Environmental Health Specialist I - Food...
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department - Tacoma, WA

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Food and Community Safety, within the Environmental Health Division, is recruiting for two Regular, Full-time (1.0 FTE) Environmental Health Specialist I's. This professional travels throughout the County meeting with diverse business owners and operators, school and other government officials. They work in a fast paced, self-scheduled environment. There is a high expectation for using cultural sensitivity and diplomacy in educating the public while enforcing laws and regulations, at times with people who are difficult to deal with. Night and weekend work may be necessary.

This is an entry-level professional classification located in the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and is under the direction of an immediate supervisor. Essential functions of the job include:
Inspecting, monitoring and evaluating industries and facilities for compliance with health and safety regulations.
Educating the public on environmental health issues, regulations, and policies.
The operation of various office and field equipment used to facilitate the analysis of field testing and the composition of statistical, narrative and graphical reports, e.g., personal computers with various software packages, and field equipment for hazardous materials or chemical analysis, etc.
Conducting field and office reviews of plan applications including but not limited to food service establishments, water systems, and on-site disposal systems, etc., for compliance.
Collecting and interpreting data from field locations, e.g., water and soil samples.
Composing reports and correspondence.
Assisting in drafting and implementing codes and ordinances. This classification involves extensive interaction with a culturally and socio-economically diverse population of business and industrial establishments, clients, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, medical personnel, community-based agencies, and department personnel to conduct plan reviews and field investigations. Duties include the application of environmental health and safety principles and practices within a regulatory environment, and the development of effective working relationships utilizing tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity when communicating in person or in writing. An Environmental Health Specialist I will participate in administrative hearings; assist with program planning and evaluation; and may assist with on-the-job training of technicians and aides, or the cross training of other specialists. An employee assigned to this classification will work independently with minimal supervision. Well-defined directives, regulations and procedures directly cover the work; strict conformance is required. Work assignments are both general and specific in nature, and are received in both verbal and written form. Instructions received define overall objectives, with minimal specificity regarding how to proceed with assignments, however, Environmental Health Specialist II's are available for consultation. Work results are usually examined by the supervisor for soundness of technical judgment and quality of recommendations. Unusual problems or situations are mutually discussed with the lead Environmental Health Specialist II or the supervisor depending on the situation. This is a “summary” of the duties and responsibilities commonly found within this classification. It is not meant to be all-inclusive, thus, other related activities or tasks may be assigned.

Knowledge of environmental health principles and practices.
Knowledge of and the ability to apply math and science applications to environmental health work.
Skill in analyzing, compiling, recording, and assessing data.
Skill in planning and organizing work activities to meet established objectives.
Skill in communicating effectively within a sometimes stressful environment.
Ability to interpret and apply federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing with tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity.
Ability to teach food safety classes.
Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
Positions assigned to On-site Sewage System Design and Inspection requires the possession of a current State of Washington Wastewater Treatment System Inspector license within in two years of hire.
Positions assigned to Zoonotics will require a Washington State Department of Agriculture Pesticide License with a Public Health Consultant emphasis within six months of hire.
Positions assigned to the Solid Waste Division require possession of a current Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Certified Landfill Inspector within twelve months of hire.
Positions assigned to the Clandestine Drug Lab program must receive and maintain drug lab worker and supervisor training and certification that has been authorized and/or approved by the Washington State Department of Health, or in lieu of the State Department of Health, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, within 2 years of the time of assignment to the Clandestine Drug Lab program.
Positions assigned to the Clean Air program must receive and maintain Asthma Educator Certification currently provided by the National Asthma Educator Certification Board, within 2 years of the time of assignment to the Clean Air program.
Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office.
Ability to successfully pass a background investigation.
Possession of a valid driver’s license and an acceptable driver’s abstract is required prior to employment.

A Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science with a minimum of 45 credit hours or 30 semester hours in the basic natural or physical sciences; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Possession of a Certificate of Registration as a Sanitarian within one year of appointment is highly desirable.

Knowledge/experience with the food service industry and/or Envision software are "pluses."

Control over environmental conditions (inside vs. outside exposed to rain, snow, wind, heat, and humidity) can be exercised by employee dependent upon the location of the position.
Extensive local travel is required to conduct field investigations, attend meetings, conferences, and seminars.
As a condition of employment, employees may be required to utilize their private vehicles in the performance of their duties but will be reimbursed for mileage.
Strength enough to lift, push, or pull field equipment weighing between 20-40 pounds.
Physical agility is required due to the rigorous nature of some of the fieldwork, i.e., walking continuously throughout the day on uneven ground and through wooded and brushy areas; climbing up and down stairs and hills; and crouching, stooping or bending repeatedly throughout the day in the course of conducting field investigations.
Exposure to hazardous materials, chemicals, or waste which if not handled or disposed of appropriately could cause significant repercussions to the safety and health of the public. Positions assigned to the Hazardous Waste Program will participate in medical surveillance required under WAC 296-62-3050. Medical surveillance requires that an employee assigned to a Hazardous Waste position receive specialized pre-employment, annual, and incident/exposure exams. An exam is also required for an employee that is reassigned to a position outside of the Hazardous Waste program or immediately prior to termination of employment.
This is a non-exempt position, which may require some overtime or adjustments to normal working hours as required to conduct field investigations.
Ability to communicate well enough to effectively accomplish the essential functions of the job.
Vision enough to review detailed written correspondence; conduct research; and complete reports.

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