So you want to be an OHS manager

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is about ensuring safe and healthy working conditions to avoid illness and injury in the workplace.

Generally speaking, anyone who manages a company or team should have an understanding of OHS regulations to ensure that all work is carried out in a safe and effective manner, and to reduce the risk of accidental injury. Many companies also employ certified OHS professionals to ensure that their workplace is OHS compliant.


What is an OHS Manager?

OHS managers are responsible for managing and streamlining management systems covering the areas of quality and safety of the environment to achieve business improvement best practice across the organisation.  They aim to minimise the costs of pure risk, while organising and developing site OHS systems and procedures inline with company policies.

What are the key responsibilities of an OHS Manager?

An OHS manager is responsible for implementing and monitoring the OHS policies and procedures and administrating workers compensation across an employers sites. The role varies, depending on the organisation, but will generally include:

  • Monitoring  safety inspections and observations
  • Managing Workers compensation claims
  • Preparing OHS budgets
  • Assisting in investigations and reporting of work place incidents
  • Supporting the continuous improvement opportunities at the site
  • Monitoring job safety of employees and contractors

The OHS manager is responsible for building and maintaining a culture of ‘safety first’ as one of the priorities of the business.

What qualifications are required for the role?

An OHS manager needs tertiary qualifications in OHS or a related field and other applicable HS&E and/or ACC, H&S qualifications/accreditation. In depth knowledge of the New Zealand legislative and regulatory framework is also highly desired. When they reach manager level, industry and project management experience is essential.

What skills do you need for an OHS Manager?

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential, and the ability to communicate within all levels of the organisation is needed on a daily basis.

Proven writing and reporting skills for documenting processes and high attention to detail are also necessary, as are problem solving skills.

What salary could an OHS Manager expect?

A qualified OHS manager can make anywhere between $80 – 150K per annum.

For more information on HR salaries contact one of our expert consultants to discuss our OHS Manager career prospects.

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