Environmental Health & Safety Technician

Workers in bioscience facilities and research environments can be exposed to a variety of chemical, biological or physical hazards as they perform daily tasks. Government agencies strictly enforce regulations related to workplace safety, health and the environment. Environmental Health and Safety Technicians are responsible for creating and maintaining a healthy work environment

Environmental Health and Safety Technicians develop, implement and direct comprehensive health, safety and environmental programs. This means compliance with all federal, state and local regulations as they apply to company operations. Each organization selects and implements a strategy that best matches its prevalent culture and the needs of its particular environment. Basic elements include the identification of hazards and training for all shifts on all necessary topics. These include work place injury prevention, control of hazardous materials, confined space issues, blood borne pathogen control, personal protective equipment, radiation safety, hazardous waste handling, and other topics as they relate to employee job duties.

Environmental Health and Safety Technicians install, calibrate and maintain scientific equipment to sample and monitor quality of the air, water and other details of the workplace environment. They capture and maintain records. They investigate accidents and incidents as to cause and actions to be taken to prevent re-occurrence. They work with plant managers and engineers to re-evaluate and recommend equipment changes to ensure a safer environment when needed and/or assist in the development of new equipment installation. They focus on continuous improvement; clear roles and responsibilities; active and visible prevention programs and fostering a culture of open communication.

Environmental Health and Safety Technicians conduct emergency and contingency planning, safety training, industrial hygiene applications and exposure monitoring and planning, business continuity, internal compliance auditing, plus addressing any regulatory compliance issues or outside inspection proceedings. They record and maintain periodic data logs and information files. Special studies they conduct to investigate specific air or water pollution, or for the presence of biological contaminants, can lead to recommending changes for correcting the situation. A working knowledge of environmental sampling, data collection and analysis procedures, pollution complaint investigations, instrument calibration, and environmental regulations are important for this type of position.

Strong oral and written communication skills are needed to clearly and accurately convey environmental health and safety information and instruction to both management and employees. Creative and well-developed interpersonal skills help in working effectively with others to motivate employees and create a strong environmental health and safety culture within the company.

Education & Training: 

A two year associates degree is often sufficient.  

InnovATEBIO programs offer degrees, certificates, or teach skills in these related areas.

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