In this post, we will address the 10 most frequently asked questions and answers for the safety professional job interview. We hope this will help you in your next interview and we wish you good luck.
You should pay attention to some to questions number 1 and 7, that the answer is just an example and your answer should reflect your experience.
1. Tell me about yourself?
My name is Marcus, I have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering as well a master’s in health and safety.
I start my career as a safety professional back in 2008, and since then I have work in several different projects just like buildings, bridge, and other infrastructures.
At this moment I just complete my assignment in the construction company “xpto” where I worked for the last 3 years as a safety Manager.
2. What is a health and safety management system and why is important?
A safety management system is a series of policies and procedures organizations use to reduce accidents and illnesses among employees. According to OSHA, “Effective Safety and Health Management Systems have proven to be a decisive factor in reducing the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses, that why is important to have a management system in place within the organization.
3. What would you do the first week on the job?
During my first week, I will conduct a thorough inspection of the facilities under your responsibility, getting to know the managers and personnel at those facilities, and examining the company’s safety record to identify any trends or patterns that need to be addressed quickly, as well as to read and understand the company’s health safety and environmental manual and procedures in place.
4. Explain what is the hierarchy of hazard controls?
Hierarchy of hazard control is a system used in the industry to minimize or eliminate exposure to hazards.
The hazard controls in the hierarchy are:
- Physically removed the hazard—is the most effective hazard control. For example, if employees must work high above the ground, the hazard can be eliminated by moving the piece they are working on to ground level to eliminate the need to work at heights.
- Substitution, the second most effective hazard control, involves replacing something that produces a hazard (similar to elimination) with something that does not produce a hazard.
- Engineering controls
- The third most effective means of controlling hazards is engineered controls. These do not eliminate hazards, but rather isolate people from hazards. For example, providing a guard rail in an excavation.
- Administrative controls
- Administrative controls are changes to the way people work. Examples of administrative controls include procedure changes, employee training, and installation of signs and warning labels, this is not so effective as the other controls.
- Personal protective equipment
- PPE is the least effective means of controlling hazards because of the high potential for damage to render PPE ineffective. In this control it the safety boots, helmet, etc…
5. What is a risk assessment and why is important?
Risk assessments are very important as they form an integral part of an occupational health and safety management plan. They help to:
- Create awareness of hazards and risk.
- Identify who may be at risk (e.g., employees, cleaners, visitors, contractors, the public, etc.).
- Determine whether a control program is required for a particular hazard.
- Determine if existing control measures are adequate or if more should be done.
- Prevent injuries or illnesses, especially when done at the design or planning stage.
- Prioritize hazards and control measures.
- Meet legal requirements where applicable.
6. What are the steps to do a risk assessment?
Assessments should be done by a competent person or team of individuals who have a good working knowledge of the situation being studied.
In general, to do an assessment, first we should:
- Identify hazards.
- Determine the likelihood of harm, such as an injury or illness occurring, and its severity.
- Identify actions necessary to eliminate the hazard, or control the risk using the hierarchy of risk control methods.
- Evaluate to confirm if the hazard has been eliminated or if the risk is appropriately controlled.
- Monitor to make sure the control continues to be effective.
- Keep any documents or records that may be necessary.
7. Tell me about the biggest challenge at your last job
You will have to be prepared for some question like this, search among your experiences for a situation in which this happened, the way to respond should be:
- 1 – Explain the situation that has happened, in a short and direct way.
- 2 – Describes how it was resolved.
- 3 – Explain what you learn from this situation.
In my last company, one day the head of the maintenance department gave instructions to a group of workers to enter a confined space without the proper procedure (work permit) being followed.
When I realized the situation, I approached the person in charge and explained to him the risks that could arise from this non-compliance. Naturally, he started to argue that he did not have time to fill out papers.
After explaining to him, using internet news about accidents that occurred in confined spaces, he understood that the procedure would guarantee that such accidents did not happen.
From that day on in my training sections, I always try to include real examples so that it is easier for everyone to understand the risks when the established rules are not complied with.
8. What would you do if someone called and said there had been a serious accident at our facility?’
Well, one of the first things I’d do is familiarize myself with your procedures ahead of time so I could make sure my response is in alignment.
Then, I’d find out what type of first response was needed – both to treat any injured parties and attempt to gain control of and resolve the situation.
I would also immediately identify any other agencies or third parties that would need to be notified (such as the ambulance service or the fire brigade) and get them involved quickly.”
9. How do you handle record-keeping?
I’ve found that keeping accurate records, while it may not be exciting, is critical in protecting both the company and its employees. If there were an accident, for instance, it would be important to be able to prove that we had provided the necessary training and had the right policies in place. I also think it’s crucial to make a thorough report of an accident right away, while the details are still fresh. If an injured employee later tells a different story, it’s important to have an accurate record.”
10. What would you do if a plant manager asked you to ignore a safety violation?
If it were a minor technical violation that was unlikely to result in injury, I might give the manager fair warning to fix it – say, within, 48 hours. After that time, I’d do another inspection, and if the issue still hadn’t been addressed, I would take the necessary course of action. Of course, if it were a major hazard, then I’d refuse to ignore it and ensure that any relevant guidelines were subsequently followed.