Being environmentally conscious is about protecting our environment’s health, ecosystem, and natural resources. It’s also a way to show our appreciation towards all that this planet has to offer and the ways it has allowed us to live a healthy life. The way we treat our environment today plays a significant role in shaping itself and presenting its face to our future generations. Perhaps this is why many who feel strongly about taking care of the environment choose the job of a work environment safety inspector as a career choice altogether.
What is a work environment safety inspector?
Environment safety inspectors are like professional investigators. Their key responsibility is to safeguard public and environmental health by enforcing policies if and when required. These may be from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), and other local regulatory bodies. Additionally, the job of a work environment safety inspector is to provide organizations with any assistance needed to comply with these policies and regulations.
What skills should one have for the job of an environment safety inspector?
Not everyone has what it takes to become an environment safety specialist. To become an environment safety inspector, you must have the following skills:
Compassion as well as empathy towards the environment
Having a keen interest in enhancing the environment along with doing what’s best for it
Non-discriminatory and flexible outlook
Flexibility to work both indoors as well as outdoors (if and when the need arise)
Having the ability to work under pressure and stressful situations
Adaptability and resilience
Aptitude to take on the role of a leader and work independently (if and when required) This may even mean going out of the way to conduct tests, analyze samples and collect data.
Strong communication skills along with a pleasant personality
When necessary, have the grit to go out of the way to protect the environment.
Being technologically literate is vital to this job.
So what duties and responsibilities can I expect in becoming an environment safety inspector?
Schedule and inspect various facilities, factories, sites, as well as organizations.
Observing all their projects to make sure they comply with environmental protection regulations.
Take soil, water, and air samples.
Identify potential safety and environmental risks.
Draft inspection reports along with documenting their findings.
Assessment of existing policies.
Monitoring compliance with the safety procedures
Ensure proper storage as well as handling of hazardous chemicals, toxic waste, and radioactive materials etc.
Develop and implement new policies and procedures
Prepare and schedule seminars, workshops, and training on environmental safety and other related topics.
Review permits, licenses, certifications of the company and its projects etc.
Deal with other environment inspection-related applications.
Working independently or in liaison with consulting firms
Locating sources of non-compliance (if any) and then taking necessary steps to fix the issues.
Collect evidence of non-compliance. These may include photographing the land, interviews of employees and related personnel, and even organization records and archives.
Participating and following up on enforcement hearings against non-compliant organizations
To become a work environment safety inspector, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental law, public health, or natural resource management.
The next step for the job of a work environment safety inspector is to acquire the necessary training. These usually last from a month to even a year, depending on how you want to proceed. and can be done through:
Getting an internship or
Applying for an entry-level job where senior-level managers will supervise your work or even
Enroll yourself in training courses with the EPA
After receiving on-the-job training, an aspiring work environment safety inspector should complete Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training.
Although a work environment safety inspector does not necessarily need additional certification, opting for one directly impacts your future career prospects. Some of the most well known and accredited certifications include:
The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification
The Environmental Compliance Inspector certification
The Certified Hazardous Materials Manager credential or
The Certified Professional- Food Safety (CP-FS) credential
What about salary?
The job of a work environment safety specialist is quite a lucrative one, especially in the United States. Not only does one enjoy a decent salary as well as travel expenses but also other benefits as well. A work environment safety specialist earns $60,000 a year. Additionally, a work environment safety specialist also receives life insurance, loan forgiveness, paid leaves, dependent care reimbursement along with disability insurance, etc.