Environmental health officers are also referred as EHOs. The main role of EHO pertains to development, implementation and enforcement of health policies. Environmental health officers work in different industries. They can be found in housing, safety, health and food safety departments of government as well as private organizations. The role of an EHO is very crucial in our society. They ensure the strict adherence to the health and safety policies by visiting business premises and sites. They provide suggestion and guidance to different individuals, organizations and companies on diverse aspects of health and safety. EOHs perform a variety of roles however; their roles vary according to their locations, specializations and designations.
Environmental health officers routinely perform health and safety inspection at different business premises. They issue health and safety advice to new buildings coming up in their vicinity. These officers keep a tab on whether premises are complying with health and safety guidelines as presented by the concerned authorities. They also have to investigate workplace accidents and submit the report to the higher authorities. It is the duty of environmental health officers to observe radiation and pollution levels. Some of the other major roles performed by EOHs include arranging license for animal related business shops, directing the process of removing abandoned vehicles and refuges and regularly visiting the private and rented accommodation and submit their reports.
To become an environmental health officer, one must complete at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental health. However, an MSc degree in environmental health and safety is recommended. If we talk about Britain then, one must complete his/her course that is accredited by Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Courses are available in both full and part time mode. Many institutes are also offering courses in environmental health through online medium. These courses are relatively inexpensive and becoming quite popular amongst career aspirants. To gain valuable practical experience, one can work as an environmental health technician for a local council. This way, students can pursue a part-time course in the subject along with earning practical experience.
Local authorities, companies, governmental departments and other agencies offer on the job training to the recruits. In order to secure a job at a reputed organization, one must complete 48 weeks of practical training in this field along with his education. Once the candidates have finished the training, they are required to clear written exams, interview and an audit. The successful candidates are awarded with a Certificate of Registration by the Environmental Health Registration Board. Now they are professional environmental health officers and eligible to join the job of their choice.
The job of an environmental health officer is pivotal. It is an office based job but also involves making visits to business premises. Most of the EOHs are employed by local authorities, health agencies, environmental agencies and food agencies etc.
There are plenty of reputed institutions in India that offer different courses in environmental health at certificate and degree levels. PhD courses in environmental health, environmental science, and environmental studies are also offered by some educational institutions.