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Head, Health and Safety



In order to provide a comprehensive occupational health and safety service to the Technical Secretariat, and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the Head, Health and Safety:

1.Develop and implement a health and safety programme for the OPCW in The Hague and for OPCW activities on inspection sites, based on:

(a)      medical, safety and mental health policies and standards for OPCW staff and activities;

(b)      implementation of pre-employment and periodic screening to ensure that staff meet and maintain the prescribed health and safety standards;

(c)      training of OPCW staff, ensuring that minimum proficiency standards in health and safety issues are met and maintained;

(d)      the provision of preventive health and health promotion programmes;

(e)      an approach to all activities encompassing the principles of risk assessment and risk management;

(f)       adequate response to and investigation of incidents/accidents; and

(g)      availability of H&S information and expertise for contributions to the OPCW’s technical co-operation and assistance programme, targeted at nurturing Member State abilities to respond to the threat or use of chemical weapons  (e.g. development/presentation of courses in health and safety aspects of chemical defence).

2. Manage the Health and Safety Branch by:

(a)      ensuring that the branch is staffed by professionally competent individuals;

(b)      directly supervising the activities and development of the professional disciplines within the Branch, through the  Medical Officer and the Senior Safety Officer.

(c)      determining and supervising the annual work programme and objectives of the Branch;

(d)      developing the OPCW’s health and safety budget, and supervising its effective implementation; and

(e)      supervising the daily activities of the Branch.

3. Ensure that inspection teams conduct their activities with risks managed as far as reasonably practicable to health and safety by:

(a)      identifying and establishing H&S standards for inspections;

(b)      close liaison with the Verification division and Inspectorate division, ensuring that HSB activities are in line with inspection requirements;

(c)      participating in inspection planning activities, and ensuring that health and safety issues are anticipated and considered;

(d)      ensuring that inspection teams are adequately supported by qualified health and safety specialists;

(e)      attending operational briefings on the activities of deployed inspection teams; and

(f)       ensuring that a debriefing system is in place, so that H&S problems encountered are addressed

(g)        ensure HSB attendance and representation at pre and post mission deployed operational briefings with appropriate health and safety input to the mission cycle.

(h)      Establishing a positive and proactive safety culture, including a culture of reporting near-miss incidents.

(i)       Ensure that safety data is captured and analysed and used to develop leading and lagging Key Performance Indicators, improved training programmes and improved working procedures.

4. Ensure the quality of the OPCW’s Health and Safety Programme by:

(a)      implementing a quality assurance programme covering all aspects of the OPCW’s health and safety system, and including regular H&S inspections of OPCW workplaces; and

(b)      facilitating the skills maintenance, professional development, and continuing education of the specialised staff members of the OPCW (doctors, nurses, nd safety professionals).

(c)      establishing and maintaining contact with centres of excellence in the field;

(d)      ensuring that developments in the field are monitored and communicated to professional staff;

(e)      collecting, analysing, and reporting the accumulated experience of OPCW H&S support staff, and communicating the results via suitable media and forums (e.g. presentations at international conferences).

5. Participate in the clinical activities of the Branch, by:

(a)      supplementing the clinical services of the medical section during periods of staff absence, or times of high operational requirements;

(b)      regular case based discussions and case review meetings

(c)      providing medical consultation and confidential counselling to staff as required; and

(d)      being available for professional consultation as required with inspectorate or HQ medical staff.

6. Function as Secretary to the H&S Committee, prepare agenda and minutes.

7. Deploy on highly sensitive / critical missions.



Education (Qualifications):

  1. An advanced university level degree in medicine with current medical registration;
  2. Medical qualification must be commensurate with the requirements of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport for registration in the Dutch Register for Individual Health Practitioners (‘BIG’ Register);
  3. Postgraduate qualification in occupational health is highly desirable;
  4. Advanced training in Mass Casualty Management or in the field of chemical weapons would be an asset.


  1. Minimum 10 years of progressive clinical experience, with background in family medicine and/or occupational health with advanced degree;
  2. Experience in CBRN medicine and/or occupational medicine in the chemical industry will be an advantage;
  3. Knowledge of/experience with the Dutch healthcare system will be an advantage;
  4. International experience or experience within a military environment is desirable;
  5. International experience with UN or other INGOs is required;
  6. Field knowledge and previous deployment on highly sensitive or critical missions is desirable.

Skills and Abilities (key competencies):

  1. Proven record of building and managing teams and creating an enabling work environment, including ability to effectively supervise, mentor, train, develop and evaluate staff;
  2. Tact, discretion, and the ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural environment; 
  3. Approachable; Social, easy to work with;
  4. Strong analytical and conceptual skills;
  5. Excellent interpersonal, presentation and communication (verbal and written) skills;
  6. Political savviness; 
  7. Computer literacy (MS Office packages);
  8. Ability and willingness to deploy at short notice on contingency operations, as travel might be required for missions and other work related issues.


Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.