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Meet Ashley, occupational safety officer

Published on: January 06, 2020

A career with a difference

To occupational safety officer Ashley, everyone deserves a fair shake -- and she goes the extra mile to make sure they get it.

Her focus is the challenging, high-risk construction industry. "I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Most people I meet on construction sites who aren't in compliance — whether they are homeowners, contractors, or employers — are either unaware of the requirements, or face barriers such as language or technology."

As an occupational safety officer, Ashley helps make workplaces safer by ensuring employers and workers understand and comply with health and safety regulation. For people who just don't know what their responsibilities are, Ashley will carefully outline the basic requirements and then refer them to the residential building process to help them plan the next phases of construction.

If technology is an issue, Ashley has a mobile office with her. She'll walk her clients through filing a notice of project online, or, if they don't have a computer, she'll provide the number for the Prevention Support Line. No email address? No problem. She'll print the online instructions.

If English isn't a client’s first language, Ashley will bring a co-worker who speaks their language to the site, or have printed material in their language on hand. "I'll bring fall protection plans, for example, in their language and have them fill those out on the spot. Then I'll ask them to demonstrate what they'll be doing on the roof, on the ground, to make sure they understand.

"It's important that we engage and do all we can to give people a fair chance to meet their obligations," says Ashley. "I'm always encountering new and different situations and worksites, but my approach and expectations are always clear and consistent. Often it really is a matter of education, sharing information, and being fair."

To see if the occupational safety officer role is a career for you, view the detailed job preview document. For other job opportunities in prevention, visit our careers page.

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