Environmental Health Officers investigate a wide range of environmental issues which may affect the health of the population. They also provide information and advice on a variety of issues including the sale of tobacco to minors, the disposal of hazardous chemicals and materials, lead poisoning and water and air quality. Environmental Impact Statements are also reviewed for possible impacts on health.
Officers from the Public Health Unit often investigating complaints from members of the community. They are responsible for enforcing parts of the Public Health Act 2010, the Public Health Regulation 2012 and the NSW Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, Public Health (Tobacco Act) 2008 and Public Health (Tobacco) Regulation 2009 and play a role in the regulation of the sale of tobacco to minors and advertising in premises that sell tobacco.
An Environmental Health Officer may also liaise and collaborate with local and government authorities, such as local councils, Sydney Water, the Roads and Maritime Services, the Office of Environment and Heritage, Safework NSW and various private sector corporations.
Activities routinely undertaken by environmental health officers include:
- Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, sale of tobacco to minors, tobacco advertising, smoking in enclosed and outdoor public areas
- Air conditioning and ventilation systems
- Legionella in air conditioning cooling towers
- Swimming pools and spas - water quality
- Drinking water supplies (private and public)
- Enforcement of the skin penetration legislation
- Infection control issues
- Hazardous waste - including asbestos, lead, clinical waste
- Sewage treatment and disposal
- Disaster management
- Environmental Impact Statements
- Air quality
- Funeral Industry matters - Medical Referees, handling and disposal of human remains, cremations and the transportation of human remains overseas
Some useful environmental health links
Below are links to agencies and other organisations that contain useful information.