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What Does an HSE Supervisor Do?

By M. Kayo
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A health, safety, and environmental (HSE) supervisor, or manager, assists a company or other organization in improving operating activities while ensuring adherence to regulations mandated by government authorities. Most HSE supervisor positions require an an earned associate's degree and several years of experience in the health, safety, and environmental services field. Regulatory compliance and reporting are a big part of this job as well as investigation of incidents. Some supervisors may be required to oversee other departments, like transportation, manufacturing, or employee alcohol or drug testing. Some employers require formal training or certification in safety and risk management as well.

Documentation and reporting of HSE incidents is one important part of this job. An HSE supervisor must maintain accurate records of any accidents, violations, or other incidents and have these documents up-to-date and ready for inspection by internal management or government officials at any time. Near miss and potential hazard reporting are also the responsibility of the HSE supervisor. The information from these investigations and reports help to prevent similar occurrences or violations in the future. The data collected from such reports is used to create and determine future safety procedures and compile operations manuals.

Investigation of HSE incidents within a company or organization is also part of the HSE supervisor's job. When something goes wrong with a process or procedure related to the safety or health of personnel or that may have an effect on the environment, a supervisor must take steps to investigate and report such instances to the proper company or government authority. Proper reporting, analysis of any investigation results, and the development of corrective action plans are also included in these responsibilities as may successful completion and follow up of all corrective action plans. Regular inspections of a company's facilities to ensure compliance with government and company HSE standards may also be done the supervisor.

If a company utilizes vehicles in daily operations, the HSE supervisor may be required to inspect driver files, conduct random vehicle inspections, ensure proper scheduled maintenance of vehicles, audit various logs, and make sure that the company complies with hazardous materials handling and shipping requirements. All aspects of environmental regulatory requirements must be followed, including spill response, permit renewals and management of hazardous waste products. Other required duties of a supervisor include drug and alcohol testing, acquiring state and local permits for various types of equipment and workman's compensation insurance claims processing. An HSE supervisor may create and implement HSE policies and guidelines throughout all areas of a company or organization.

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