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Regular Full Time Durham, North Carolina
Requisition Number: 229231

Safety and Health Specialist, Environmental Programs Division

Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit: The Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) provides the focus for the administration of all safety programs to Duke University, Duke University Medical Center, and Duke University Health System. OESO has the responsibility for developing institutional safety plans and policies; providing information and training to meet all regulatory requirements; providing technical consultation and guidance; conducting exposure and risk assessments; conducting safety audits; monitoring compliance with all safety policies; and investigating accidents, injuries, and reported unsafe conditions.

Specific to the Environmental Programs Division: The Environmental Programs Division supports the University’s policy to minimize the environmental impact of its activities through the development, implementation, and tracking of a number of management programs and services.

Primary Purpose of Position:  This position has the primary responsibility for performing duties related to the collection, storage, treatment, and disposition of hazardous chemical wastes generated at Duke University, Duke University Medical Center and hospital.  Additional assignments are generally focused around hazardous chemical, pharmaceutical, universal, and radiological waste management requirements.  These duties are carried out to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations and Duke University best practices.   

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Primary duties involve the collection, segregation and management of hazardous chemical wastes throughout the university campus, hospital and clinics, with secondary duties including collection and management of pharmaceutical, radiological, and universal wastes, etc.

  • Performs work in accordance with all appropriate Federal, State, and local regulations and standards by OSHA, EPA, DOT, NRC, NCDEQ, RCRA.

  • Accountable for coordinating all assigned activities and projects.  

  • Manage waste issues as assigned by the Waste Operations Manager.

  • Review current or proposed changes in environmental regulations and division practices applicable to his/her assigned duties.

  • Establish, maintain cooperative relations, work effectively as a member of a team, and communicate effectively with other Duke organizational units.

  • Deliver guidance when needed to lab and other Duke personnel to ensure compliance across The University and Health System.

  • Assist in the management of the pharmaceutical waste programs in the Duke University Health System, including the hospitals, hospital-based clinics and the Ambulatory Care Division.

  • Additionally, perform tasks related to various environmental management functions, such as on-site management of hazardous wastes, chemical spill response, hazardous materials treatment or recycling, and environmental compliance program support.

Other Position Characteristics:

  • Accuracy Required in Work:  Failure to manage environmental programs properly as required by local, state, or federal regulations could result in significant monetary fines to the institution.

  • Consequence of Error:  Same as 1 above.  Additionally, errors or oversights may present risk of injury and long term health effects.

  • Instructions Provided to Employees:  Provides arranged services to OESO division managers and to off-site Health System organizations, such as Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, and Duke Homecare & Hospice.

  • Guides, Regulations, Policies and References used by Employee:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (state and federal), Nuclear Regulatory Commission, State government regulations regarding the use of Radioactive Materials, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

  • Supervision:  Administrative and direct supervision from the Hazardous Waste Operations Manager.  Some additional direct supervision from Environmental Programs Safety & Health Specialists and Associates.

  • Variety and Purpose of Personal Contacts:  This position works directly with hospital, clinic, laboratory and shop personnel, and a variety of other Duke employees.

  • Physical Effort:  In exercising these functions, the person must be able to lift 50 lbs., and manipulate 400 lb. drums, and be physically able to wear respiratory protection.

  • Work Environment and Conditions:  Environments range from usual office conditions to environments where "immediately dangerous to life and health", (IDLH) atmospheres exist requiring the use of burdensome protective clothing and equipment.  Where not extremely hazardous, work may be uncomfortable or unpleasant (i.e. high heat).

  • Machine, Tools, Instruments, Equipment and Materials Used:  Respirators and other protective clothing, forklifts, drum trucks, and spill control agents.

  • Visual Attention, Mental Concentration and Manipulative Skills.  Must be able to perform duties without causing release of hazardous materials.

  • Safety for Others:  Because of the hazards inherent in this work, all operations must follow written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's).

  • Dynamics of Work:  The work of this position is highly diverse and dynamic. There may be interruptions of routine work with emergent issues such as environmental contingencies, visits by governmental regulators, and other unanticipated events. 

Required Minimum Qualifications:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to hazardous material management.

  • Knowledge of chemistry and other related sciences

  • Must understand basic chemical properties such that the individual can successfully segregate various waste substances for shipping or treatment.

  • Ability to utilize computer technology to access data, maintain records, generate reports.

  • Creative problem solving to recognize and analyze needs and propose solutions to effectively address them.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to plan and coordinate multiple, diverse tasks simultaneously. 


Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Science, Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering or related field.


  • No experience for level 1; three years’ experience for level 2; five years’ experience for level 3.

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:

  • Must have a valid driver’s license.

  • Work toward recognized professional certification such as REM, CSP, CHMM, etc. preferred.

  • Must have completed or be able to complete: First Responder Operations Level HAZWOPER Training (29 CFR 1910. 120)

Preferred Minimum Qualifications:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Basic knowledge of safety and health principles.

  • Competency in general chemistry, radiological science or environmental management.

  • Functional oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to utilize computer technology to prepare reports, access data and maintain records.


  • Work requires communicative, cognitive and analytical skills normally acquired through a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Safety, Environmental Health & Safety, Engineering, Laboratory Science or a related field.


  • One to three years of related experience.

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification:

  • Must have valid Driver's license.

  • CHMM certification preferred.   

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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