Advert. No. 2021_0029
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. 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.


ESO is further stakeholder of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) and will host CTA's Southern Array on its Paranal site.


The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a multinational project to build two sites of telescope arrays in the northern and southern hemisphere to observe extremely high energy photons from the Universe with greatly improved sensitivity. A total of 99 optical telescopes are planned to be installed at the CTA-South site at Paranal observatory in Chile, while 19 telescopes are planned for the CTA-North site on La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain). A Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) will be built in Berlin-Zeuthen (Germany).


About 200 research institutions from 32 countries conceived CTA and many institutions are involved in designing and prototyping. A dedicated organization, the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) with its Headquarter and Project Office in Bologna (Italy) is responsible for the construction and operation of CTA.


For the Southern site of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), at the La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile, ESO is advertising a Local Staff member the position of:

Safety Engineer


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Deadline 26/09/2021

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist the Site Safety Manager in the implementation of the ESO and CTA Safety Policies and Procedures at the CTA site.
  • Ensure that the site-specific safety regulations are applied.
  • Develop the specific CTA South site safety policy
  • Monitor and supervise and enforce the implementation of construction contractor's site safety program.
  • Supervise construction work performed on site.
  • Anticipate, identify and mitigate hazardous conditions or practices, and prevent any unsafe operation.
  • Analyse, investigate and report any accident or hazardous incident.
  • Implement and advise others on Safety Procedures for all routine activities where safety is an issue.
  • Organise trainings to the personnel as required for their activities and for the general safety (e.g. brigade training, fire drills).
  • Monitor activities that have specific safety implications (e.g. crane operations, working in height e.g. on scaffoldings, manlifts etc, unloading of containers, large new installations, etc.).
  • Intervene and stop any unsafe operation.
  • Support staff and contractors in evaluation of risks.

Reports to:

Site Safety Manager as line manager and CTA-S Site Manager for the daily work on site.


Several years of professional experience in the field of construction or industrial safety. Previous experience as safety professional in an observatory will be an advantage.

Key Competences:

  • Knowledge of local and international safety legislation, such as NFPA or ISO
  • Experience in performing safety management and inspections on construction sites and writing reports
  • Efficient management of time and resources and a strong sense of team spirit are essential.
  • Skills in oral and written communication both in Spanish and English to deal with the staff, work well with team members and writing procedures and policies on safety, fire prevention, environmental compliance, and occupational health activities.
  • Ability to use personal computers and office software tools to access information, produce reports and prepare correspondence.
  • Flexibility to adjust to new environments and situations.
  • Capability to work independent on site without much supervision and guidance.


University degree in Safety Engineering. Registered Chilean Safety Engineer, Driving License (B)

Language Skills:

ESO is an international organization where the official language is English. It is required that the candidate has a good command of written and spoken English, as well as Spanish.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and educational benefits, as well as financial help in relocating the candidate's family, where applicable. The initial contract is for a period of two years with the possibility of indefinite extension, based on technical and managerial achievements. Please see a summary at

Duty Station:

Paranal Observatory, located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile, with focus on the CTA-S construction and later operation site. The working schedule will be 8 days on duty and 6 days off duty (8x6) with accommodation provided on site.

Career Path:



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

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation; it is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. The post is equally open to suitably qualified candidates irrespective of nationality, gender, age, disability, ethnicity or religion.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications should include a motivation letter and CV in English. Interviews will be held in English.

Non-Chilean applicants to this role must reside in Chile and have a pertinent working permit, according to Chilean regulations, at the time of their application.

Closing date for applications is 26 September 2021.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

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