Global concern with public health has led to the creation of environmental health officer jobs in many different countries. Australia, Scotland and the United States are examples of areas that look for trained health officers to promote workplace safety and disease prevention. Environmental health officer jobs are available in many different specialties and industries. Food and beverage handling may be prevalent in places of hospitality, while environmental remediation may be a cornerstone of consulting firms. Similarly, occupational safety may be a critical component of manufacturing facilities.
Environmental health officer jobs often address multiple health concerns that are vital to many communities. Workplace safety, emergency preparedness and disease prevention are likely ways in which health officers protect the public. While many of these positions are likely to be available with local or national government agencies, some may also exist with consulting firms.
In Australia, health legislation is a prevalent topic. The role of an environmental health officer is thus likely to focus on developing, implementing and evaluating environmental health policies and programs. Tasks may include preparing plans and strategies for the safe and hygienic disposal of wastes. This position may also focus on prevention programs for communicable diseases, food contamination and swimming pool hazards.
Scotland is another country in which local authorities often protect the well-being and health of the public. Environmental health officer jobs are thus likely to monitor levels of noise, air, land and water pollution. These positions may also respond to employee or patron complaints concerning the health and safety of a company.
The United States Navy often seeks environmental health officers who strive to prevent and control diseases in military populations. These positions often require a minimum of three years active military service with a Master’s degree in public health. Responsibilities may include assessing health threats, conducting ongoing disease and environmental surveillance and performing disease outbreak investigations.
Although specific tasks may vary depending on the employer, many environmental health officer jobs are similar in nature. People in these posts are likely to perform routine health and safety inspections in public places. Some officers choose to specialize in one area of health, such as building maintenance. This type of environmental health officer job description may read as follows: conduct routine health and safety inspections in rented buildings, inspect conditions of private and rented housing accommodations and test for radon or other toxins throughout local structures.
In addition to building maintenance, environmental health officers may specialize in a number of other areas. These areas often include food and beverage handling, environmental remediation and occupational safety. While specializations are not prerequisites to become an environmental health officer, they may help a person find work in his or her preferred milieu.
A luxury cruise line, for example, may offer opportunities in food and beverage handling. The environmental health officer job may thus include public health assessments of food safety, pest management and potable waters. The officer may also perform epidemiologic investigations of food- or water-borne outbreaks of illness, conduct food hygiene and safety audits of suppliers and investigate food storage and preparation systems for problems.
Environmental health officer jobs may also be available with consulting firms. In such positions, people are likely to oversee all external field safety activities that involve environmental remediation and construction. Duties may include reviewing, updating and expanding safety plans for specific projects, conducting in-house training and education and overseeing project sites where drilling, water sampling and rigging occur.
Those individuals who wish to specialize in occupational safety may find opportunities with manufacturing or laboratory testing facilities. These positions may implement programs that directly monitor and prevent chemical and biological hazards. Specific functions may include implementing company-wide policies to prevent employee illness and injury, managing and conducting employee safety training and instructing laboratories to maintain safe work environments.