Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. What Is Environment ?

    Answer :

    If we do not want to go into the intricacies of the term, then we can define environment as everything that surrounds us. Whatever we see around us is confined to the living component of the human eco-system. With time, the concept has undergone modifications. Today, environment means a single system of the interacting living and non-living natural components of the earth.

    But the earth is not the only planet of the solar family, which again belongs to our home Galaxy — the Milky Way. There are about 100 billion such galaxies floating in the vast universe, each containing about 100 billion stars!! In this universe, not a single event can be said to be isolated, and no object is independent of the rest.

  2. Question 2. Describe The Principal Characteristics Of Environment?

    Answer :

    The principal characteristics of the environment have been listed below:

    • At any given point of time, the environment of any area is the sum total of all biotic elements and the abiotic elements around them.


    • The three basic components that constitute the structure of the environment are biome, habitat and energy,
    • The elements of the environment are systematically organised and interact with one another to maintain the integrity of the system.

    Thus, the environment is a perfectly functioning system:

    • The input of solar energy is responsible for the functioning of the system.
    • The environment is an open system since there is a continuous inflow and outflow of matter and energy.
    • The productivity of the environment is determined by the availability and amount of energy.
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  4. Question 3. Explain With Examples The Natural Changes Of Environment?

    Answer :

    • Almost everybody is fascinated by the notion of change. Right from the day they are born, till the moment they breathe their last, human beings experience a variety of change. They are all familiar with the sunshine and sunset and passage of day into night, as well as the change of the seasons.
    • We all notice that the weather in one year is never quite similar to the weather in previous years. Let us take for example the Monsoon Rains in West Bengal. A few years ago, the rains arrived in Bengal by early June and October was sunny and pleasant. Now, the rains arrive much later, and the festivities of October are marred by the showers.
    • Environmental change is studied by scientists from environmental, geographical and geological disciplines. The work of those scientists have delved into the intricacies of the past environments and finally confirms that environmental change is real, various and complex.
  5. Question 4. Define Environmental Studies?

    Answer :

    • There are several fields of study associated with the environment. With time, man realized the growing importance of maintaining his environment, and subjects such as ecology, environmental engineering, environmental sciences, environmental studies etc. gained popularity.
    • There is a fundamental difference between environmental science and environmental studies. The former lays emphasis on scientific qualities and issues of environmental interest, while environmental studies focus on questions related to environmental ethics and aesthetics.
    • The concern for preserving the environment is a relatively new phenomenon. There was a time when man would derive the maximum benefit from his surroundings, without thinking of the consequences. It was only since the 1950s that nations of the world started conservation and wise utilization of their natural resources — such as water, soil, fuel, flora and fauna.
    • It has been accepted that nature is a treasure-house that provides us with food, water, energy, medicine and various other amenities. No wonder the prevention and protection of the environment has become so crucial.
    • Developed countries have made considerable progress in the field of protection and conservation of the environment on a-long-term basis. However, the developing nations, were quite late in understanding the gravity of the situation, and, hence, they are lagging behind.
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  7. Question 5. What Are The Main Duties Of An Hse Officer?

    Answer :

    An HSE officer is responsible for scheduling and conducting regular audits, inspecting safety measures, ensuring the HSE policies have been clearly communicated to employees and are being implemented. An HSE officer is also responsible for conducting risk analysis to avoid accidents and conduct post accident research to identify the cause of accident and take measures to avoid its repetition.

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  9. Question 6. As An Hse Officer, What Is Your Prime Safety Concern On Any Given Day?

    Answer :

    There are many concerns that are on my mind each day. But since I value human life, I am usually very anxious about any accidents that may occur and end up harming a worker.

  10. Question 7. What Unsafe Conditions Do You Think Are Usually Taken For Granted In An Organization?

    Answer :

    In my five years of work in safety, I have come across many situations that have transpired by human negligence. Loose stair treads and wires that have not been earthed are two of the common things that people take for granted and can prove to be fatal.

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  12. Question 8. What Are Some Of The Areas That You Would Want To Focus On In Your Hse Officer Role?

    Answer :

    I believe that fire safety, chemical safety, biohazard safety, radiation prevention and First Aid and CPR training are the areas that need to be the prime focus in this role.

  13. Question 9. Tell Us Of A Situation When Mere Observation Helped You Foil An Accident Or Injury?

    Answer :

    One of the things which I mentioned earlier as easily taken for granted are stair threads. Quite recently, I was doing the rounds of the elevators and staircases in the building I was assigned to and noticed that one of the stair treads had come apart. It was a routine inspection but my observation abilities made it possible for me to pinpoint this and have it repaired before the lunchtime bell gonged and the workers descended to the cafeteria.

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  15. Question 10. Which Areas Of Your Profession Do You Think You Are Best At?

    Answer :

    I believe myself to be an all rounder since if and when I feel I am week in a certain area, I immediately make effort to improve in that area. I am an expert in risk analysis, incident evaluation, safety auditing and HSE policy implementation.

  16. Question 11. What Ohs And Other Hse Qualifications Do You Possess?

    Answer :

    I possess NEBOSH certification, BCLS certification, Helicopter underwater escape certification and fire fighting certification. I also hold a technical diploma in HSE, form the Professional safety institute affiliated with the OSHA.

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  18. Question 12. What Is A Safe Work Permit?

    Answer :

    A safe work permit is basically a document and a permit that specifies the hazards involved in the work to be done and precautions needed to avoid the same.

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  20. Question 13. Name Some Precautions Related To Working At Heights?

    Answer :

    Proper PPE must be used, risks of falling must be carefully catered for and ladders must be tightly fastened before a worker climbs on.

  21. Question 14. Name Some Common Construction Site Ppe?

    Answer :

    Helmets, fall arrest equipment, high visibility garments and eye protection are some of the PPE used on construction sites.

  22. Question 15. Describe The Principal Constituents Of Earth?

    Answer :

    The principal constituents of the earth can be considered in four broad groups:

    1. The lithosphere, which is the outer skin of the earth made up of rocks and minerals,
    2. The atmosphere, which is the gas or vapor envelope around the earth,
    3. The hydrosphere, which is the liquid portion of the earth, including the water vapour of the atmosphere, the water present in oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, and the water present in rocks, and.
    4. The biosphere, which is the world Of living organisms that dwell on land, in water and in the air that we breath.
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  24. Question 16. What Are The Different Hypotheses Regarding The Origin Of The Earth ?

    Answer :

    From the very beginning, man has been curious to know how the earth and the universe came into being. Due to this common interest, all the early civilizations developed their own explanations and versions of the origin of the earth and nature of the universe.

    COSMOLOGY is the field of study, which deals with the evolution of ideas regarding the origin of the earth, its relation to the solar system, and how the solar system is related’ to the universe.

    Man had to wait until the invention of the telescope, when he could peer into space and explore the universe. However, this could be done at a limited scale. After two or three hundred years, more powerful telescopes were developed. In the meantime, there had been new developments in the fields of mathematics and physics. These enable man to explore space more adequately.

    There are two rival theories explaining the origin of the universe:

    The super dense or “BIG BANG” theory:

    • This theory was put forward by Ryle. He suggested that a vast explosion of super dense matter created the universe. This explosion produced the galaxies of stars which are scattered throughout the space. The stars are also flying away from each other, at the amazing speed of 600 million km/hour.

    The steady state or continuous creation theory:

    • This theory was elaborated by Hoyle, Bondi and Gold. They rejected the Big Bang Theory. Instead, they put forward the idea that matter is being continuously created. New galaxies are born and compensate for the ones which are receding beyond man’s ken.