Head of Health and Safety – Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Contract: Permanent

Working Hours: 37 hours

Salary: starter salary from £63,712 rising to £70,715 (Grade 12) in role

Location: The role will be flexibly based between Service HQ (Kelvedon), home working, and a requirement to travel around the county to visit all Service premises

Closing date: Monday 15 April, 5pm

*We are open to discuss working arrangements including flexibility over hours and location

The role (Role Profile)

We’re looking for a Head of Health and Safety (H&S) to lead the department and support the Assistant Director of Assurance in providing the strategic link to key stakeholders in health and safety matters.

What you will be working on

You’ll be responsible for the effective delivery of all elements of the Health and Safety department including budget management, setting strategies, H&S framework, audits, statistics, risk assessment approach and performance management for the purpose of making sure the Service meets the requirements of relevant legislation.

You will oversee the systems and procedures for H&S and safe systems of work across our Service, fostering a positive health and safety culture in collaboration with other departmental heads and represent the health and safety department at other committees.

You will demonstrate an evidence-based, data-driven approach and be able to produce reports and be able to analyse information to drive health, safety performance and culture.

What are we looking for?

This is the role for an inclusive and engaging leader who is driven to create a positive health and safety culture. You’ll be skilled in developing relationships and working with your team to achieve this. You will also need to have an up-to-date knowledge of Health and Safety practices and policies and a track record of creating and maintaining a positive work environment in a multi-disciplinary, multi-site complex organisation.


You will need an IOSH degree (or equivalent qualification) and you must be able to attain chartered status within 24 months of commencing in the role, if you don’t already have this. You will also have substantial, demonstrable experience as a leader in Health & Safety role, as well as experience working with a diverse portfolio of risk activities and environments.

Application Process

If you require any additional support or adjustments at any stage of the process, you can notify us confidentially by completing this form here or by email to recruitment@essex-fire.gov.uk

You’ll need to submit your CV and cover letter (no longer than 1000 words to evidence how you meet the essential criteria of the Person Specification.

If you are an internal candidate, you must have discussed your application with your line manager and confirmed with them there are no outstanding issues of conduct or performance. You must not be subject to any current live disciplinary or performance warnings, nor be subject to any informal management for reasons of conduct or performance. This will be verified prior to shortlisting.

Assessment and selection:

The assessment and selection approach will be:

Stage 1

Application and shortlisting (assessment of your supporting statement will be made against the essential criteria of the person specification)

Stage 2

Assessment Centre including:

  • Media Exercise
  • Stakeholder Panel – Equality Diversity and Inclusion
  • Presentation and Panel Interview (Details of the presentation will be forwarded following shortlisting)

Assessments will be made against positive indicators taken from the Code of Ethics and the NFCC Leadership Framework).

You can see the NFCC Leadership Framework here: NFCC_Leadership_Framework_Final.pdf (nationalfirechiefs.org.uk)

And guidance around the Code of Ethics here:

Core Code of Ethics England Guidance May 21 V0.pdf (ukfrs.com)

We expect the assessment centre will take place on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 May 2024.

Should you wish to have an informal discussion with regards to the role, please contact Area Manager James Taylor on 07826878056 or james.taylor@essex-fire.gov.uk).

We will not be utilising recruitment agencies for this role. Please do not contact us if you are not a candidate looking to apply directly.

Our Culture and Benefits

Here at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service we are committed to prioritising and promoting the wellbeing of our employees.

You can find out more about our benefits at https://www.essex-fire.gov.uk/recruitment/benefits

Disability Confident

We are an equal opportunity, Disability Confident, employer who welcomes applications from everyone and values diversity in our workplace. A commitment to promoting diversity and developing a work environment where all staff are treated with dignity and respect is central to our recruitment process and all applications will be considered solely on merit.

As part of our offer to support all our candidates to perform to the best of their abilities during our recruitment and selection processes and we would like to let you know about a couple of support options you can access, should you wish to, including our employee forums, who are keen and willing to support all of our potential colleagues.

Our employee forums and partners include:

Asian Fire Services Association (AFSA), BEING (our LGBTQ+ employee support network), Christian Fellowship, Ethnic Minority Forum, Men’s Forum, and our Women’s Forum. In addition, we also have a female firefighter’s operational group.

Further to the above, the Service has a Digital Accessibility Inclusion Group (DAIG) that supports all colleagues to improve their digital skills and provides additional support and guidance to colleagues with neurodivergent strengths and struggles as a result of dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, dyspraxia etc. We want everyone to thrive at work, and so we encourage and enable people to access digital tools to help them perform at your best. The DAIG is a group of colleagues from across the Service that unite to support others as a result of their lived experience and desire to make a difference. They support people with a range of visible and invisible disabilities to identify and access digital workplace adjustments and solutions and may be able to assist with your application too.

Should you wish to discuss support, or access further information, from one of these groups, please contact Equality.Diversity@essex-fire.gov.uk

You are also able to raise any queries or requests for support, including any adjustments you may require, at any stage of the process by email to recruitment@essex-fire.gov.uk

You can find out more about Essex County Fire & Rescue Service via www.essex-fire.gov.uk and about our vacancies and application processes via www.essex-fire.gov.uk/join-essex-fire


Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Fire and Rescue Authority is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

It is our policy to require all applicants for employment to disclose if you are currently being investigated by any regulatory body or have any decisions or sanctions pending or in progress in respect of your suitability to work for the Service.

You agree to inform the Service within 24 hours if you are subsequently investigated by any agency or organisation in relation to concerns about your behaviour towards children, young people or vulnerable adults. The information you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and will be considered only in relation to the appointment for which you are applying.

This role will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Salary: £63,712.00 - £70,715.00 pa

Contract type: Full Time

Closing date: April 15 2024

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