Under supervision, learns how to and conducts inspections, investigations, evaluations, reviews plans and reports, prepares written reports and records, processes permits and provides information to the public to ensure compliance and enforcement of regulations governing Environmental Health and Safety; performs related duties as required.
This is the entry level in the Environmental Health Specialist series. Incumbents receive training through a division wide training and education program established in conformance with State requirements so as to qualify for State testing and registration. Under close supervision, incumbents perform inspections and investigations, and provide enforcement and consultation for a broad range of Environmental Health and Safety laws and regulations while receiving training in all aspects of the environmental Health Specialist profession. As incumbents gain experience, they are assigned routine inspections and investigations to perform more independently, but are still under review by the supervisor.
This class is distinguished from that of Environmental Health Specialist (Journey) in that the latter performs the full range of duties as assigned and is registered as an Environmental Health Specialist with the State of California.
Supervision Received and Exercised
Receives direct supervision from the Environmental Health Supervisor and technical and functional guidance from an Environmental Health Specialist (Senior).
Exercises no supervision.
Examples of Duties
Learns environmental health programs, laws, regulations, functions, procedures, policies, standards and enforcement techniques.
Inspects and investigates conditions at various sites to determine or obtain compliance with State and local laws and regulations governing sanitation in one or more of the following areas: retail food handling facilities, sewage disposal systems, housing and institutions, land use, recreational health, water supply systems, solid waste management, biosolids application, tattoo, body piercing and permanent cosmetics, public nuisances, vector control and others; recommends changes and gives instruction for correction of deficiencies and violations; may assist in preparation of cases for further legal action if necessary, to obtain compliance.
Conducts various field tests using chemicals, instruments and tools to assess environmental conditions, determine health risks and threats to the public, compliance with laws, regulations and ordinances, and consistency with approved plans and specifications.
Processes permits for operation in compliance with health and safety codes and regulations in one or more of the following areas: retail food facilities, sewage disposal systems, housing and institutions, land use, recreational health, water supply systems, solid waste management, biosolids application, tattoo, body piercing and permanent cosmetics, public nuisances, vector control and others.
Examines operation of septic systems, biosolids applications, and food facilities; examines and interprets data provided by operators.
Reviews and approves architectural blueprints, engineering plans and specifications for compliance with health and safety codes and regulations pertaining to food protection, recreational health, solid waste and sanitation requirements, on-site sewage systems including review of soil classification, percolation tests, ground water determination, recreational health, and water supply, with oversight or assistance from more senior staff; makes recommendations for changes to assure compliance and/or to improve the design.
Inspects construction sites of wells, onsite sewage systems, food facilities, swimming pool facilities, and similar sites, through the finished phase; inspects plumbing, mechanical exhaust, finish materials, and equipment standards for compliance with environmental health requirements.
Investigates complaints filed by the public involving Environmental Health and Safety issues, including but not limited to, food and waterborne illness complaints, odor, surfacing sewage, substandard housing, improper disposal of solid waste, biosolids, vector and unsafe public recreation areas. Use appropriate investigation techniques in response to complaints, including epidemiological analysis, performing surveys and interviews, and coordination with other departments or agencies.
Enforces codes by giving notices of violation and recommendation for corrective action.
Collects samples of water, food sewage, and other materials for laboratory examinations; interprets results. Collects and interprets environmental data, including wind speed, direction, and groundwater evaluation.
May assist more experienced staff in complex investigations of in giving public presentations.
Assists in coordination with other County Departments and special districts to protect public health and assist in the prevention of new and emerging diseases and vectors.
Provides information and consultations concerning environmental health and safety requirements to the public; provides written reports, letters and other correspondence.
Provides information for the preparation of billing statements, and collects fees in specialized circumstances and issues environmental health permits.
Provides information to the building and planning divisions regarding environmental health regulations.
May assist in responding to emergencies involving sewage releases, restaurant fires, communicable disease outbreaks and natural or manmade disasters.
Maintains professional knowledge in applicable areas and keeps abreast of changes in job related rules, statutes, laws and regulations; reads and interprets professional literature, attends training programs, workshops and seminars as appropriate.
Performs related administrative tasks; prepares and writes required reports; obtains required training.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Basic principles of food science and technology including assessing food safety, food waste management, food-borne toxins and infection, and the technology of preserving and processing food; basic knowledge of solid and liquid waste management, soil science, vector control, recreational health, water quality and housing in relation to environmental health and public health.
Basic principles of biology, chemistry, microbiology, and statistical principles and analysis; methods of data gathering and analysis; mathematics at the college algebra level.
Interaction between environmental health and safety and community health.
Epidemiological causes of disease, disease infection process and the methods of prevention of the spread of disease.
Basic building construction materials and principles as they relate to environmental health.
Basic inspection, investigation and public relations principles.
Computer software programs including MS Word.
Utilize basic office equipment and develop expertise in using specialized investigative tools, such as thermocouple, stem and infrared thermometers, camera, tape measure, UV light, pool chemical test kit, pH and chemical concentration litmus test strips, ventilation powder gun, foot candle light meter, prethrin insecticide, inclinometer, global positioning device, mobile weather station, auger, and related tools.
Operate office equipment including a personal computer, copy and fax machines and printers.
Drive a motor vehicle.
Communicate scientific, technical and procedural information clearly and effectively both verbally and in writing with all levels of employees and the general public; speak effectively before large formal and informal groups; prepare and present clear and concise narrative reports.
Conduct inspections and complaint investigations using the proper tools and equipment.
Evaluate conditions and situations, which may indicate violation of Health and Safety codes and respond accordingly.
Read and interpret plans and specifications accurately and compare them with actual construction in progress. Interpret architectural and engineering drawings and blueprints, specifications and cut sheets, and liquid and air flow and pressure rates for compliance with Environmental Health and Safety requirements.
Read, interpret, and apply Environmental Health and Safety laws and regulations.
Collect laboratory specimens and environmental data correctly and interpret lab analysis.
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, other departments and the general public; effectively represent the Department with tact, diplomacy, and patience.
Prioritize and coordinate assignments, duties and projects; solve problems independently; negotiate solutions.
Work in various environmental conditions including inclimate weather and remote locations with odors and under stressful emergency conditions.
Education and Experience
No experience required. AND
Must have a current evaluation letter, from the State of California, Department of Health Services, stating certification for employment as an Environmental Health Specialist Trainee, which includes possession of a Bachelor’s degree, from an accredited four-year college or university, which meets the requirements of the California Health and Safety Code, Division 104, Part 1, Chapter 4, Article 1, Section 106600 (et sequiter).
Appointments at the entry level are not expected to be continued for a period longer than three years. Failure to gain Registration as an Environmental Health Specialist in accordance with the California Health and Safety Code, Division 104, Part 1, Chapter 4, Article 1, Section 106600 (et sequiter) within three years of appointment will result in termination.
Possession of or the ability to obtain a valid Class C California driver’s license.
Independent travel is required.
May be required to work weekends, holidays and after hours.
Must pass a physical exam as a condition of hire.
PHYSICAL ABILITY: Tasks require the ability to exert moderate, though not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, sitting, standing and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (20 – 40 pounds).Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a remote location, a keyboard or workstation.
SENSORY REQUIREMENTS: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, odors, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people.Tasks require oral communications ability.
ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: Incumbents must be able to work in varying environments that may include exposure of dusts, heat, cold, odors, toxic agents, noise, smoke, vibrations, wetness, humidity, machinery, and bright or dim light in an open or enclosed construction are, sanitary landfill, or within a facility conducting business or operations.This requires additional care and the ability to work under conditions where exposures to environmental factors pose a risk of minor injury or illness.