Health Safety & Biosafety (HSBS) Adviser

Pirbright, Surrey
Band E; from £39,974
08 Aug 2018
19 Aug 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
NEBOSH Qualification
NEBOSH Certification

Health Safety & Biosafety (HSBS) Adviser

Directorate: Risk & Assurance

Department: Health, Safety and Biosafety

Pay Band and Salary Range: Band E;  from £39,974 with higher remuneration considered depending on experience and qualifications

Reporting To: Heath, Safety and Biosafety Leader

Line Manager Responsibilities: No

Main Work Location: The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks. We study viruses of livestock that are endemic and exotic to the UK, including zoonotic viruses, by using the most advanced tools and technologies to understand host-pathogen interactions in animals and arthropod vectors. Our major strength in understanding the immune systems of livestock provides a platform to control current diseases and respond to emerging threats.

Our Institute is made up of a dynamic and vibrant community of staff covering a diverse set of chosen fields, backgrounds and experience. We all play a crucial role in furthering the Institute’s aspirations, advancing the frontiers of science and knowledge through our excellent scientific research, knowledge sharing and contribution; with a real focus in improving the world in which we live. Our outlook is always balanced by our strong sense of purpose, values and behaviours and an unwavering commitment to a ‘one Institute’ approach.

Organisation position and purpose:

The successful candidate will be critical to provide The Pirbright Institute with expert professional support necessary to comply with requirements under health & safety law and related legislation, to maintain legal authority to operate as a HSE Major Hazard Installation under its Specified Animal Pathogens Order 2008 (SAPO) license; and to facilitate control and mitigation of the high consequence risks arising from its work.

HSBS Advisers at The Pirbright Institute are a pivotal part of the organisation, providing excellent levels of service and exacting standards of work in support of research, diagnostics and operations.

Main duties and responsibility:

Provide support and advise where required:

  • Provide timely and reliable expert advice on HSBS to all stakeholders, including assistance with preparation of risk assessments
  • Develop and deliver effective HSBS training.
  • Develop and provide best practice expertise in all aspects of biorisk management and associated regulatory compliance, supporting biosafety management of specific laboratory areas as directed.
  • Provide biosafety advice and support on high consequence viral pathogens of livestock animals both generally, and specifically in regard to compliance with the requirements of the Institute’s licence under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order 2008 (SAPO), covering operations up to and including SAPO Containment Level 4, and up to and including Class 4 for environmental hazard under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014.
  • Support the development and implementation of applicable management systems such as ISO 45001, and work in conformity to quality management systems such as ISO 9001.
  • Contribute as necessary to HSBS aspects of the site development programme, external projects and consultancies.
  • Act as lead on the management and risk assessment of the site’s radiation use (including radioactive sources, X-ray generators and Imaging lasers. And ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and site permits.
  • Act as lead on Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment and ergonomics of office and science staff.

Other duties:

  • Manage incidents and carry out timely and effective investigation, including root cause analysis.
  • Monitor and facilitate implementation of the corrective actions and preventive actions arising from inspection, audit and investigation findings.
  • Be prepared tojoin the ‘duty Biological Safety Officer’ rota with colleagues, acting as an immediately available source of biosafety assistance and biosafety incident management, covering both working hours and out-of-hours, subject to an agreed allowance for the latter, and remaining contactable and available whilst acting in this role
  • Carry out workplace inspections, ‘horizontal’ audits on specific HSBS topics, and ‘vertical’ audits of management of HSBS, with timely reporting of findings.

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.

Personal behaviours:

Work reliably under pressure, good time management and able to rapidly adapt priorities, ability to work both independently and as part of a team, exhibit tact and exert influence, problem solving and decision making skills, produce work to exacting standards.

Specific requirements


  • A degree in a bioscience subject, or equivalent.
  • Substantial research or technical laboratory experience.
  • Demonstrable ability to deliver high quality work, on time in fulfilment of team and personal objectives
  • Demonstrable ability to build good relationships with stakeholders and to resolve challenges with sensitivity and innovation


  • Experience of working at SAPO containment level 4
  • The ISTR BioSafety Practitioner 1 qualification, or substantial experience of biosafety practice or of laboratory management
  • NEBOSH General Certificate in Health & Safety, or equivalent.
  • Radiation Protection qualification or experience of working with and/or management of radioactive substances.
  • Experience of coordinating/monitoring health and safety arrangements for hazards such as chemicals, cryogenic gases, noise and vibration.
  • Experience assessing and implementing Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and ergonomic solutions for office and science staff.
  • Experience of working in conformity with relevant management systems.
  • Experience of carrying out incident management and investigation.
  • Experience of carrying out workplace inspections and of auditing
  • Experience of delivering training

What we offer

  • Generous Group Personal Pension Scheme and life cover (subject to age and earnings)
  • 25 days annual leave per annum, pro rata, plus 10.5 public and privilege days
  • Pirbright gym with subsidised membership
  • Pirbright social club
  • Pirbright Lifestyle Hub (employee discount site)
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Childcare vouchers and a subsidised childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking

To apply for this vacancy please look at our careers page on our website for this role and others.

For more information and to access the full job description, visit Jobs | The Pirbright Institute

We acknowledge, understand and embrace diversity, equality and inclusion

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