17 Environmental Health And Safety Technician Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an environmental health and safety technician, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Environmental health and safety technicians work to protect people and the environment from chemical, physical, and biological health hazards. They work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and environmental consulting. If you’re interested in this career, you may need to interview for a job.

In an interview, you’ll be asked questions about your experience, education, and skills. You may also be asked questions about your knowledge of environmental health and safety regulations. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample interview questions and answers for an environmental health and safety technician.

Common Environmental Health And Safety Technician Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the OSHA standards for the industry you’re applying for?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that oversees safety standards for the workplace. Employers may ask this question to see if you’re familiar with OSHA regulations, which can help ensure you follow all of their company policies. In your answer, try to explain how you would use these regulations to keep yourself safe at work and protect others from any hazards.

Example: “I am very familiar with OSHA regulations because I have worked in this industry for several years. I know that it’s important to follow all of the guidelines set by OSHA so we can keep ourselves and our coworkers safe. For example, when working on an electrical project, I always make sure to wear insulated gloves and closed-toe shoes. This helps me avoid getting shocked or touching something hot. It also ensures that I don’t accidentally touch anything live while I’m working.”

What are the most common safety hazards you’ve encountered in your previous jobs?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your experience and knowledge in this field. Use examples from your previous job to show how you handled these hazards, including what steps you took to ensure safety for yourself and others.

Example: “In my last position as an environmental health and safety technician, I encountered several common safety hazards that included improper storage of chemicals, lack of personal protective equipment and failure to follow proper procedures when working with hazardous materials. To address these issues, I developed training programs on chemical storage and disposal, implemented new policies requiring all employees to wear PPE at all times while working with hazardous materials and created a system for tracking inventory levels of hazardous materials so we could avoid running out unexpectedly.”

How do you handle a situation where a co-worker is not following safety procedures?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you are able to work well with others. Your answer should show that you value safety procedures and encourage your co-workers to do so as well.

Example: “I would first speak to my colleague about the situation in private, letting them know I noticed they were not following a procedure and asking if there was something I could do to help them improve their performance. If they continue to ignore the rules after this conversation, I would document the incident and report it to my supervisor.”

What is your process for conducting a thorough and efficient environmental health and safety audit?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your process for conducting audits and how you ensure they are thorough and efficient. Use your answer to describe the steps you take when conducting an audit, including any tools or resources you use to help you complete it efficiently.

Example: “I start by reviewing all of the facility’s documentation regarding their environmental health and safety policies and procedures. I then conduct a walkthrough of the facility with my team to identify potential hazards and risks. After that, I perform individual inspections of each area of the facility to determine if there are any violations of company policy or OSHA regulations. If I find any issues, I note them in my report so the facility can address them.”

Provide an example of a time when you successfully implemented a change to a workplace to improve its environmental health and safety.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your ability to work with others and implement change. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of how you worked with management or other employees to make the change and what the outcome was.

Example: “At my previous job, I noticed that our facility didn’t have any recycling bins for paper products. This meant that many people would throw their paper into the trash, which is not an environmentally friendly way to dispose of them. So, I spoke with my manager about getting some recycling bins installed in different areas of the building. They were happy to help me out, and we ended up installing several recycling bins throughout the facility.”

If you found a pest infestation in one of the company warehouses, what would be your immediate next steps?

This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to prioritize tasks. In your answer, you should describe the steps you would take to identify the type of pest infestation, how you would treat it and what preventative measures you would implement to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “If I found a pest infestation in one of our warehouses, my first step would be to determine which pests are present. Depending on the warehouse’s location, this could be anything from rodents to bed bugs. Next, I would contact the appropriate specialists to come out and treat the infestation. After that, I would make sure all employees were aware of the situation so they can take extra precautions when entering the warehouse.”

What would you do if you noticed a co-worker was not wearing a respirator during a dangerous chemical cleanse?

This question is a great way to test your ability to work with others and ensure they’re following safety procedures. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of following protocol, but also how to handle conflict in the workplace.

Example: “I would first ask my colleague why they weren’t wearing their respirator. If it was because they forgot or were distracted, I would remind them of the importance of always adhering to safety protocols. If they didn’t comply after this reminder, I would report them to my supervisor so they could address the issue.”

How well do you follow written procedures when completing your duties?

This question can help the interviewer assess your ability to follow instructions and complete tasks in a timely manner. Use examples from past experience where you were able to successfully follow written procedures, such as checklists or manuals, to demonstrate your ability to work independently while still following company guidelines.

Example: “In my previous role, I was responsible for completing monthly inspections of all food storage facilities within our district. During these inspections, I followed a checklist that outlined specific areas of each facility I needed to inspect. This helped me ensure I completed all necessary steps during each inspection so I could accurately report any issues back to my supervisor.”

Do you have experience using environmental health and safety software?

This question can help the interviewer determine your comfort level with using software to complete tasks. If you have experience using environmental health and safety software, describe how it helped you in your previous role. If you don’t have experience using this type of software, explain what other types of software you’re familiar with and how they’ve helped you in your career.

Example: “I have used environmental health and safety software in my last two roles. The first time I used it was when I worked for a small company that didn’t have an established EHS system. We had to create our own system from scratch, so we used software to track all of our data. It made it much easier to keep up with everything because we could enter information into the software instead of writing it down on paper.”

When performing an environmental health and safety audit, what are the most important areas you examine?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience conducting audits and how you prioritize your work. Use your answer to highlight the skills you use to complete an audit, such as attention to detail, communication and organization.

Example: “When performing an environmental health and safety audit, I first examine the facility’s emergency procedures. This is because it’s important that employees know what to do in case of a fire or other dangerous situation. Next, I look at the company’s waste disposal methods. If there are any issues with hazardous materials being disposed of improperly, it could lead to serious consequences for the company. Finally, I check the company’s compliance records. These documents show me whether the company has been following all regulations.”

We want to increase safety awareness among our employees. What is your strategy to do so?

Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience implementing a safety awareness program. They want to know that you can help their organization achieve its goals and objectives. In your answer, explain how you would implement the company’s safety awareness program. Show that you are organized and detail-oriented by describing how you would create an employee training schedule or calendar.

Example: “I believe that it is important for employees to feel safe at work. I would start by creating a monthly newsletter with tips on staying safe in the workplace. I would also hold regular meetings where we discuss different ways to stay safe while performing our daily tasks. For example, I could lead a meeting about how to safely use equipment like ladders and scaffolding.”

Describe your experience with using hazardous materials.

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with working in an environment that requires safety equipment and procedures. Use examples from previous work experiences to highlight your ability to use hazardous materials safely and efficiently.

Example: “In my last position, I was responsible for using a variety of chemicals and other hazardous materials to clean surfaces and sanitize areas. Some of these materials included bleach, disinfectants and cleaning solutions. I always made sure to follow all safety precautions when handling these materials, including wearing protective gear like gloves and goggles. I also ensured that I disposed of any waste properly.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Focus on highlighting your relevant work experience, education or certifications and any transferable skills.

Example: “I am passionate about environmental health and safety, which is why I chose to pursue a career in this field. Throughout my studies, I learned how to use various tools and techniques to assess potential hazards and implement solutions. My communication skills are also strong, as I have worked with many different people throughout my career. These skills will help me collaborate with others and share ideas.”

Which industries do you have the most experience in?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your qualifications for this position. Use your answer to highlight any experience you have that is relevant to this role, such as working in food service or construction.

Example: “I’ve worked primarily in the restaurant industry, but I also have some experience in construction and manufacturing. In my current role, I work with both restaurants and construction sites, so I’m used to having to switch between different industries. I find it helpful to use the same safety protocols across all industries because they’re usually quite similar.”

What do you think is the most important role of an environmental health and safety technician?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what an environmental health and safety technician does. Use this question as a way to explain how you would approach your job if you were hired for the position.

Example: “I think the most important role of an environmental health and safety technician is ensuring that employees are safe at work. I believe it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone has the right equipment, training and information they need to do their jobs safely. This means making sure all facilities have the appropriate safety measures in place and that employees know how to use them properly.”

How often do you perform environmental health and safety audits?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with conducting audits. They want to know how often you perform them and what types of audits you conduct. Use your answer to highlight the different types of audits you have performed in the past, such as construction site safety audits or food service facility inspections.

Example: “I perform environmental health and safety audits at least once a month. I usually do these audits on construction sites where I check for proper waste disposal procedures and ensure that workers are wearing appropriate PPE. I also perform regular food service facility inspections to make sure restaurants are following all regulations when it comes to storing and preparing food.”

There is a chemical spill in one of our manufacturing facilities. What is the first thing you do?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to prioritize. Your answer should include a step-by-step process of what you would do in this situation, including the actions you would take to ensure safety for yourself and others.

Example: “The first thing I would do is make sure that everyone was out of the area where the spill occurred. Then, I would call my supervisor to let them know about the spill and ask if they have any additional instructions. Next, I would put on protective gear like gloves, goggles and a mask before cleaning up the spill with a containment device. Finally, once the spill has been contained, I would clean myself up and remove my protective gear.”


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