Hazardous waste inspectors inspect industrial sites to ensure they adhere to waste disposal legislation and inspect their equipment to see if it is operational and functions according to regulations. They also aim to educate the public on hazardous substances and hazardous waste handling regulations.
Hazardous waste inspector typically do the following duties:
- Conduct inspections of hazardous waste generators, transporters, and treatment facilities to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
- Review documents related to hazardous waste management, such as manifests, permits, and compliance reports.
- Investigate hazardous waste spills and releases and recommend corrective actions.
- Provide technical assistance and guidance to hazardous waste generators, transporters, and treatment facilities to ensure proper waste management.
- Prepare reports on inspection findings and recommend enforcement actions when necessary.
- Coordinate with other government agencies, such as the EPA and state environmental departments, on hazardous waste management issues.
- Keep up-to-date with changes in hazardous waste regulations and policies and incorporate these changes into inspection and enforcement activities.
The following job titles also refer to hazardous waste inspector:
hazardous waste control inspector
hazardous waste disposal inspector
hazardous waste tester/inspector
hazardous waste management inspector
hazardous waste compliance inspector
Hazardous waste inspectors may work in both indoor and outdoor environments, depending on the type of inspection. Inspections may take place at hazardous waste facilities, industrial sites, or other locations where hazardous waste is generated or transported. The job may involve exposure to hazardous materials, so inspectors must follow proper safety protocols and wear protective gear, such as gloves and respirators.
A bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, chemistry, or a related field is typically required for this position. Some employers may require a master’s degree in a related field or a professional certification. On-the-job training is also common, where experienced inspectors train new inspectors and learn about laws and regulations related to hazardous waste management. Strong analytical and communication skills are essential, as inspectors must be able to communicate complex technical information to various audiences.
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.
Hazardous waste inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Hazardous waste inspector career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to hazardous waste inspector.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of hazardous waste inspector. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of hazardous waste 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 hazardous waste inspector.
- Quality assurance procedures: The procedures to inspect a product or system to ensure it meets specifications and requirements.
- Hazardous materials transportation: Regulations and safety procedures which are involved in the transportation of hazardous materials and products, such as hazardous waste, chemicals, explosives, and flammable materials.
- Waste management: The methods, materials and regulations used to collect, transport, treat and dispose of waste. This includes recycling and monitoring waste disposal.
- Hazardous waste treatment: The methods applied in the treatment and disposal of hazardous waste such as asbestos, dangerous chemicals, and various contaminants, as well as the surrounding environmental regulations and legislation.
- Hazardous waste types: The different types of waste which pose risks to the environment or public health and safety, such as radioactive waste, chemicals and solvents, electronics, and mercury-containing waste.
- Hazardous waste storage: The regulations and procedures surrounding the safekeeping of materials and substances which pose health and safety risks.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of hazardous waste inspector.
- Ensure compliance with waste legislative regulations: Implement and monitor company procedures for the collection, transport and disposal of waste, in compliance with all regulations and legal requirements.
- Inspect compliance with hazardous waste regulations: Inspect an organisation’s or facility’s strategies which deal with the management of hazardous waste to ensure that their actions comply with relevant legislation and that measures are taken to improve protection from exposure, and ensure health and safety.
- Carry out environmental audits: Use equipment to measure various environmental parameters in order to identify environmental problems and investigate manners in which they can be resolved. Perform inspections in order to ensure compliance with environmental legislation.
- Educate on hazardous waste: Educate the public or specific organisations on the importance of correct handling of hazardous waste in order to promote public safety, ensure compliance with legislation, and raise awareness of the different types of hazardous waste and their threats to public health and safety as well as the environment.
- Inspect waste disposal facilities: Inspect industrial and commercial waste disposal facilities to examine their waste permits and if their equipment is in conformity with regulations.
- Inspect industrial equipment: Inspect equipment used during industrial activities such as manufacturing or construction equipment to ensure that the equipment complies with health, safety, and environmental legislation.
- 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.
- Advise on waste management procedures: Advise organisations on the implementation of waste regulations and on improvement strategies for waste management and waste minimisation, to increase environmentally sustainable practices and environmental awareness.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of hazardous waste inspector. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Pollution legislation: Be familiar with European and National legislation regarding the risk of pollution.
- 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.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of hazardous waste inspector. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Educate on recycling regulations: Educate organisations and individuals on the correct procedures and legislation concerning the recycling of different types of waste in different types of containers, waste collection procedures, and the sanctions following non-compliance to legislation.
- Investigate pollution: Identify the cause of pollution incidents, as well as its nature and the extent of the risks, by performing tests on the site of pollution and in a laboratory and performing research.
- Develop hazardous waste management strategies: Develop strategies that aim to increase the efficiency with which a facility treats, transports, and disposes of hazardous waste materials, such as radioactive waste, chemicals, and electronics.
- Inspect freight: Inspect, document, and manage freight shipments; verify that all content complies with national, international and local regulations.
- Inspect recycling procedures: Inspect the implementation of waste management and recycling procedures in an organisation, and the applicable legislation, in order to ensure compliance.
- Advise on pollution prevention: Advise individuals and organisations on the development and implementation of actions that aid in preventing pollution and its related risks.
- Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, and safety gloves.
- Analyse environmental data: Analyse data that interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.
- 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.
- Advise on environmental remediation: Advise on the development and implementation of actions which aim to remove sources of pollution and contamination from the environment.
- Liaise with industrial professionals: Establish relationships with engineers, geologists, hydrologists and hydrogeologists, and other industrial professionals.
- Report pollution incidents: Examine the extent of the damage and consequences when an incident causes pollution, and report it to the relevant institution following pollution reporting procedures.
- Develop environmental remediation strategies: Develop strategies for removing pollution and contaminants from soil, groundwater, surface water, or sediment, taking into account environmental remediation regulations and available technologies.
- Assess environmental impact: Monitor environmental impacts and carry out assessments in order to identify and to reduce the organisation’s environmental risks while taking costs into account.
- Train staff on waste management: Train the staff of a facility that deals with waste management, or an organisation’s staff responsible for waste management strategies, on the improvements that can be made to reduce waste, increase the efficiency of waste treatment and disposal, and ensure compliance with waste and environmental legislation.
- Report on environmental issues: Compile environmental reports and communicate on issues. Inform the public or any interested parties in a given context on relevant recent environmental developments, forecasts on the environment’s future, and any problems and possible solutions.
- Implement environmental protection measures: Enforce environmental criteria to prevent environmental damage. Strive for the efficient use of resources to prevent waste and reduce costs. Motivate colleagues to take relevant steps to operate in an environmentally friendly manner.
ISCO group and title
3257 – Environmental and occupational health inspectors and associates
- Hazardous waste inspector – ESCO
- Hazardous Waste Inspector | Careers in Public Health.net
- Featured image: By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0