Average Occupational Health and Safety Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Occupational Health and Safety Salary in South Africa is R18,000 per month. An entry-level Occupational Health and Safety earns a salary range of R9,767, a Mid-career level earns about R18,267, and a senior/experienced level earns R24,592 per month.

Average Occupational Health and Safety Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Occupational Health and Safety 9,767
Mid-Career Occupational Health and Safety 18,267
Experienced Occupational Health and Safety 24,592

Types of Occupational Health and Safety Officers and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers play a crucial role in ensuring workplace safety and compliance with regulations. There are several types of OHS officers, each with specific functions aimed at safeguarding the well-being of employees. Here’s a breakdown of some key types and their respective roles:

1. Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)

HSRs are elected by employees to represent them in matters related to health and safety. They facilitate communication between workers and management, identify potential hazards, and participate in investigations following incidents. Their primary focus is on the well-being of their fellow workers.

2. Safety Officers

Safety officers are responsible for implementing safety policies and procedures. They conduct risk assessments, inspect workplaces for potential hazards, and ensure compliance with safety regulations. They also provide safety training and monitor the effectiveness of safety measures.

3. Occupational Hygiene Officers

These officers specialize in identifying and controlling workplace hazards that could impact the health of workers. They assess exposure to various substances, such as chemicals, noise, and dust, and recommend measures to minimize risks. Occupational hygiene officers often work closely with industrial processes to ensure a healthy work environment.

4. Environmental Health and Safety Officers

Combining elements of environmental protection and workplace safety, these officers focus on minimizing the impact of work activities on the environment. They ensure that companies comply with environmental regulations while also maintaining a safe workplace for employees.

5. Construction Health and Safety Officers

Specifically tailored for the construction industry, these officers oversee safety on construction sites. They assess risks associated with construction activities, enforce safety measures, and ensure compliance with construction regulations. Construction health and safety officers play a vital role in preventing accidents and injuries in a high-risk industry.

6. Mine Health and Safety Officers

With a specialization in the mining sector, these officers concentrate on the unique risks associated with mining operations. They implement safety protocols, conduct inspections, and collaborate with mining companies to enhance safety standards and prevent accidents.

7. Transportation Safety Officers

Focused on ensuring safety in transportation-related workplaces, these officers oversee compliance with safety regulations in the transportation industry. They address risks associated with vehicle operations, logistics, and other transportation activities.

In South Africa, these OHS officers operate within the framework of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Their collective goal is to create and maintain a safe working environment, prevent accidents, and protect the health and well-being of employees. Regular training, risk assessments, and collaboration with both employers and employees are integral aspects of their roles.

Factors Affecting Occupational Health and Safety Salaries in South Africa

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) professionals play a crucial role in creating and maintaining safe work environments. In South Africa, several factors influence the salaries of individuals working in this field. Understanding these factors is essential for both employers and employees to make informed compensation decisions. Here’s a detailed exploration of the key elements impacting Occupational Health and Safety salaries in South Africa:

1. Experience and Expertise

Professionals with extensive experience and specialized expertise often command higher salaries. Those with a proven track record in implementing effective safety measures and managing OHS programs are highly valued in the job market.

2. Education and Certification

Academic qualifications and industry certifications significantly impact salary levels. Individuals with advanced degrees, such as a Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety, may receive higher compensation. Certifications like the NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) can also enhance earning potential.

3. Industry and Sector

Salaries can vary based on the industry and sector in which an OHS professional works. High-risk industries such as construction and manufacturing might offer higher compensation due to the increased complexity and potential hazards associated with these sectors.

4. Company Size

The size of the employing organization plays a role in determining salaries. Larger companies often have more resources to allocate to OHS programs, which can translate into higher pay for professionals managing these initiatives.

5. Geographical Location

Salaries can differ across different regions in South Africa. Urban areas with a higher cost of living may offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased living expenses. Remote or less developed regions may offer lower but potentially more competitive salaries based on the local economic context.

6. Legislation and Compliance

Adherence to occupational health and safety regulations is paramount. Professionals working in environments where compliance is strictly monitored and enforced may receive higher salaries due to the added responsibility and accountability.

7. Market Demand

The demand for OHS professionals in the job market influences salaries. Industries facing increased scrutiny or those experiencing growth in safety-conscious practices may offer more competitive compensation to attract and retain skilled professionals.

8. Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate effectively during job offers or salary reviews is a crucial factor. Professionals who can articulate their value, skills, and contributions to an organization may secure higher salaries.

9. Continuous Professional Development

Employers often value professionals who invest in continuous learning and development. Keeping skills up-to-date through workshops, and conferences, and staying informed about industry best practices can positively impact salary levels.

How to Become an Occupational Health and Safety Officer in South Africa

Becoming an Occupational Health and Safety Officer in South Africa involves a structured process that combines education, training, and practical experience. Here’s a detailed guide on how to pursue a career in this field:

1. Educational Requirements

Obtain a relevant academic qualification, typically a National Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety. Institutions such as universities and colleges in South Africa offer programs accredited by professional bodies like the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Saiosh).

2. Gain Practical Experience

Participate in internships or work placements to gain practical experience. Many employers prefer candidates with hands-on exposure to real-world occupational health and safety issues.

3. Certification

Pursue professional certifications recognized in South Africa, such as the Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (COHS) offered by Saiosh. Certification enhances your credibility and demonstrates your commitment to the field.

4. Stay Informed

Keep yourself updated with the latest developments in occupational health and safety regulations, standards, and practices in South Africa. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to network with professionals and stay current in the field.

5. Develop Skills

Hone your communication and interpersonal skills as effective communication is crucial in this role. Additionally, develop analytical skills to identify potential hazards and risks in various workplace settings.

6. Legal Compliance

Understand and familiarize yourself with South Africa’s occupational health and safety laws and regulations. Compliance with these laws is fundamental to the role of an Occupational Health and Safety Officer.

7. Networking

Join professional organizations like Saiosh to connect with other health and safety professionals, attend events, and access resources that can aid in your professional development.

8. Build a Strong Resume

Craft a compelling resume that highlights your education, certifications, practical experience, and any specific achievements in the field of occupational health and safety.

9. Apply for Positions

Look for job opportunities on online platforms, company websites, or through networking. Tailor your applications to showcase how your skills and qualifications align with the specific requirements of the role.

10. Interview Preparation

Prepare for interviews by anticipating questions related to your understanding of occupational health and safety principles, relevant experience, and your approach to handling workplace challenges.

11. Continuous Professional Development

Commit to lifelong learning by engaging in continuous professional development. This might include pursuing advanced certifications, attending workshops, or enrolling in relevant short courses to stay at the forefront of the industry.

By following these steps, you can navigate the path to becoming a qualified and competent Occupational Health and Safety Officer in South Africa. Remember that ongoing dedication to learning and improvement is key to success in this dynamic field.



The average Occupational Health & Safety Salary is R18,000. A combination of experience, education, industry, location, and negotiation skills collectively determines Occupational Health and Safety salaries in South Africa. Employers and employees alike should consider these factors when establishing fair and competitive compensation packages in this critical field.