An environmental health and safety (EHS) director ensures that the health, safety, and environmental impact policies of their employer are being successfully implemented. This is a managerial position largely carried out in an office environment, though EHS directors regularly tour facilities to personally inspect operations and communicate with different departments. EHS directors are needed in all manner of industrial and manufacturing operations, as well as in government jobs and hospitals. Any organization that employs a significant number of people likely has an environmental health & safety department.
An EHS director's primary duty is ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local regulations as pertains to the health, safety, and productivity of workers and environmental impact of the organization's operations (where applicable). Regular duties of an EHS director include may include developing and overseeing worker safety training programs, investigating and recommending courses of action for on-the-job accidents, analyzing potential worker safety risks in a facility and implementing measures to mitigate them, and facilitating required government safety inspections.
Minimum qualifications for an EHS director position are generally a bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety management and several years of on-the-job experience in implementing health and safety programs. OSHA certification is likely required. The position requires strong managerial, communication, and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work in both a team and independently. EHS directors must also be able to handle high-stress emergency situations.
These directors typically work during regular business hours, though an EHS director likely must be expected to be on call at all hours that their organization is operating in the event of a safety emergency.
Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Director Tasks
- Ensure compliance with federal, state and corporate environmental, health and safety regulations.
- Modify and implement compliance tracking programs and record keeping systems.
- Develop environmental policies and practices.