So what do Environmental Health Officers do?
Environmental Health Officers have a diverse role that in essence provides a balancing act between the natural environment and the industrial environment that aims to protect and ultimately improve the health of the community and surrounds in which all forms of life live.
Environmental Health Officers have an obligation to investigate complaints received by the public that relate to food and general health issues. Environmental Health Officers are prescribed under the Food Act 2001, Public and Environmental Health Act 1987, Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992,the Local Government Act 1999 and the Public and Environmental Health (WasteControl) Regulations 2010. Therefore when a complaint has been received Council Officers can only act within their prescribed powers under the respective Acts, or regulations.
For example some of the regular duties in Light Regional council include routine inspections of all food premises, this includes Cafes, Restaurants, B&B's to name a few. The inspection involves a comprehensive assessment, which checks compliance with the Food Act 2001 and Food Safety Standards.
Septic tank applications and inspections of septic tank (Waste Control Systems) form a large part of the Environmental Health Officers job, and also provide information to the public, or anyone who needs further information about their system or has a general enquiry.
All swimming pools and spas used by the public are routinely tested to check for compliance with the Swimming Pool, Spa and Hydrotherapy Pool guidelines under the Public and Environmental Health Act and regulations 1991.
Childcare centres are inspected under the Public andEnvironmental Health Act 1987 and the Food Act 2001. The centres general state of repair, playground, lighting and ventilation facilities, as well as the nappy change area hand washing facilities, methods of storage and disposal and sanitisers used to clean surfaces are inspected.
The control of pests and vermin that pose a potential health threat or insanitary condition are also important, so if you are not sure if a wasp is a European Wasp the Environmental Health Officer can advise you.
Light Regional Council