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Health and Safety Advocate - 2 positions



Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, March 3, 2023

This position will be filled at the grade commensurate with the knowledge and experience of the selected applicant. Performs a wide variety of analyses involving health and safety policy issues at the federal, state and local levels; assists and advises affiliates when unsafe or unhealthy situations exist, in the event of work-related illnesses or injuries, during organizing campaigns and other union activities; and leads training activities. Areas of focus, inquiry, and research include, but are not limited to biological hazards, workplace exposure to infectious diseases, safety problems, physical hazards, general health and safety issues, illness and injury data, handling and storage of chemicals, laws and regulations, protective contract language, and health and safety committees. Maintains expertise in occupational safety and health issues and related issues as assigned.


  • Conducts in-depth research and responses upon request of affiliate and AFSCME staff. May involve developing new resource materials.
  • Analyzes complex workplace health and safety controls and programs to ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations and highlight areas for further questioning. Documents analysis and recommendations.
  • May prepare and present congressional and state legislative testimony; represents the Union's interests before federal and state regulatory agencies; participates in public policy forums in an advisory and peer reviewer capacity.
  • Reviews and provides comments on draft or pending health and safety regulations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies.
  • Prepares materials for and conducts briefings and workshops at affiliate meetings and conferences covering key issues.
  • Serves as the Union's health and safety expert in meetings with employer representatives.
  • Advises affiliates concerning strategies to accomplish health and safety objectives. Informs and advises AFSCME and affiliate union leaders and staff about new federal laws, regulations, and related matters by preparing written reports, fact sheets, content for distribution through AFSCME social media and other communications channels and other materials; conducting presentations at webinars, trainings, conferences, and other live events; and serving as a panelist at external conferences and other events.
  • Develops, recommends, and advocates for federal, state, and local policy strategies and policy options on health and safety issues that further the interests of AFSCME members. Identifies opportunities to expand workers’ rights and protections at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Identifies other unions and organizations with which to form coalitions around issues of mutual concern and establish working relationships with these groups.
  • Performs worksite inspections to determine workplace hazards and makes recommendations for abatement.
  • Conducts training sessions, files OSHA complaints where appropriate and provides technical assistance.
  • May monitor one or more specialty issues or topics of importance to AFSCME.
  • Serves as the resource person in these areas for both affiliate and AFSCME staff. Identifies other international unions and organizations with which to form coalitions to advocate issues/topics of mutual interest and concern.
  • Helps prepare proposals to request funds or renew existing grants to establish/continue activities and programs designed to improve health and safety conditions in the workplace.
  • Helps to administer grants including budgets and preparing periodic reports. Serves in an advisory role during negotiations and organizing campaigns.
  • Writes articles, manuals, and fact sheets on various areas of concentration. Informs and advises on new state and local legislation, laws, regulations.
  • Leads the implementation and administration of grant-funded programs designed to improve health and safety conditions in the workplace and provide training to AFSCME members and other workers.
  • Identifies funding sources and is responsible for the preparation and submission of proposals to request funds or renew existing grants.
  • Coordinates the training and technical assistance activities of other health and safety staff, including training schedule and coordination with other staff.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with course work health, industrial hygiene, environmental issues, and/or related field or comparable life experience.
  • A minimum of (5) years related experience in field work investigating hazardous conditions in the workplace.


  • Thorough knowledge of investigating unsafe workplace conditions.
  • Considerable experience in a variety of occupational safety and health topics.
  • Considerable experience in organizing and presenting workshops and training programs for a large number of students.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills.
  • May require travel to affiliates and councils.
  • A valid driver’s license is required.

Travel and work hours:

  • Travel and working extended hours are required.