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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 406B
Category: Protective Services

Class Series Concept

See Compliance Industrial Safety and Health Investigator 1.


Positions independently perform concurrent complex investigations/inspections for all types of occupational safety and health hazards for all sizes of employers in all industries. Positions conduct worksite inspections or investigate catastrophic workplace incidents and may serve a member of a multidisciplinary team. Inspections/investigations of unusual complexity or posing unusual problems are subject to direction by higher level positions.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Independently conducts complex accident investigations where injuries, illnesses, fatalities or hospitalizations have resulted. Additionally, independently performs concurrent enforcement inspections and investigations of workplaces to assess existing and potential safety and health hazards and determines compliance with standards for safety and health hazards.

In accordance with Chapter 49.17 RCW, only Department of Labor & Industries staff exercise compliance authority in completing investigation reports with documentation of violations and penalties including Orders and Notices of Immediate Restraint.

The following are examples of complex inspections and investigations conducted by this investigator level:
  • Investigations initiated due to fatalities or hospitalizations
  • Investigations of complaint and referral allegations
  • Inspections/investigations that require interpretation of regulatory case law policy
  • Inspections/investigations involving multiple investigators
  • Inspections/investigations involving complex technical safety and health requirements

Typical Work

Conducts complex safety and health investigations of workplaces using independent judgment within established guidelines to determine the type and extent of suspected environmental and occupational health and safety hazards (e.g. manufacturing plants, construction projects, etc.);

Independently determines investigation strategy considering case law, advanced accident investigation training in alignment with the National Transportation and Safety Board /Federal Aviation Administration, including techniques for evidence collection, witness interviews, jurisdictional assessment, etc.;

Investigates fatalities and serious injuries where the root cause is obvious or likely known;

Evaluates workplace accidents/incidents and documents the facts and evidence surrounding the hazards and violations, and draws conclusions;

Conducts interviews of employees, employer representatives and witnesses;

Enters physical worksites unannounced to conduct compliance investigations;

Partners with local law enforcement for support to gain entry to conduct investigations;

Determines type and extent of procedures or controls necessary to minimize occupational health and safety hazards and completes compliance investigation reports;

Works with Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors on appeals and criminal cases; testifies as State’s witness during appeals, civil or criminal case actions and gives depositions;

Writes highly specialized and technical investigatory reports;

Collects evidence in the form of physical, electronic, and written documentation as well as verbal statements;

Works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors on complex and difficult cases;

Performs evidence handling of complex cases;

Reviews engineering and other plans/drawings to advise industrial personnel about adequacy of proposed changes; recommends modifications to minimize environmental and occupational safety and health hazards;

Uses investigative interviewing techniques and advanced incident investigative methods during investigations;

Calculates and prepares data for survey and engineering research reports;

May be a member of a multidisciplinary team.

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 accident 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. General knowledge of many industries, or extensive knowledge of specific industries.

Ability to: Ability to follow Division of Occupational Safety and Health regulatory and procedural policy manuals. Ability to learn, use and apply advance legal theory and occupational safety and health and employment case law in decision-making. Explain technical procedures and findings in 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 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.

Desirable Qualifications

Two years’ experience as a DOSH Compliance Industrial Safety and Health Investigator (CISHI), or equivalent experience as a Federal OSHA or other state plan journey-level safety and health specialist or industrial hygienist.


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


Five years of full-time journey level occupational/industrial safety experience in one or more of the following industries: Government, military, public health or related safety and health field.


A Bachelor of Science degree from a regionally accredited university in occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene or similar AND four years of occupational/industrial safety professional experience.

Must possess a valid and unrestricted driver license.

Some higher-level positions may require certification as a Certified Safety Professional granted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, Certified Industrial Hygienist granted by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, Certified Marine Chemist granted by the National Fire Protection Association in addition to minimum years of enforcement experience.

Class Specification History

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