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Regional Health & Safety Specialists (French and/or English required), Multiple positions

Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-07

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Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. 

Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

As part of its duty of care, UNOPS commits to ensuring that people do not fall sick or sustain injuries when the organization carries out its operations. In line with its Health and Safety improvement initiative, UNOPS has introduced a Zero tolerance approach to poor health and safety performance and is recruiting two (2) Health and Safety Specialists to support the implementation of the UNOPS health and safety system and requirements in Africa. The persons hired will support the country teams under the regional office to develop technical competence, effectively monitor implementation and address the absence of adequate health and safety controls in workplaces. The duties of the Health and Safety Specialist will include extensive travel from site to site from one country to another as necessary to review and correct poor practices in countries where UNOPS has significant infrastructure operations. This position reports to the Regional Infrastructure and Project Management Advisor.

We are recruiting 2 Health and Safety Specialists to join UNOPS Africa Regional Office in Copenhagen, Denmark with expected frequent travel in Africa (estimated 75% of the time)
  • For one position: Full working knowledge of English is required.
  • For the other position: Full working knowledge of both English and French is required.

Expected results:

Significantly increase awareness on health and safety, ensure implementation of the GoalZero approach and completion of actions to improve health and safety in Africa.

Background information - AFR

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Africa Regional Office supports UNOPS country offices in the region, ensuring that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base, and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between projects across the entire region.

Functional Responsibilities

Technical Advisory Support

  • Support the Regional Office in achieving the corporate Health and Safety Goal Zero targets;
  • Supporting the head of office in establishing effective performance monitoring of HS for the projects and the office;
  • Support heads of programmes, project managers and project teams in implementing health and safety requirements;
  • Evaluate practices and procedures at UNOPS premises and construction sites  in the region to assess risk and adherence to UNOPS HSSE requirements;
  • Review HSSE plans to ensure project implementation is fully aligned to UNOPS HSSE guidelines; 
  • Review risk assessments, inspections, incident investigations and other reports and offer advice to field teams to ensure that good practices are upheld; 
  • Assist field teams to correct deviations from health and safety requirements including managing breaches of requirements and poor performance by personnel and contractors.

Monitoring performance and addressing incidents

  • Carry out inspections and system reviews to ensure that UNOPS operations are complying with HSSE requirements;
  • Carry out incident investigations;
  • Follow up on actions to address non-conformities or issues raised in incident investigations, inspections and audits to ensure that the issues have been effectively addressed and lessons learned shared;
  • Carry out actions to improve the effectiveness of health and safety critical controls in the field offices;
  • Use trend analysis of monitoring data from field offices for the purposes of addressing poor performance;
  • Carry out initiatives to support the improvement of health and safety culture including ensuring that actions in the organization's safety improvement plan are carried out.

Training and Knowledge Management

  • Develop and implement training programmes to improve the capacity of UNOPS personnel, contractors and partners in implementing UNOPS health and safety requirements; 
  • Facilitate practical training for contractors and project teams so that they ‘learn by doing’ and ensure continuous safe operations during project execution;
  • Be the focal point for health and safety knowledge building and knowledge sharing across the region with a focus on context-specific good practices;
  • Support the development and implementation of other HSSE initiatives as assigned by the regional office.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in a relevant field and 5 years of required relevant experience; OR; 
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor's or equivalent), in a relevant  field and 7 years of required relevant experience OR;
  • A tertiary education diploma (Technical/Professional Diploma or equivalent), in a relevant  field and  9 years of required relevant experience.


  • Required relevant experience is defined as progressively responsible experience in Health, Safety, Social and Environmental (HSSE) management;
  • Experience in HS (Health and Safety) risk assessments, inspections, incident investigation, and/or training facilitation is required;
  • Minimum of 2 years in managing and implementing projects’ related health and safety matters is an asset;
  • Field experience in Africa is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • For one position: Full working knowledge of English is required 
  • For the other position: Full working knowledge of both English and French is required.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

  • Contract type: ICA
  • Contract level: I-ICA 2
  • Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

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