Before you begin priming yourself for an interview for the position of an HSE officer or HSE manager, sit down and think about what your specific job duties will be. What exactly does an HSE (health, safety and environment) officer or manager do? Once you know this, you will be able to determine at least some of the likely questions that will be posed to you during an interview.
To put it briefly, an HSE officer or manager is responsible for providing safe working conditions to employees within an organization. He conducts risk assessments and mitigations before the beginning of a project and takes preventive measures to make sure that accidents, injuries and diseases do not bog employees down. Now that you know what role you are in for, let us discuss the interview.
At an interview for an HSE officer’s or manager position, you will be tested on safety policy development and implementation, investigation techniques and compliance abilities. Most of the questions will revolve around these three areas so if you have these covered, no one can stop you from excelling at the interview.
Some questions (and possible answers that you can provide) are given below:
1. What is Safety?
Safety is the absence of danger of physical harm” The term ‘safety’ is considered to be the absence of danger of physical harm to people. The term would extend to other things that could be harmed in the workplace such as equipment, structures and materials (RMS Book).
Safety is freedom from unacceptable risk of harm” (OHSAS 18001-1999)
2. What is accident?
This is defined by the UK HSE as ‘any unplanned event that results in injury or ill health of people, or damage or loss to property, plan, materials or the environment or a loss of a business opportunity’.
3. What is injury?
Work related event(s) in which an injury or ill-health (regardless of severity) or a fatality occurred or could have occurred (OHSAS 18001-2007)
4. What is hazard?
A hazard is something (e.g. an object, a property of a substance, a phenomenon or an activity) that can cause adverse effect for example (water on staircase, loud noise, asbestos dust)-HSE Executive UK.
Inherent property of a substance or an occurrence which has potential to cause loss or damage property, person or environment.
5. What is risk?
Risk is the combination of the likelihood of a hazardous event occurring, and consequence of the event.
6. What is incident?
Work related event(s) in which an injury or ill-health (regardless of severity) or a fatality occurred or could have occurred (OHSAS-18001-2007)
7. What is safety policy?
It is the company’s commitment statement to social and legal obligation for providing a safe and healthy working environment to all employees.
8. What is safety audit?
Is systematic, objective, critical evaluation of an organizations health and safety management system.
Usually a lengthy process and may take few days. It can be Walk through: It evaluates the unsafe condition notice able to naked eye during work through the plant.
(Stores, civil work, erection work) Inter mediate: More details study and review of plant design and plant operation. Comprehensive: It evaluates the safety factors in the plant on the base engineering, analysis, testing, and
9. What is safety tag?
Safety tag can be defined a surface made of card board or paper board on which warning safety instructions to employees are written in English/local languages.
10. What is safety programme?
Safety program can be defined as the methods by which accident can be prevented easily.
11. What is attitude?
Attitude is the tendency to behave in a particular way in a certain situation.
12. What is emergency planning?
Emergency planning can defined as a control measures. It can control the accidents safe guard people and provide information to media.
13. What is work permit system?
Formally delivered criteria for control/risk reduction when undertaking pre-planned work that is hazardous, either because of its location or the nature of the activity.
14. What is work at height?
Any work above 2 meters from ground is designated as work at height.(without falling protection, where there is a risk of falling)
15. What is confined space?
A confined space is a place which is substantially enclosed (though not always entirely), and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the space or nearby (e.g. lack of oxygen).
16. What is excavation?
OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. A trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 4.5 meters
17. What is scaffolding?
It is a temporary platform constructed for supporting both men and materials and working safely at a construction site.
18. What is welding?
Join together (metal parts) by heating the surfaces to the point of melting with a blowpipe, electric arc, or other means, and uniting them by pressing, hammering, etc.
19. What is gas cutting?
The process of cutting metals by using oxygen and combustible gas is called gas cutting.
20. What is sand blasting?
The process of removing rust dust, dirt, scales and old paints from the old surface using compressed air and sand is called sand blasting.
21. What is low explosion limit (LEL)?
The minimum concentration of vapour, gasses and dust in air below which propagation of flame does not occur on contact with a source of ignition is called LEL.
22. What is upper explosion limit (UEL)?
The maximum propagation of vapour, gasses and dust in air above which proposal the flame does not occur on contact with a source of ignition is called UEL.
24. What is manual handing?
The process of lifting, carrying and stacking materials by men is called manual handing.
25. What is housekeeping?
Housekeeping means not only cleanness but also orderly arrangement of operations, tools, equipments storage facilities and suppliers.
26. What is personal protective equipment (PPE)?
It is equipment used to protect the person from hazards such dust, dirt, fumes and sparks etc. It is the barrier between hazard and person.
27. What is grinder?
Grinder is a portable machine used to grind the rough surfaces and make them smooth.
28. What is Crane?
A large, tall machine used for moving heavy objects by suspending them from a projecting arm or beam
29. What is fork lift truck?
A forklift truck (also called a lift truck, a fork truck, or a forklift) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials short distances.
30. What is JSA?
A job safety analysis (JSA) is a procedure which helps to integrate accepted safety and health principles and practices into a particular task or job operation. In a JSA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job. Other terms used to describe this procedure are job hazard analysis (JHA) and job hazard breakdown (JHB).
31. What are the duties of a safety officer?
Prepare tool box talk
Prepare monthly statistics
Prepare the checklist
Prepare accident reports
Arrange Management meetings
Source: HSE Interview
credit photo: bp.com(women with helmet green)