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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 406A
Category: Protective Services

Class Series Concept

This professional series works within the Department of Labor and Industries to maintain federal approval of the state occupational safety and health plan that is necessarily authorized under statute Chapter 49.17 RCW, the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act. Positions in this series have enforcement authority over non-federal land/tribal worksites and all employers in the State of Washington. This includes private and public sector employers. The approved state program at the Department of Labor and Industries must be maintained at least as-effective-as the national federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration program, which includes enforcement at a minimum. The work is aimed at assisting and ensuring all employers comply with workplace safety and health laws and rules to ultimately prevent worker and public fatalities, injuries and illnesses.


Positions independently and under guidance, perform basic inspections for all types of occupational safety and health hazards for all sizes of employers in all industries. Inspections of unusual complexity or posing unusual problems are subject to direction by higher level positions.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Individuals attend a defined new hire course for conducting investigations appropriate for this series. The course includes over 360 classroom hours and onsite on-the-job regulatory training upon hire including accident investigation, evidence collection, investigative interviewing, sample collection, legal theory, case law and current safety and health rule review. Conducts supervised non-complex enforcement inspections until certified by management.

Upon certification described above, independently conducts non-complex enforcement inspections and investigates safety and health hazard allegations at workplaces at this level.

The following are examples of non-complex inspections:
  • Follow-up inspections,
  • Scheduled inspections, complaints, and referrals of smaller workplaces.

Typical Work

Conducts routine safety and health inspections of workplaces to determine the type and extent of suspected occupational health and safety hazards;

Accompanies and assists higher level staff with investigations;

Analyzes survey and laboratory data and reviews appropriate literature to formulate conclusions about type and extent of exposure to occupational health hazards;

With approval from their supervisor, issues citations with penalties; calculates violation penalties and determines the proper classification of violations;

Presents written and oral inspection reports to employers, plant management personnel, and employee representatives; advises employers and employees regarding probable abatement strategies;

Ensures required and complete documentation exists in casefiles to support findings; testifies as State’s witness during appeal actions; serves warrants and subpoenas;

Inspects work sites for suspected health hazards (e.g. areas utilizing toxic materials, chemicals, gases) and/or work areas containing potential hazards (e.g. enclosed tanks, manholes);

Collects and submits samples of air, liquids, dusts and industrial material for analysis;

Conducts exposure assessments to physical and chemical hazards in the workplace including noise, air contaminants, temperature and non-ionizing radiation using direct reading instruments such as sound level meters, explosive gas meters, dosimeters, pumps and rotameters;

Maintains, calibrates and uses industrial hygiene sampling equipment;

Enters physical worksites unannounced to conduct compliance inspections upon entry; Partners with local law enforcement for support to gain entry to conduct inspections;

In case of imminent hazards and with approval from supervisor, issues Orders and Notices of Immediate Restraint pending further investigation;

Communicates and works with third party employer representatives, industry groups, attorneys, employee representatives and unions;

Provides factual evidence in courtroom settings; with the assistance from the Attorney General’s Office, completes interrogatories and depositions in preparation for trials;

Participates in regular rulemaking and emergency rulemaking;

Stays current on legal issues impacting occupational safety and health;

Answers general policy and jurisdictional questions and assists customers with filing workplace safety and health complaints via the internet, email and phone; refers customers to the correct jurisdictional authority regarding workplace rights, environmental and public health and safety questions; Ensures workers safety and health rights are implemented by the agency by ensuring information is shared in the preferred language of the caller or customer.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Report writing skills, use of computers and the internet to complete work product. Regulatory experience in applying occupational safety and health case law while conducting investigations; Assessment, sampling and direct measuring techniques for chemical and physical hazards and engineering principles as they apply to industrial processes and occupational hazards. Investigative interviewing and root cause analysis for effective investigations. Sampling and direct measuring techniques for chemical and physical hazards, noise and non-ionizing radiation; industrial processes and occupational hazards; chemicals exposure assessment, chemical by-products and their air contamination potential; hazard potential of dusts, gases, vapors, noise and non-ionizing radiation; routine analytical procedures. Knowledge of safety hazards such as falls from heights, trenches and excavation, and machine guarding. Knowledge of the different means to eliminate or control hazards identified during inspections/investigations.

Ability to: Explain technical procedures and findings in a language a layperson can understand, establish and maintain effective working relationships with representatives of management and labor; use industrial hygiene sampling equipment such as gas and vapor detectors, noise dosimeters and direct reading instruments; speak effectively; write clear, concise reports. Ability to follow DOSH regulatory and procedural policy manuals. Ability to use and apply advance legal theory and occupational safety and health case law in decision-making. Ability to conduct effective investigative interviews and apply root-cause analysis principles.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

Four years of technician or para-professional paid experience in one or more of the following industries: Government, military, public health or related safety and health field.


Two years of full-time professional experience as an employer’s safety director or manager, industrial hygienist, safety and health specialist, etc.


A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university involving major study in occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene or similar field AND one year of professional experience as an occupational safety and health professional or similar field.

Must possess a valid and unrestricted driver’s license.

Class Specification History

New class adopted June 22, 2023; effective July 1, 2023.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.