Advert. No. 2021_0018
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


For its Safety Office within the Directorate of Administration at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

Health, Safety & Environment Engineer


Vacancy closed on 31/07/2021

Deadline 31/07/2021

This is an excellent opportunity for professionals who have relevant experience in occupational health and safety as well as environmental protection and implementing 'green' initiatives.

The Health, Safety & Environment Engineer (HSE Engineer) will serve as Site Safety Engineer for the Headquarters in Garching and Vitacura / Santiago and advises, supports and assists the Director of Administration, who is the Site Safety Responsible. In the framework of the ESO Safety Commission, the postholder will liaise with their counterpart, the Site Safety Engineer of the La Silla Paranal Observatory, and members of the ESO Management in order to coordinate the efforts between the sites and monitor both deviations from and the evolution of the ESO Safety Policy. The HSE Engineer will also play an important role in advising the ESO management on environmental aspects and lead the efforts to improve ESO's environmental sustainability, in particular by reducing ESO's carbon footprint.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that the site specific regulations and procedures for safety, health and environmental protection are up-to date and applied;
  • Advise and support stakeholders on relevant health, safety and environmental matters and brief the Director of Administration regularly on all related matters;
  • Together with the Safety Engineer, organize and chair the Site Safety Committee meetings and follow up the execution of any required actions and issues arising;
  • Participate in the design reviews established for the assessment of new instruments and proactively support and guide staff and contractors in the evaluation of risks;
  • Ensure that new equipment is safe and oversee regular inspections;
  • Anticipate, identify and mitigate hazardous condition practices, and prevent any unsafe operation;
  • Analyse, investigate and report any accident or hazardous incident;
  • Organise site safety management related trainings to members of personnel as required for their duties and for general safety (e.g. fire brigade training, first aid training and emergency drills);
  • Liaise with external stakeholders, such as the HSE responsibles in the EIROforum network;
  • Foster environmental innovation and protection across all Directorates of the Organisation;
  • Set up standards and a follow up policy for all aspects of environmental management;
  • Lead the implementation of environmental sustainability actions, working in particular on measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the Organisation;
  • Coordinate the ESO Environment Committee and be the main contact point for all internal stakeholders related to environmental protection at ESO;
  • Lead the regular update of the Organisation's carbon footprint data and compile reports.

Duties and responsibilities are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt is required.

Reports to:

The Director of Administration

Key Competences and Experience

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of Health, Safety and Environment Protection;
  • Appropriate technical background in the field of Health and Safety with proven practical ability to develop solutions and to successfully follow scientific or technical projects;
  • Ability to write procedures and policies on safety, fire prevention, environmental compliance, and occupational health activities;
  • Chair/manage meetings to reach clear conclusions or decisions recognising the diversity of those present allowing them to contribute appropriately;
  • Provide clear, concise and timely oral and written communications, identifying the key issues, examining options and proposing a way ahead;
  • Effective and committed team player with ability to look for pragmatic solutions;
  • Excellent cross-disciplinary communication skills both oral and written.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • An understanding of project management practices and associated Health & Safety and environmental factors;
  • Ability to and experience of working efficiently within an international and multi-cultural environment both independently and with diverse stakeholders including ability to build and manage collaborative working relationships with multi-disciplinary stakeholders;
  • Pro-active approach to contribute ideas for improvement and future developments.


Essential Educational Level:

  • Bachelor or Master Degree in engineering with specialisation and/or training in the field of occupational health and safety, and environmental protection or equivalent;
  • Qualification as "Fachkraft für Arbeitssicherheit" (certified occupational safety specialist) or equivalent;
  • Training in safety, knowledge of European norms and directives for health and safety aspects.

Language skills:

The position requires an excellent command of the English language. Knowledge of other European languages such as German and/or Spanish is considered an asset.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment ( Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

The duty station of the post will be Garching near Munich, Germany (with regular duty trips to Chile).

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 31 July 2021

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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