What’s it all about then?
As a Health & Safety/Environmental Officer you’ll work directly with the Health & Safety Manager to provide direction and support to site in the areas of health & safety, security and environmental issues.
You’ll also ensure everyone in the company understands their responsibilities and fully complies with relevant health & safety and environmental legislation and associated company policies and ways of working.
You’ll examine company procedures, identify and take forward improvements which enhance sustainable development, and opportunities to reduce, re-use, and recycle.
You’ll be spreading the word about sustainability across your company and influencing company policy and behaviour – so strong communication skills are vital.
What might I be doing?
You’ll work closely with the site management teams and external agencies to ensure legal compliance and submission of required information as part of any licence and permit to operate. You’ll also work with customers around sustainability and ethics.
Key deliverables include driving safe behaviours for all of those on site, maintaining legal compliance, achieving targets for sites, producing annual plans and ensuring continual improvements.
Here are some of the responsibilities you’ll be taking on:
- Communicating with and positively influencing the actions of staff on Health & Safety related matters and ensuring they know how to work safely
- Designing and implementing systems and processes that promote and protect an effective Health & Safety culture throughout the company.
- Conducting regular audits and liaising with external bodies like the Health and Safety Executive
- Developing and implementing environmental strategies and action plans that ensure sustainable corporate development
- Taking the lead on ensuring procurement of sustainable goods and services
- Coordinating all aspects of pollution control, waste management, recycling, environmental health, conservation and renewable energy
- Leading company implementation of environmental policies and practice
- Ensuring compliance with environmental legislation
- Auditing, analysing and reporting environmental performance to internal and external clients and regulatory bodies
- Carrying out impact assessments to identify, assess and reduce an organisation's environmental risks and financial costs
- Promoting and raising awareness of the impact of emerging environmental issues, whether legislative or best practice, on corporate, ethical and social responsibility at all levels of an organisation
What will be expected of me?
You’ll be expected to make sure that the company remains compliant with all relevant health & safety and environmental legislation, which is particularly important within food manufacturing.
You will need to be an extremely well-motivated and diligent individual who is passionate about helping colleagues to work as effectively as possible – and can communicate effectively right through the business.
You’ll be a well-organised person with an eye for details others might overlook, and your logical and analytical approach will help you make quick, accurate judgements backed up with facts and information.
What can I expect?
As well as managing day-to-day activities, you can expect to be involved in strategic health & safety and environmental issues within your company and the development of updated company policies.
The diverse nature of this role offers opportunities to move into different areas of work in order to gain new skills and experience.
What about the pay?
The role is both challenging and rewarding – and vitally important in food manufacturing and processing companies, so as a specialist in this area, you will always be much sought after. You can expect a salary of between £30K and £50K – with some great opportunities to develop your career further.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
You’ll probably have a degree in a relevant subject such as bioscience, environmental engineering, environmental health, environmental sciences or ecology – and may have spent time as a Health & Safety Advisor while you build up your skills and experience.
You might also have completed the EDEN Dairy Technology apprenticeship which gives you a solid overview to all the operational aspects of Dairy manufacturing as well as the technical expertise.
What about further training?
For all aspects of your role you’ll need to stay totally up-to-date with legislation, compliance and reporting requirements through training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
Attending internal and external training courses, including relevant seminars and conferences, is an effective way of keeping up to date with current issues and refreshing knowledge. Some short courses can lead to further professional qualifications.
Anything else I might need to know?
Larger organisations may have two separate roles that perform the different parts of this job – it is most likely smaller places that combine the role like this.