Environmental Health Training
In Britain there have been officials to look after the public's health since 1848. In the early days bad housing, with inadequate drainage systems, coupled with poor water supplies and contaminated foodstuffs, were at the root of much disease and ill health. As more was learned about the way the environment can affect health, so the job of Sanitary Inspector and Public Health Inspector evolved into the present Environmental Health Officer.
The work of today's Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) is extremely varied. The majority of EHOs are employed by local councils, and have the task of protecting people living or working in their area. They work in either generalised or specialised departments; generalist EHOs are responsible for all aspects of environmental health in a particular part of the district; specialists work alone or as part of a team responsible for a particular aspect of environmental health, such as air pollution or food safety, throughout the council's area.
An increasing number of EHOs work in the private sector, advising their companies of their legal duties and helping them maintain good standards from within the organisation. In the private sector, EHOs are often referred to as environmental health advisors or consultants. Other EHOs are employed by the Army, Navy and Air Force, Civil Service, universities and colleges. In recent years an increasing number have become self-employed, working as consultants for many clients, in both the public and private sectors.
All EHOs, whether in the private or public sector, have the same common goal - to protect human health and sustain the environment through reducing the risks and eliminating the dangers associated with the living and working environment.