Fibres & Minerals Senior Scientist


Profession: Science & Engineering

Primary Location: Science Division, HSE Science & Research Centre, Buxton

Contract Type: Permanent

Working Pattern: Monday – Friday (flexi/ business needs)

Grade: Band 3


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 are recruiting an enthusiastic and motivated Senior Scientist who has a breadth and depth of experience and knowledge to join our Fibres & Minerals Team in the Health Group. 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.

The Health Capability Group 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 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:

HSE is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive working environment and we particularly welcome BAME/disabled/LGBT+ applicants, as they are currently under-represented in this discipline within HSE.


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:

  • 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 degree or equivalent in a relevant science discipline (preferably geology or related subject)
  • BOHS P401 – Identification of asbestos in bulk samples (PLM)
  • BOHS P403 – Asbestos Fibre Counting (PCM)


BOHS Certificate of Competence in Asbestos (or equivalent) or be actively working towards this qualification.



Membership at the appropriate level of the Faculty of Asbestos Assessment and Management (FAAM)


Selection Process: Include details of how to apply, and what candidates can expect during the selection process eg which will be assessed on application and which will be assessed during the selection process eg Civil Service Behaviours: seeing the big picture, changing & improving, making effective decisions, leadership, communicating & influencing, working together, developing self & others, managing a quality service, delivering at pace.



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


Strengths Decisive, Networker


Technical Skills:

  • 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.



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

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


Click here for more information and to apply


Vacancy Contact:

Name: Laurie Davies


Phone: (0) 203 028 2073 or 07918627675