Asbestos Specialist



£39,334 – £45,865


Senior Executive Officer

Band 3

Contract type


Business area

HSE – Science Division (SD) – Health Group, Exposure Measurement, Fibres & Minerals

Type of role

Health and Safety
Operational Delivery
Operational Research
Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

About the job


Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role. We look forward to receiving your application

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

At the Health and Safety Executive, we believe everyone has the right to come home safe and well from their job. That’s why our mission is to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health.

We don’t just inspect workplaces and investigate incidents, we campaign for better Health & Safety practice, we develop and review guidance and regulations, we provide specialist products and services both here and overseas, and we produce crucial research and statistics, all towards our goal of helping Great Britain work well.

We have an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated and enthusiastic Senior Scientist, with a breadth and depth of experience and knowledge in asbestos to join our Fibres & Minerals Team. Specifically your role will be key to enable the continuation of essential research to support the implementation and evidence base for HSE’s Control of Asbestos Regulations. You will be in the unique position to influence HSE's technical guidance and policy decisions. Some knowledge of other hazardous fibres and minerals would be an advantage.

The Fibres & Minerals Team form part of HSE's Science & Research Centre's Health Capability Group, which has a wide range of technical and diverse disciplines, requiring flexible and collaborative working; you will be expected to assist colleagues not only across the Health Group but also across HSE in their programmes of work.

This excellent opportunity will be based at our Science & Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire. The Centre is an internationally renowned scientific facility for health and safety, employing scientific, medical and technical specialists in a purpose-built laboratory at our 550-acre site.

More details about the services available at the Science & Research Centre and HSE can be found on our website here:

Job description

Your role will be to enable the continuation of essential research to support the implementation and evidence base for HSE’s Control of Asbestos Regulations. You will attend, gather evidence and contribute to incident investigations, providing innovative support to regulators, prosecutions, industry and HSE research projects, with the aim to prevent death, injury and ill-health of workers and those affected by work activities.

You will assist in the development and delivery of external business areas within the team, including five international asbestos Proficiency Testing Schemes (PT), helping to achieve HSE Science Division commercial target. This will include providing technical guidance and assistance in the delivery of the day-to-day sample production for the asbestos PT schemes. You will play a key role in developing new PT schemes.

You will support the wider Exposure Measurement Team with routine analytical services and provide analytical support to other government departments, as appropriate.

There will be occasions when you will be expected to travel for site visits and meetings, which may include overnight stays, as well as the opportunity for attendance at scientific conferences. You will be encouraged to share the outcomes of your work both internally and with the wider scientific community through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

You will be required to maintain current levels of capability and develop further with the ability and desire to become a Technical Lead for asbestos and crystalline silica - key business areas for HSE’s Science Division.


The responsibilities of your role will include but will not be limited to:

• Analysis of samples using optical microscopy, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and other techniques.

• Training to be an HSE Nominated Asbestos Person for asbestos site activities.

• Confidently leading and supervising a team in the delivery of laboratory research activities and when supporting HSE Incident Investigation and enforcement on asbestos related issues.

• Responding to varying technical and work demands, which may at times have conflicting priorities.

• Working collaboratively with colleagues in and across the Health Capability Group (HCG), Science Division (SD), other HSE Divisions and external collaborators and stakeholders.

• Being disciplined in operating within set standards; being precise and using your attention to detail; holding yourself and others accountable in producing accurate and error free quality outputs.

• Developing and improving analytical methods and instrumentation within the subject of hazardous fibres, dusts & minerals.

• Expanding and further developing external asbestos related business.

• Expanding and further developing project work areas in asbestos and other hazardous fibres, minerals and crystalline silica.

• Preparing & presenting project work through conferences (talks & posters) and publication of academic papers and HSE research reports.

• Input into the HCG quality management system activities (ISO 17025, ISO 17043 and ISO 9001).

• Developing expertise to contribute to HSE’s input to ISO TC 146 asbestos working groups.

• Support the work of other teams and initiatives within the HCG as required by the business.

Person Specification:

You will have:

• Significant, relevant and recent practical experience of asbestos activities (laboratory and on-site)

• Demonstrable experience of writing research proposals, business cases and/or applications for funding.

• Excellent communication and engagement skills for day-to-day working at all levels; weekly/monthly liaison with senior staff; scientific discussions with wider HSE colleagues, commercial customers and members of the public.

• Excellent organisational skills and preparedness for planning, scheduling and undertaking laboratory work and site visits, to maximise time and productivity, whilst ensuring delivery to time, cost and quality.

• Experience of adapting to situations and variations in workload; being flexible and versatile whilst maintaining efficiency.

• Initiative and decisiveness

• The ability to work both as part of a team and autonomously across boundaries of the Science Division and rest of HSE, promoting cross-functional team working and effective communication to identify solutions and ensure work can be delivered.

• The ability to follow and work to procedures, with attention to detail

• Experience of using software packages, including Office 365, Microsoft Word and Excel. You will have the ability to use bespoke software packages.


A full driving licence that enables you to drive in the UK is essential. However, HSE is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by another means.


* A Science degree or higher

* BOHS P401 – Identification of asbestos in bulk samples (PLM) (or equivalent)
* BOHS P403 – Asbestos Fibre Counting (PCM) (or equivalent)
* BOHS Certificate of Competence in Asbestos (or equivalent) or be actively working towards this qualification.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • How you develop and maintain your professional skills and knowledge, keep up-to-date with relevant developments and identify future challenges.
  • How you have used your scientific knowledge and skills to evaluate a range of complex and conflicting information to produce clear conclusions.


  • Free onsite parking at HSE Buxton
    • Onsite subsidised canteen facilities
    • Flexible working options, including flexi-time and hybrid working

    We invest in our people with;

    • Competitive rates of pay
    • Access to the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme to which HSE contribute 27.1% , far more than in the private sector.
    • Family friendly policies and working hours to help balance your home life and career
    • 25 days annual holiday increasing to 30 days after 5 years' service, plus bank holidays and 1-day Civil Service privilege leave
    • Parental leave benefits: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.


    This post is eligible for Excess Fares Allowance. A successful internal candidate currently based at another office may be entitled to Excess Fares Allowance in line with HSE policy (http://intranet/finance/expenses/excess-fares-allowance-policy.htm)

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.


Please complete a CV that concisely outlines your career history, skills experience and qualifications. Please note that your CV will not be assessed and will be used for information purposes only.

You will be invited to submit a Statement of Suitability of up to 1000 words, which demonstrates how your technical skills, experience and qualifications meet the job description and requirements of the responsibilities, person specification and essential qualifications for the post.

At sift, you will be assessed on your Statement of Suitability.

If you are successful at sift you will be invited to attend an in person interview at HSE's Science & Research Centre in Buxton, Derbyshire.

You you will be assessed on the four behaviours (Leadership, Making Effective Decisions, Seeing the Big Picture and Working Together), your technical skills and experience. You will be required to prepare in advance and deliver a 5-minute presentation describing a recent piece of innovative work that you have completed.


Sifts will take place: 19th May 2022.
Interviews will be held: 8th June 2022.

Further Information

A reserve list may be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful in their application. For a summary of HSE terms and conditions as part of Civil Service Reform, please see the attached document.

Any move to Health and Safety Executive from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

If you have a disability and you need an application form in an alternative format or you would like to know more about our recruitment process, please contact:

Please access the following link for guidance on how to apply and how to complete a Statement of Suitability

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Recruitment team :