Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons vacancy search engine

Senior Safety Officer (P-4)

Principal Functions

    Under the general direction of the Head of Health and Safety Branch and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the Senior Safety Officer performs the following duties;


    1. Healthy staff, physically and mentally capable of performing their duties:

      1. Provide consultation and advice for staff regarding health and safety issues related to their work;
      2. Provide advice and support to staff from other functional units who deal with administration of health and safety.


    1. Staff who have the knowledge, skills, and equipment needed to work with minimised risk to themselves or their colleagues:

      1. Contribute to induction and refresher training for all OPCW staff, ensuring the achievement of health and safety proficiency standards relevant to their work;
      2. Conduct specialised training for staff with dedicated health and safety functions;
      3. Provide health and safety support for Organisational training activities;
      4. Review and monitor health and safety training provided by external sources for OPCW staff;
      5. Provide advice and assistance to Inspectorate, Equipment Store and PSSB regarding health and safety aspects of equipment;
      6. Incorporate the principles of risk management into all applicable OPCW activities.


    1. A working environment in which risks are actively managed, and in which there is prompt and effective response to incidents, accidents, or illness:

      1. Maintain a programme of inspections of OPCW working premises, health and safety equipment and procedures. Results to be reported Management through the Health and Safety Committee, and to recommend mitigation to risks identified.
      2. Implement a radiation safety programme for the organisation in line with Dutch government requirements;
      3. Assess and respond to concerns raised by staff concerning health and safety aspects of their workplaces;
      4. Investigate all accidents and incidents and implement recommendations to prevent recurrence;
      5. Advise line management on risks associated with changes in the work environment or operations;
      6. Contribute to the health and safety elements of training courses for Member States arranged and coordinated by the ICA and ER Divisions;
      7. Benchmark the OPCW safety programme with other International Organisation and to provide strategic and operational guidance on best practice.


    1. Inspection activities accomplished with minimal risk, in accordance with the OPCW’s health, safety and medical requirements:

      1. In cooperation with the Inspectorate Medical staff, implement a risk assessment and management program for OPCW inspections, incorporating pre-deployment written health and safety planning and briefings/debriefings, availability for consultation during inspections, and post-inspection debriefings;
      2. Provide direct support to inspection teams in special circumstances (e.g. engineering reviews, technical visits, investigations of alleged use, or unusually hazardous inspections);
      3. Attend operational briefings / planning sessions to ensure that health and safety aspects of inspection activities are addressed;
      4. Serve as advisor to the Equipment Issues Working Group (EIWG) to ensure that H&S related equipment concerns are addressed, monthly meetings are scheduled and that minutes are published;
      5. Liaise with UN entities and deployed teams on mission to provide emergency support when necessary.


    1. Availability of a defined health, safety, and medical component in the OPCW’s International Co-operation and Assistance and other outreach programs; and:

      1. Maintain a library and database of information relevant to the needs of OPCW Member States, regarding the health, safety, and medical aspects of chemical defence and disarmament;
      2. Collate and provide health and safety information on request in response to external requests;
      3. In cooperation with the Inspectorate, support the ICA Division regarding health and safety aspects of requests for assistance by Member States, and delivery thereof;
      4. Support the External Relations Division, Office of Special Projects, or other functional units in health and safety aspects of their outreach activities.


    1. Efficient and effective operation of the Health and Safety Branch:

      1. Recruit professionally competent staff members and maintain professional development and continuing education of Safety section staff members;
      2. Develop and maintain policy and procedural documentation to guide implementation of the OPCW’s health and safety program;
      3. Acquire and maintain suitable equipment and administrative resources to support the Safety section’s functions;
      4. Supervise and manage Safety section staff and activities according to the Branch strategic plan, via regular progress review, and with a focus on assessment of performance via results.

        1. Knowledge and Experience



          A University level degree or equivalent in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. chemistry, occupational hygiene, health and safety, NBC Defence, etc).


          Extensive technical background in chemical weapons / industrial safety.



          A minimum of 7 years of recent practical experience as a safety officer, including practical experience of health and safety considerations in chemical weapons (CW) environments and industrial chemical environments (detection, protection, decontamination).

          Experience in applying the methodology of risk assessment and risk management.


          Previous experience within an international organisation would be an asset;

          Experience with CW toxicology would be an advantage.

          Experience with radiation control would be an advantage.

          Skills and Abilities (key competencies):

          1. Familiarity with regulations, guidelines, standards, and norms concerning occupational health and safety;
          2. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
          3. Ability to plan and organise; problem solving skills;
          4. Personal qualities should include tact, discretion, accuracy and the ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural environment;
          5. Computer literacy.

          Language Requirements

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