Health and Safety Officer - Mobile, AL

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Genwest Systems, Inc. is an information management and consulting firm headquartered in Edmonds, Washington, and is an equal opportunity employer. Since its inception, Genwest has been a recognized leader in the design and implementation of information systems and solutions. We depend on a diverse team of talented staff to design, develop, and deploy creative solutions for our clients. We believe that building a team with diverse educational, cultural and experiential backgrounds makes for a better work environment for our team members, the most robust dialogue within the company, and the best products for our clients.

Genwest is accepting applications for a Health and Safety Officer. This position will support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R).   This is a full-time position that will be located at the NOAA Disaster Response Center (DRC) in Mobile, AL.

Background

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) staff are responsible for diverse tasks including office and field activities such as oil spill response and visits to hazardous waste sites. The health and safety of OR&R staff and contractors is the ultimate priority for the office. Our safety program strives to provide work environments free of hazards and facilitate OR&R’s safe operations in the field.

Ensuring the safety of OR&R requires a health and safety professional with the expertise and resources to invest in a multifaceted health and safety program. This work includes supporting staff with engaging training, up-to-date guidelines, state-of-the-art equipment and professional consultation. It also includes connecting OR&R to broader safety communities by collaborating with other NOAA offices and partners on information sharing and safety initiatives. The OR&R safety officer will undertake the planning, execution, and continuous improvement of the OR&R health and safety program, in order to provide OR&R with the best health and safety program possible.

POSITION DUTIES:

Description and Requirements

The OR&R Health and Safety Officer will be based at the NOAA Disaster Response Center in Mobile, Alabama, will coordinate tasking with the OR&R Chief of Staff, and execute all day-to-day aspects of the OR&R health and safety program, as described in the Specific Tasks section below.

It is critical that the candidate is self-motivated, works independently, has good people skills, and is an excellent oral and written communicator able to effectively convey information and build relationships with various organizations, professions, and backgrounds. The candidate should also have proven success in developing or executing a program across a dispersed workforce. The Health and Safety Officer is part of our 24/7 response capacity and should be ready to take occasional after hours calls and travel on-scene to an incident response and/or Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) field operation on short notice. When in the field, conditions may vary from hot to cold climates and from comfortable to rudimentary accommodations. A valid driver license and ability to drive long distances is required, as well as ability and willingness to fly in small aircraft or travel in small boats, and join teams doing field work, which may require physical activity such as travel on foot in challenging terrain while carrying a load of 20 lbs. or more.

Specific Tasks – Safety

Communication and Culture

  • Create and maintain a culture of safety in the Office.
  • Connect OR&R to the broader NOAA safety organization by participating in NOS and NOAA safety meetings and initiatives and broader safety that relate to our mission.
    • Build and maintain a network of NOAA safety professionals.
    • Represent OR&R on NRT Worker Health and Safety Committee.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with OR&R staff and management to ensure that the OR&R safety program is well managed and understood.
    • Maintain safety section of OR&R intranet.
  • Convey timely and clear safety requirements and updates to OR&R staff and management.
  • Be open to feedback, suggestions, comments, and ideas for improvements.
  • Vet suggestions and ideas for improvement, and implement them, as reasonable, to improve the OR&R health and safety program.
  • Represent OR&R in safety meetings and conference calls as needed.

Program Management and Improvement

  • Develop annual work plan / goals document for safety program.
  • Improve the OR&R Health and Safety Program by keeping up-to-date with safety developments and update the OR&R Health and Safety Manual at least annually.
  • Maintain communication with NOAA Safety and Environmental Compliance Office (SECO) and ensure that the OR&R Health and Safety Program is consistent and aligned with the NOAA Program.
  • Carry out other health and safety tasks as needed.

Workplace Safety – Routine 

  • Facilitate timely inspection of OR&R offices, track corrections and assist with implementation of the corrections.
  • Report safety inspection results to OR&R management and the NOAA National Ocean Service leadership on a quarterly basis.
  • Ensure safety signage in OR&R spaces is current and engage staff. All boards refreshed at least annually.
  • Ensure that the OSHA 300 form in Seattle and Silver Spring are posted, and ensure that other OR&R field offices do likewise as needed.
  • Perform or coordinate ergonomic assessments for staff.
  • Visit at least one OR&R office annually.

Workplace Emergencies 

  • Ensure that staff in all OR&R offices are prepared for workplace emergencies such as earthquake, fire, and active shooter scenarios.
  • Maintain an updated list of OR&R staff in lead roles during workplace emergencies such as office or floor coordinators.
  • Assume the role of lead workplace emergency coordinator in Mobile, AL.
  • Update the facility emergency procedures and maps, distribute to OR&R staff, and ensure staff understand and can execute procedures.

Fieldwork Support

  • Provide expert advice and direction in a broad range of industrial hygiene and site safety practices during spill response, hazardous waste site visits, NRDA field operations, marine debris assessment or removal activities and field trainings.
  • Conduct safety assessment of OR&R field operations, and recommend corrections.
  • Recommend appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety procedures.
  • Facilitate site safety planning by OR&R staff as needed, and lead Health and Safety Plans development for field operations where NOAA is the activity lead. Develop documents for smaller activities, consult and review documents if we employ another team to write the initial draft.
  • Approve all OR&R safety plans.
  • Participate in at least one exercise annually.

Training

  • Maintain clear understanding and guidance on NOAA and DOC required and optional safety training.
  • Notify OR&R staff and management of NOAA and DOC safety training requirements (e.g., annual safety awareness, Defensive Driving Course).
  • Teach routine safety training courses as required for OR&R field staff including CPR/AED and HAZWOPER 8-hour refreshers.
  • Coordinate provision of additional safety trainings including: small boat safety, active shooter, OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER 24 and 40 hour), helicopter egress and cold weather / arctic safety.
  • Provide safety briefs and highlights to maintain safety awareness. This includes internal campaigns and amplifying larger NOAA safety efforts.
  • Incorporate any new safety challenges or concerns that arise either through changing work or updated understanding of rules, regulations or best management practices.

Safety Tracking 

  • Track and log strategic elements of the OR&R Health and Safety Program that assist OR&R in understanding program progress and success. Metrics may include: staff’s health and safety training, medical monitoring, and equipment issued.
  • Ensure that staff effectively and consistently report all safety training they complete and provide proof of, including certificates of completion and training records.
  • Collaborate with OR&R Business Service Group to finalize and implement the on-line safety training database.

Incident Reporting

  • Assist OR&R management to report safety incidents promptly and effectively to NOAA (and if needed, OSHA or applicable external authority).
  • Maintain a log of safety incidents along with supporting documentation, for all OR&R staff and contractors.
  • Facilitate post-incident investigation, gleaning lessons learned, and implementing corrections to prevent re-occurrence.

Equipment

  • Maintain appropriate OR&R inventory of PPE in state of readiness.
  • Ensure that all staff are provided with appropriate field safety equipment and PPE.
    • Outfit new employees.
  • Arrange for and track equipment service and routine maintenance, and recommend equipment upgrades and replacement as appropriate.

Medical Support 

  • Facilitate staff needs for immunization (e.g., for overseas spill response) respiratory clearance, and case-by-case medical monitoring.

Level of Effort – Safety

It is OR&R’s experience that, while the job duties of Office Safety Officer are detailed and extensive, they can be completed in approximately half to three-quarter time once the safety officer is fully up to speed and familiar with the rhythm and requirements of the role.

The OR&R Safety Officer will also engage in other Office activities beyond the scope of safety. This work will be phased in over the first year of employment and will be balanced with the primary demands of office safety.

Additional Duties

The Safety Officer will be stationed at the Disaster Response Center (DRC) and will support both the facility and the DRC training mission. The Safety Officer may also be required to support the mission of OR&R in the field. We recognize that some of these roles may require specialized training, and are prepared to provide it.

Disaster Response Center – facility support

  • Support facility management.
  • Security and safety elements to include audits, inspections, reporting requirements and mitigations.

External Training

  • Develop, update and teach aspects of DRC training courses related to experience and expertise
    • General Safety: e.g. OSHA awareness training entering hazard zones
    • Safety aspects of response work
    • Other potential areas, depending on education and experience: chemistry, overflights, Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) teams

Field Support 

May include:

  • Shoreline assessment as part of a SCAT team
  • Aerial observations of oil on water
  • On-scene logistical support
  • Assist OR&R’s Environmental Compliance Coordinator with environmental compliance investigations, both in the field and at OR&R facilities.

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate the listed qualifications in his/her resume and interview:

As a minimum, the candidate will be a Certified Safety Professional or a Certified Industrial Hygienist and have a solid knowledge of health and safety rules and regulations, sampling equipment and protective gear, training requirements, occupational hazards, exposure limits, and health and safety program management. A Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Hygiene and Safety or equivalent and 4 years of applicable experience or a Master’s degree in Industrial Hygiene and Safety with two years of applicable experience will also be considered.

Applicants must have strong skills in understanding and communicating complex concepts, problem solving, and working effectively and patiently as part of a high performing team with high expectations, and diverse views and opinions.

COMPENSATION:

Compensation will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful applicant in combination with contract budget.  The position is eligible for a full-time benefit package that includes health insurance, paid personal and holiday leave, 401(k) program eligibility, and employee disability and life insurance.

TO APPLY:

Please email a cover letter (optional), resume (less than 4 pages), and 3 references to hr@genwest.com. Please include these materials in a single .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) attachment with your name included in the .pdf file name.  Also, please include the words, Health and Safety Officer in the subject line of your email.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted via email.  The position will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received before August 16, 2019.