A product safety engineer is someone who determines whether products are safe for use by consumers. They are responsible for developing and carrying out tests and experiments to gauge the safety levels of these products, and come up with recommendations and solutions for any safety hazards so that safety risks can be reduced.
Product safety engineers also compile product usage instructions and safety warnings for consumers, and participate in recalls when issues have been reported.
What does a Product Safety Engineer do?
Product safety engineers develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels, and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards. They also recommend procedures for detection, prevention, and elimination of physical, chemical, or other product hazards. In the unfortunate event that a worker gets injured, a product safety engineer will investigate the cause of the accident, injury or illness, and develop a solution to minimize or prevent recurrence.
Job duties of a product safety engineer may include:
conducting research to evaluate safety levels for products
evaluating potential health hazards that could occur from product misuse
investigating causes of accidents, injuries, or illnesses related to product usage
participating in preparation of product usage and precautionary label instructions
recommending procedures for detection, prevention, and elimination of physical, chemical, or other product hazards
reporting accident investigation findings
developing solutions to minimize or prevent recurrence of accidents, injuries, or illnesses related to product usage
researching product safety
advising others on health and safety issues
preparing procedural documents
maintaining operational records or records systems
isolating potential safety hazards
overseeing manufacturing process of product
analyzing chemical features to ensure nothing is hazardous
reducing liability concerns and actions
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What is the workplace of a Product Safety Engineer like?
Product safety engineers work in teams that include other engineering specialties, quality assurance, quality improvement, regulatory compliance specialists, educators and lawyers.
Product safety engineers have to be diligent about getting facts from other engineers. It is common for a product safety engineer to consider software, chemical, electrical, mechanical, procedural, and training problems in the same day. Often the facts can be very uncomfortable as many safety related issues point towards mediocre management systems or worse, questionable business ethics.
Safety engineers must be personally pleasant, intelligent, and ruthless with themselves and their organization. In particular, they have to be able to "sell" the failures that they discover, as well as the attendant expense and time needed to correct them. They can be the messengers of bad news.