Incumbent serves as Environmental Health Specialist for the Vigo County Health Department, responsible for investigating environmental complaints, conducting on-site inspections and lead risk assessments, and enforcing federal, state, and local public health and environmental protection laws, rules, and regulations.

Examples of Duties

  • Inspects and documents septic system installations, including drawing installed septic systems to scale, preparing and maintaining reports, records, and correspondence.
  • Performs lead risk assessments such as investigating sources of lead exposure, educating families on lead hazards, recommending control strategies, preparing reports, performing clearances tests, and collaborating and coordinating with community entities on lead poisoning issues.
  • Reviews plans submitted for new or repair of septic systems, including making changes to submittals as necessary to ensure proper installation and function.
  • Reviews and evaluates land parcels for suitability of septic systems, including conducting field evaluations with homeowners, realtors, and contractors.
  • Reviews proposed land subdivisions relative to proposed or existing onsite septic systems.
  • Investigates complaints involving public health violations and maintains accurate and detailed files of all complaints, inspections, and related documents.
  • Reviews soil reports from certified soil scientists to determine site suitability and/or size of onsite sewage disposal systems.
  • Receives/responds to telephone calls, emails, and office visitors answering questions, taking messages, and/or transferring calls to appropriate personnel.
  • Conducts training and educational seminars for onsite sewage disposal system installers and contractors.  Occasionally makes presentations to small groups in restaurants and schools regarding health practices.
  • Investigates various spills and/or discharges into ground and/or bodies of water, working closely with IDEM on spill complaints and outdoor air complaints.
  • Provides onsite assistance in locating existing onsite tanks, distribution boxes, and absorption field trenches.
  • Inspects all County food service and retail food establishments, ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, and advising and instructing proprietors on rules, regulations, and proper procedures and practices concerning food safety.
  • Conducts follow up investigations as required taking appropriate action, including issuing and/or denying permits, requesting administrative hearings, and/or closing establishments for non-compliance.
  • Reviews blueprints and specifications of proposed new construction or extensive remodeling of food establishments for compliance with the regulations, including inspecting work sites during various stages of construction.
  • Inspects all food and beverages remaining in food establishment or storage facility after fire, flood, power failure, and/or delivery breakdown/wreck for condemnation of damaged goods and assures proper disposal of contaminated foods.
  • Conducts food-borne illness investigations, including locating and interviewing affected persons, tracking down source of illness, collecting and submitting food samples, and eliciting information from medical personnel as needed.  Participates in and enforces food recall efforts.
  • Responds to health/sanitation inquires and provides consultation, technical assistance, training and program information to food industry, consumers, and other agencies as needed.
  • Performs inspections of body art establishments, enforcing public laws, codes, ordinances and regulations, providing related consultation, licensing body artists, and administering written tests for regular artist licensed.
  • Performs inspections of public swimming pools and spas to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal standards for water chemistry/quality and safety.
  • Completes a variety of daily, monthly, and annual reports, submitting to regulating agencies as required.
  • Occasionally provides testimony in legal proceedings or court as requested.
  • Attends professional education workshops and training seminars as required.
  • Responds to emergencies on a 24-hour basis.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Typical Qualifications

  • Baccalaureate Degree in Environmental Science, Public Health, Biology or related discipline.
  • Possession of or ability to obtain required certifications/licenses, including National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) certification, Food Protection Manager certification, Certified Pool Operator License, Lead Risk Assessor License, Lead Inspector License, and residential septic installer training.
  • Ability to meet all department hiring requirements, including passage of a drug test.
  • Thorough knowledge of and ability to make practical application of standard policies and practices of the Vigo County Health Department.
  • Thorough knowledge of standard principles and practices of public health and environmental protection, with ability to effectively evaluate sanitation problems and instruct members of the public in application of appropriate procedures.
  • Thorough knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing environmental sanitation, with ability to conduct effective investigations, perform testing/sampling procedures, review and approve permits, and assure compliance with all legal requirements.
  • Working knowledge of standard office procedures and Department computer programs, and ability to apply such knowledge to a variety of interrelated processes, tasks, and operations.
  • Working knowledge of and ability to properly operate a variety of environmental testing equipment, such as augers, probes, levels, surveying equipment, drafting tools, tape measure,, thermometers, pH meter, internal food probes, light meter, pool kit, XRF machine, and camera.
  • Working knowledge of Standard English grammar, spelling and punctuation, and ability to prepare detailed written reports within established deadlines.
  • Knowledge of standard filing systems and ability to create and maintain department records/files.
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment, such as computer, typewriter, telephone/cell phone, calculator, and fax machine.
  • Ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing with other County departments, lawyers, landlords, housing authority, local water company, realtors association, building inspectors, Habit for Humanity personnel, ISDH, Indiana Environmental Health Association, and the public, including being sensitive to professional ethics, gender, cultural diversities, and disabilities.
  • Ability to provide public access to or maintain confidentiality of Department records and information according to state requirements.
  • Ability to comply with all employer and Department policies and work rules, including, but not limited to, attendance, safety, drug-free workplace, and personal conduct.
  • Ability to competently serve the public with diplomacy and respect, including occasional encounters with irate/hostile persons.
  • Ability to understand, memorize, retain, and carry out oral and written instructions and present findings in oral or written form.
  • Ability to compile, compare, analyze and evaluate data, and make determinations based on data analysis.
  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and calculate decimals and percentages.
  • Ability to work alone with minimum supervision and with others in a team environment, often amidst frequent distractions, interruptions, and time constraints, and on several tasks at the same time.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of people and locations, plan/layout work assignments, and
  • Manage time and resources effectively.
  • Ability to read and interpret detailed blueprints, schematics, specifications, and maps.
  • Ability to occasionally testify in legal proceedings/court.
  • Ability to respond to emergencies on a 24-hour basis.
  • Ability to work extended hours, evenings, and/or weekends and occasionally travel out of town for meetings/training, sometimes overnight.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and demonstrated safe driving record.

Supplemental Information

Incumbent performs a wide range of duties that involve consideration of many variables.  Majority of duties are performed within local, state and federal guidelines that are applied to specific tasks.  Incumbent exercises judgment when conducting food establishment, public health, and environmental inspections, evaluating compliance with sanitation requirements, investigating food-related illnesses, and determining appropriate action for non-compliance.

Incumbent ensures proper implementation of sanitation requirements and environmental codes according to technical specifications and standard practices of the profession.  Goals and objectives of incumbent’s work are known and work is reviewed primarily for attainment of objectives, compliance with department policy and legal requirements, and soundness of judgment.  Unusual problems or significant deviations from standards are reviewed with supervisor as needed.  Incumbent receives indirect or occasional supervision and regularly makes decisions in the absence of specific policies and/or guidance from supervisor.

Incumbent maintains frequent contact with co-workers, other County departments, lawyers, landlords, housing authority, local water company, realtors association, building inspectors, Habit for Humanity personnel, ISDH, Indiana Environmental Health Association, and the public for purposes of exchanging information, explaining, interpreting, and enforcing regulations, and resolving problems.

Incumbent reports directly to Environmental Health Supervisor.Incumbent performs duties in a standard office environment, outdoors, and in the field performing inspections.  Regular duties involve sitting/walking at will, standing/walking for long periods, walking on uneven terrain, lifting/carrying objects weighing over 25 pounds, reaching, crouching/kneeling, bending, close/far vision, color/depth perception, working in confined area, exposure to chemicals/odors/fumes, speaking clearly, hearing sounds/communication, handling/grasping/fingering objects, and driving.  Incumbent maintains exposure to health hazards associated with investigating food borne illness, and is frequently exposed to inclement weather and physical and health hazards normally associated with the outdoors, sewage and septic systems, construction sites, and unsafe dwellings/buildings.  Safety precautions must be followed at all times to avoid injury to self and others and protective gear must be worn according to Department policy.  Incumbent maintains considerable contact with the public and may be exposed to irate/hostile persons.

Incumbent works extended hours, evenings, and/or weekends and occasionally travels out of town for meetings/training, sometimes overnight.  Incumbent responds to emergencies on a 24-hour basis.

Vigo County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.