The HSE is under pressure from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to limit the number of on-site inspections it carries out. HSE Chief Executive, Geoffrey Podger, also said the department would have to adapt to a ‘tighter budgetary situation’ and cut up to 350 jobs. With fewer inspections, the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment lies even more with the corporation. Sources have revealed that industry bodies will be asked to ensure their members self-regulate while HSE inspectors focus mainly on high-risk sites. Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics agree. They predict a job growth of 14 percent for safety technicians over the next decade. This is considered a “faster than average” rate with jobs expected to increase to 12,500 in the UK by 2018.
Worker requirements and expectations are also a reason for this. Employees expect to work in a safe environment regardless of economic conditions. Judging from the most recent statistics, employers may need to work harder to meet those expectations. In addition, safety professionals themselves can also make an economical as well as humane argument for the increasing value of their role within corporations: one health and safety incident occurs and the lost productivity and the accompanying costs are staggering and ultimately hurt the economy of the corporation and as a whole.
Health and Safety professionals that are highly-motivated and aim to recognize, evaluate, and control risks to people, property and the environment are in demand. Stuart Vivian, Health and Safety Recruitment Manager, Allen & York
Although the economy may be hurt by the large number of safety violations, employers, according to National Safety Council’s May issue of Safety and Health, have been forced to cut many safety support jobs. This puts more responsibility on those who remain and adds to their workload. While this condition may create job security for those safety professionals who remain, it also increases their stress.
Health and Safety professionals that remain and are newly placed within corporations therefore have to be the highest of calibre; professionals better able to deal with such stress and pressure become in demand. More specifically, within construction, companies have to be constantly on guard to keep employees apprised of OSHA construction regulations and standards, construction firms therefore increasingly need to hire the best people available to train and oversee workplace safety on the job site. International Sustainability Recruitment Consultancy, Allen & York, have also witnessed an increase in Health & Safety roles within the UK and the rest of Europe, particularly in the areas of Renewables, Retail and Consultancy.