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How to Hire a Safety Manager: Everything You Need to Look For

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago
  • Author: Kelly O'Neill

In our industry, promoting safe and healthy working conditions is a responsibility, not a choice. In workplaces brimming with hazards, it's critical to have solid safety procedures and a sharp-eyed safety manager on board. Safety managers are pivotal in safeguarding workers, preempting accidents, and ensuring adherence to regulatory safety standards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2021, underscoring the necessity of safety managers.

The demand for these crucial roles is soaring, but the supply of truly skilled and experienced safety managers hasn't kept pace. This imbalance leaves many organizations in a tough spot, struggling to find the right talent who can genuinely safeguard their workforce and navigate the complexities of safety regulations.

That's where Per Se Group steps in as a game-changer. Leveraging our deep industry insights and an extensive network of qualified candidates, we stand ready to connect you with top-tier safety management professionals.

What to look for in a Safety Manager

Safety managers are the leaders in the field of safety and set the tone for the entire organization. From identifying potential hazards to implementing proactive safety protocols, they play a key role in preventing workplace accidents and injuries.

A skilled safety manager can significantly reduce the risk of costly incidents, enhance employee morale, and ultimately contribute to the overall productivity and reputation of the organization. The right person for this job needs to bring a lot to the table. That's where we come in. Our team knows exactly what to look for in a safety manager – we're talking about the whole package. Our team lays out everything you should look for below:

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute health and safety plans in the workplace.

  • Prepare and enforce policies to establish a culture of health and safety.

  • Evaluate practices, procedures, and facilities to establish a culture of health and safety.

  • Organize and provide safety training programs to employees, including onboarding and ongoing training.

  • Lead investigations into accidents or incidents, determining root causes, and implementing corrective actions.

  • Conduct regular safety audits and inspections to ensure compliance and maintain a safe work environment.

  • Collect and analyze safety-related data to make informed decisions and improvements.

  • Recommend solutions to issues and implement new safety measures.

Education Background

Seek candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health, environmental science, or engineering. This educational foundation is essential for training future safety managers as it provides a deep understanding of safety principles and regulations applicable across various industries.

Additionally, for more senior roles, consider candidates who have pursued advanced degrees or industry-specific certifications like Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) qualifications. These credentials often indicate a more comprehensive grasp of safety management complexities.

Career Background

Experience is key. Look for professionals who have started in entry-level safety roles, such as safety coordinators or junior safety officers. These positions suggest that they've learned the ropes under seasoned safety managers, gaining hands-on knowledge of safety protocols and practices. Candidates who have progressed to roles like safety supervisors or safety officers may also be qualified, as these positions imply direct involvement in safety management and an understanding of industry-specific safety challenges.

Growth throughout the field looks promising, as safety regulations continue to evolve and become more stringent across various industries, the demand for qualified safety managers remains strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects a 13% growth of the position by 2032 which is a faster average for all jobs. Organizations are interested in investing in safety to protect their employees and assets which makes the role important.

Skills and Qualities

As a hiring manager looking for highly qualified safety managers, it’s important to know how to identify the right candidates for your role.

What skills and personality do they need to have to succeed? What can be taught on the job and what’s a non-negotiable? And once you figure that out, where do you look to find them?

Don’t sweat it.

Our team has placed countless safety managers across a diverse range of organizations and projects, regardless of size or type. We know who you need and where to find them.

Key Skills: A standout safety manager should exhibit:

  • Critical and Analytical Thinking: Look for candidates who demonstrate the ability to assess complex situations and analyze risks effectively.

  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Seek individuals with a proven track record of resolving safety issues creatively and efficiently.

  • Strong Communication Skills: Essential for conveying safety protocols clearly and effectively across all levels of the organization.

  • Detail Orientation: Candidates must have a keen eye for details, crucial in identifying potential hazards.

  • Technical Acumen: Familiarity with industry-specific safety technology and tools is a must.

  • Interpersonal Skills: The ability to connect with and gain the trust of employees is key for effective safety management.

  • Adaptability and Crisis Management: They should be capable of adapting to changing environments and managing emergencies with composure.


Where to Find These Candidates:

  • Professional Networks and Forums: Engage with industry-specific networks, online forums, and professional groups.

  • Safety Conferences and Seminars: Attend these events to meet professionals who are committed to staying abreast of the latest in safety management.

  • Referrals from Industry Experts: Tap into your professional network for recommendations.

  • Specialized Recruitment Agencies: Agencies like ours, which have a deep understanding of the safety management field and a pool of vetted candidates.

Build Your Safety Manager Talent Pipeline With Per Se

In need of a safety manager who can truly make a difference in your organization? Look no further. Their expertise in safety protocols isn't just valuable – it's essential. These pros ensure that your team operates safely every day, which is key to your company's success and reputation.

Are you looking to fill a safety manager role? Whether your organization is taking its first steps in establishing a safety program or seeking to enhance an existing one, our network includes candidates ranging from budding talents to seasoned professionals. Reach out to us, and we'll help you connect with the ideal safety manager who can make a real difference in your organization's safety culture.