HomeHEALTHhow to become a health inspector

how to become a health inspector

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The health inspectors and safety analyze health and safety conditions in the workplace. They inspect different types of workplaces and provide advice and guidance to employers to reduce risks. Inspectors also investigate accidents that occur on the job and enforce occupational health and safety laws.


A specialized health and safety body and local authorities are responsible for developing health and safety control regulations. Health and safety inspectors visit workplaces to make sure that employers are upholding legal safety and hygiene standards and that workers are complying with safety and health rules. They are charged with protecting employees and the public against health and safety risks and improving health and safety standards.

Inspectors can make routine visits, contacting the company in advance or, more commonly, making surprise visits for on-the-spot checks.

Inspectors check the workplace thoroughly, for example, the study equipment, the presence of potentially harmful chemicals, and the way people work in the company. They make sure there is a clear health and safety policy and talk to employees about it.

For example, inspectors may find that employees do not have sufficient protection against high levels of noise or smoke, or that access to fire escapes is not easy, that toxic material is not stored safely, or that there is a significant risk of falling from certain parts of the facilities.

It may be that there are not enough safety handrails, or that there is no proper procedure for lifting heavy objects, or that people are working in an area that should be used exclusively for vehicles, for example.

In other cases, employees using machinery may be found to be using techniques or strategies to get the job done more quickly, but not following all safety procedures.

Health and safety inspectors are often required to travel to a variety of workplaces, including factories, farms, construction sites, amusement parks, onshore or offshore oil facilities, schools, hospitals, and nuclear facilities.

Places such as offices, shops, warehouses, hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities are inspected by local authorities, often by environmental health officials. Some authorities have their own health and safety inspectors.

During the visit, the inspectors can decide ways in which a company can improve the health and safety of employees by making the necessary changes. They offer advice and guidance to company directors to take responsibility for reducing risks. They also encourage employers to provide safety training for their employees.

They give advice on how to change the design of the workplace, or on the benefits of introducing new equipment that improves safety conditions. The inspector must often be very persuasive in convincing managers or owners that they need to make these changes.

If the violations of the law are more serious, the inspector can issue a notice of improvement, in which case the company has a period of three weeks to make the necessary changes.

Inspectors sometimes visit a workplace after an accident or in order to investigate a complaint. In the event of an accident, the inspector collects information about what has happened. He usually takes photographs and measurements, and interviews the people involved.

Sometimes the inspector detects a risk of serious injury to workers. In this case, the inspector can issue a ban notice to immediately stop the dangerous practice from taking place. If the employer does not make the necessary changes, the inspector must ultimately take the matter to court. Inspectors can be witnesses in court.

Health and safety inspectors also spend time in the office, taking phone inquiries and checking with colleagues about problems they have encountered.

They also write reports on the visits they have made. These reports describe the survey conducted by the inspector and suggestions for improvements.

Inspectors must understand health and safety legislation and industrial processes, so they should read technical literature in order to keep up with the changes.

Some inspectors spend much of their time outdoors. Labor inspectors in some sectors must wear protective clothing during visits to the workplace.

Professional profile

to be a health and safety inspector you will need to be able to:

  • Record complex information objectively, and analyze the situation taking into account all available data.
  • Pay attention to details at all times, you will also have to be observant.
  • Explain the health and safety regulations in detail.
  • Coping with stressful situations when people are angry or upset.
  • Apply the law firmly and fairly, even during the judicial processes to which employers are subjected.
  • Present logical and complete arguments.
  • Plan and prioritize a number of cases, and work under pressure.

Should have:

  • A commitment to ensure health and safety at work.
  • Self-determination, confidence and enthusiasm, and an inquisitive mind.
  • Communication skills, interpersonal skills and persuasion skills.
  • Written communication skills for reporting and preparing legal cases.
  • Tact and negotiation skills.
  • A calm, professional and convincing treatment to solve possible confrontations.
  • Good organizational skills, to prepare and process cases from their own evidence.
  • Administrative and IT skills to make accurate records.

You should enjoy working on your own and as part of a team. You will need to be able to climb stairs to inspect the premises. Sometimes you will have to go to noisy places, or hot or cold environments, with smoke or dust. You will have to work outdoors for a significant part of the time. You must have a driving license and be prepared to travel frequently to different places. Find out what to study to be a Health and Safety Inspector


  • Encourage employees to receive safety training.
  • Ability to make decisions.
  • Skills for verbal and written communication.
  • Planning skills.
  • Record keeping skills.
  • Report writing skills.
  • Well organized.
  • Ability to cope in difficult situations.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Able to give complex information in a direct way.
  • Capable of handling multiple cases.
  • Able to pay attention to detail.
  • Able to work under pressure.
  • Able to work both alone and in a team.
  • Computer skills.
  • Willing to visit places that are noisy, hot or cold, or with smoke or dust.
  • In physical shape.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Issues notices of improvement and prohibition.
  • Firm but fair.
  • Ability to drive.
  • Ability to manage conflicts.
  • Ability to influence.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Inspect various types of workplaces.
  • Interested in the health, care and safety of people.
  • Investigate accidents at work.
  • He likes to run around in all kinds of weather.
  • Inquisitive mind.
  • Target.
  • Observer.
  • Full driving license.
  • Persuasive.
  • Professional.
  • Provides advice and guidance to employees to minimize risks.
  • Write reports.
  • Resolved.
  • Sure.
  • Sensible.
  • It monitors things like equipment and potentially dangerous chemicals, as well as the way people work.
  • Testify in court.
  • Quiet.
  • Travel to different places.


Some of the studies that allow you to practice this profession is listed below. It should be borne in mind that, depending on the field of specialization, the training may have to be complemented with other more sector-specific courses. Continuous training is a key aspect of professional improvement.

  • Degree in Labor Sciences and Human Resources
  • Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources
  • Official Master in Health Management
  • Official Master’s Degree in Occupational Risk Prevention
  • Official Master in International Health
  • Official Master in Public Health

How to become a restaurant sanitation inspector.

If you care about public health and don’t want to spend your working days behind a desk, you should consider a career as a restaurant health inspector. Health inspectors visit restaurants and assess whether they are clean and hygienic and which of their operations comply with local regulations. The role of a health inspector is to regulate and educate. Their responsibilities include enforcing standards and codes, as well as ensuring that restaurant employees understand current standards and are aware of updates.

Step 1

Complete a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health, or a comparable number of credits in a health sciences field at an accredited university. Some counties accept courses from alternative sources, such as the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and the Council of Certified Safety Professionals. Many counties also accept a minimum of two years of work experience in the health and safety field. Check with your local health department about the specific educational requirements for your area.

Step 2

Take your county exam to become a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. It’s a 300-question, multiple-choice test that tests your knowledge of a wide range of public health topics, covering everything from pests and weeds to hazardous waste, sewage, and airborne pathogens. You must obtain the study guide from your local public health agency to study for your exam. Although not all questions on the exam are specifically related to the restaurant sanitation inspector job, the exam is required and contains in-depth knowledge of the restaurant inspection field.

Step 3

Take the qualification exam for the Specialized Certification of Food Safety Professionals. It is a 120-question multiple-choice test, containing questions specifically tailored for food safety issues and restaurant inspection criteria. This exam checks your knowledge of topics such as foodborne illness, safe food handling practices, cleaning and sanitizing, and proper food storage temperatures.

Step 4

Complete the specialized food safety program if your county requires you to do so, in order to obtain a restaurant sanitation inspector license. This training will allow you to become familiar with the FDA Food Code and gives you training for the implementation of hazard analysis, critical procedures, and point control.

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