Safety directors are responsible for managing all health and safety program initiatives across their companies to maintain a safe, healthy workplace for all employees. This includes the development of a safety strategy and ownership of the departmental budget. They also manage all internal and external relationships as they relate to government requirements and internal policy compliance.
Day-to-day activities include maintaining a culture of safety through the development of systems, policies and procedures to prevent injuries, hazardous activities or risky behaviors. Ensuring that the safety programs in place are correctly implemented and monitored on an ongoing basis to track their effectiveness is another prime responsibility for this role. Safety directors also work directly with various departments within the company to manage training and coordinate departmental representatives for emergency drills. As such, effective communication is essential for safety directors.
In addition, safety directors also work with individual departments to coordinate business resiliency/continuity planning to mitigate impact to operations when disasters or any mission critical-impact event occurs. This requires the creation of protocols and ongoing training and preparation work to ensure planning and processes are in place and always up to date. Safety directors will also work with various government agencies (local, regional or national, as applicable) to maintain compliance with all safety regulations. Furthermore, they are responsible for staying up to date on the constantly evolving laws and best practices in the field, and communicating such changes within their organizations.
The educational requirements for safety directors can vary from company to company. In general, an associate's or bachelor’s degree is required in addition to demonstrated organizational, teamwork, leadership and interpersonal/communication skills in the safety field. Professional certifications or the willingness/ability to acquire certifications is often also preferred.
Safety Director Tasks
- Develop and implement safety strategies through training, inspections, and performance reviews.
- Make recommendations for performance improvement, and collaborate with other department personnel in information management activities.
- Assist and monitor projects across multiple facilities or locations.