look at a job description posted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This job announcement is looking for a person to perform the following responsibilities:

The Safety Engineer is responsible for the implementation of safety engineering policies and programs that embrace a range of matters directly or indirectly concerned with safety and protection. Assignments also include responsibility for the technical adequacy of plans, designs, and specifications for improvement of safety programs within a facility.

  • The employee administers safety and occupational health programs in compliance with standards and requirements and to assure safety, healthy, and efficient operations.
  • The employee prepares technical guidance and direction for safety and occupational health program implementation.
  • The employee performs audits and inspections of work sites, as required, to assure compliance with safety and health program requirements; prepares technical reports of inspection findings; and develops corrective actions.
  • The employee independently inspects construction projects to determine compliance with applicable occupational safety standards (e.g., floor load capacity, aisle space, adequacy of sprinkling systems, safety features on storage tanks containing flammable and volatile liquids, and the adequacy of scaffolding erected to facilitate painting of buildings).
  • The employee completes hazard and job safety analysis to ensure proper use of machinery and equipment, personal protective equipment, and procedures.
  • The employee conducts accident investigations to ascertain causes and to develop preventive safety measures.
  • The employee trains employees and lower-grade safety staff in specific program requirements. The employee participates in the facility Safety Committee, Accident Review Board, and/or Environment of Care (EOC) Committee.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

This position was posted to run 01/14/2019 until 01/28/2019 with a salary range of $63,239 to $82,214 per year on USAjobs.gov (link opens in a new tab). USAjobs.gov is an official website of the United States government and part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Free Teacher and Student Resources

The American Society of Safety Professionals has an article that lists the Seven Cs for Safety Success (link opens in a new tab). This is a great article to read with a class, evaluate an area, and discuss the classes findings.

Industrial Safety Health Engineer Career Video Transcript

Even with workplace regulations to protect workers, many jobs carry an element of risk. Industrial safety and health engineers are responsible for using engineering tools and technology to make places that are dangerous to work at as safe as possible. These engineers promote worksite and product safety to avoid hazards from a variety of sources: chemical, physical, biological, and even psychological. They are always on the lookout for new ways to predict and prevent hazardous conditions and when they do occur, control them with safety measures.

Industrial safety and health engineers work with other public health and safety workers to coordinate efforts, often teaming up to investigate industrial accidents and injuries, find their cause, and prevent future problems. While they spend time in the office to plan new and improved safety programs, these engineers also travel to worksites to evaluate machinery and environments and to train workers in safety and emergency procedures. Many of these positions require a four-year college degree in engineering, along with work related experience. For these engineers, maintaining safer, healthier workplaces keeps American industry industrious.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Construction Safety Engineer.

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The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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