Environmental health officers make sure that people's living and working surroundings are safe, healthy and hygienic.
They do this by investigating, monitoring and assessing the effects of environmental hazards – such as pollution, unsafe food and infectious diseases – on people's health and wellbeing.
They also ensure registered premises comply with regulations and grant licenses to them.
- Advise on the health requirements on building consents
- Investigate and advise on management of contaminated land
- Investigate infectious diseases (such as salmonella), and advise people how to prevent their spread
- Monitor food safety in food premises
- Report on resource consent applications, liquor licences and Land Information Memorandum (LIM) applications
- Take legal action against serious breaches of environment-related laws and regulations
- Take samples from sites to test for environmental pollution
- Teach people about public health
- Work on policy development at regional and local levels
- Work with the media to educate the population about public health matters
Who employs environmental health officers?
There are many opportunities with local councils, however some graduates choose to become an environmental health consultant in the private sector.
Private sector consultancy might include advising businesses on environmental health law, or checking food standards and health and safety, for large companies like food suppliers and hotel chains.