A waste management safety officer designs and implements environmental protection programs, identities and prevents potential hazards, analyzes samples of waste and inspects disposal procedures and practices for compliance with industry regulations. These officers can work in a variety of settings, including factories, offices, mines and construction sites. You need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biology or industry hygiene to qualify for this position, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Waste management safety officers analyze factors, such as nature of activities and distance from human and wildlife populations, to design schemes that can meet the needs of specific organizations. Firms that produce large quantities of waste need robust schemes. If you work for a mining plant, for example, you must develop a program that promotes release of nontoxic emissions and outline transportation methods for solid waste to disposal locations. An effective waste management safety officer focuses on designing schemes that encourage recycling.
Irresponsible disposal of waste can create health hazards. A waste management safety officer inspects workplaces and immediate surroundings to guarantee the safety of workers and ensure compliance to relevant legislation. A university waste management safety officer may, for instance, inspect laboratory experiments to ensure hazardous waste is disposed in accordance with the provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. He also may consult with residents, traders, government officials and housing associations on waste management issues.
Organizations often hire external providers for professional waste management services. For example, if a paper factory starts using new chemicals in the production process, it may hire a specialist company to conduct tests and determine impacts on waste material. As the company’s resident waste management safety officer, it’s your duty to identify a reliable service provider and monitor performance. In some companies, these professionals help to develop guidelines for recruiting and evaluating the performance of employees in the waste management department.
A waste management safety officer may engage in research projects to obtain information on a variety of issues, including organic pollutants, water treatment and technologies for waste recycling. With an academic background in this field, a local authority can hire you, for example, to research and identify ways households can minimize waste production. If your research report is competent, the local authority can use it as a reference material when formulating waste management policies.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Do
- City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg: Solid Waste Plan Management
- Environmental Protection Agency: Code of Federal Regulations: Protection of Environment
- American Society of Safety Engineers: The Employer’s Guide to Hiring a Safety Professional
- Resources for the Future: Waste Management
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images