Environmental health inspectors carry out investigations to ensure that areas, organisations and companies comply with environmental and public health legislation. They evaluate environmental complaints, provide reports on their findings and work to prevent future hazards or noncompliance with current policies. Environmental health inspectors perform consultations to promote public health and safety.
The following job titles also refer to environmental health inspector:
public health inspector
High school diploma is generally required to work as environmental health inspector. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Environmental health inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Environmental health inspector career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to environmental health inspector.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of environmental health inspector. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of environmental health inspector with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of environmental health inspector.
Environmental policy: Local, national and international policies dealing with the promotion of environmental sustainability and the development of projects which reduce negative environmental impact and improve the state of the environment.
Check methods: Procedures used for investigative purposes such as surveillance by physical and electronic means, interrogations of witnesses, collection of objects and data for assessment and analysis and physical and electronic research for collecting data.
Audit techniques: The techniques and methods that support a systematic and independent examination of data, policies, operations and performances using computer-assisted audit tools and techniques (CAATs) such as spreadsheets, databases, statistical analysis and business intelligence software.
Environmental legislation: The environmental policies and legislation applicable in a certain domain.
Public health: The principles of health and sickness affecting the population, including the means for health promotion and prevention and community and primary care.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of environmental health inspector.
Ensure compliance with environmental legislation: Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environment regulations and best practices.
Address public health issues: Promote healthy practices and behaviours to ensure that populations stay healthy.
Perform environmental investigations: Perform environmental investigations as required, checking regulatory proceedings, possible legal actions or other types of complaint.
Use consulting techniques: Advise clients in different personal or professional matters.
Monitor legislation developments: Monitor changes in rules, policies and legislation, and identify how they may influence the organisation, existing operations, or a specific case or situation.
Promote health and safety: Promote the importance of a safe working environment. Coach and support staff to participate actively in the continuous development of a safe working environment.
Conduct environmental surveys: Conduct surveys in order to collect information for analysis and management of environmental risks within an organisation or in a wider context.
Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
Present reports: Display results, statistics and conclusions to an audience in a transparent and straightforward way.
Provide improvement strategies: Identify root causes of problems and submit proposals for effective and long-term solutions.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental health inspector. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Foodborne diseases: Understand foodborne illnesses and poisoning as to prevent public health problems.
Pests and diseases: Types of pests and diseases and the principles of spreading and treating them.
Communicable diseases: Communicable diseases is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.
Pollution prevention: The processes used to prevent pollution: precautions to pollution of the environment, procedures to counter pollution and associated equipment, and possible measures to protect the environment.
Consumer protection: The current legislation applicable in relation to the rights of consumers in the marketplace.
Biology: Tissues, cells, and functions of plant and animal organisms and their interdependencies and interactions with each other and the environment.
Environmental engineering: The application of scientific and engineering theories and principles aimed at improving the environment and sustainability, such as the provision of clean habitation necessities (such as air, water, and land) for humans and other organisms, for environmental remediation in the event of pollution, sustainable energy development, and improved waste management and waste reduction methods.
Chemistry: The composition, structure, and properties of substances and the processes and transformations that they undergo; the uses of different chemicals and their interactions, production techniques, risk factors, and disposal methods.
Hazardous waste storage: The regulations and procedures surrounding the safekeeping of materials and substances which pose health and safety risks.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental health inspector. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Inform policy makers on health-related challenges: Provide useful information related to health care professions to ensure policy decisions are made in the benefit of communities.
Perform risk analysis: Identify and assess factors that may jeopardise the success of a project or threaten the organisation’s functioning. Implement procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
Provide testimony in court hearings: Provide testimony in court hearings regarding a variety of social matters and other events.
Develop environmental policy: Develop an organisational policy on sustainable development and compliance with environmental legislation in line with policy mechanisms used in the field of environmental protection.
Maintain relationships with government agencies: Establish and maintain cordial working relationships with peers in different governmental agencies.
Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
Enforce sanitation procedures: Ensure standards of sanitation and cleanliness essential to effective control of fungi and other parasites under intensive culture conditions. Obtain uncontaminated fish and eggs by strict sanitary procedures and avoidance of carrier fish. Supervise the isolation and identification of the agent with specific immune antiserum.
Conduct educational activities: Plan, perform and supervise educational activities for a variety of audiences, such as for school children, university students, specialist groups, or members of the public.
Provide advice on breaches of regulation: Advise on preventive and corrective actions; correct any breaches of or non-compliance with legal regulations.
Analyse health problems within a given community: Effectively assess the healthcare needs and problems of a community.
ISCO group and title
3257 – Environmental and occupational health inspectors and associates