Skip to main content
Job Title:
Safety and Occupational Health Manager, GS-0018, Grade 12; $93,175 - $121,128 per year
Type of Position:
Permanent - Federal- Competitive
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This Merit Promotion position is open to Current Federal Employees and Former Federal Employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply such as Individuals with Disabilities (Schedule A), former Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Vista volunteers; certain Military Spouses, or individuals eligible under various programs for Veterans (VRA, VEOA, 30% disabled).


The incumbent is responsible for planning, designing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating SAO’s safety, occupational health, environmental management, industrial hygiene, and fire protection programs at SAO properties, both in the Boston area as well as SAO’s remote facilities in Arizona, Hawaii, and Greenland.  


  1. Serves as a technical expert in safety and occupational health, providing technical information and support for the planning, implementation, administration, and audit/evaluation of the SAO’s safety and health program. Interprets occupational safety and health standards that apply to Federal agencies, construction, and other Smithsonian activities. Develops appropriate guidance such as new or revised procedures, directives, and memoranda to ensure consistent application of standards across SAO.  Conducts research as needed to provide accurate and current information and data to assist with decision-making, inform the development of policies and procedures, identify/develop best practices.  Documents and/or develops standard operating procedures and checklists for activities such as inspections, audits, investigations, and design reviews. 
  2. Supervise the Safety and Occupational Health Specialists assigned to Arizona and Hawaii; serves as a safety liaison for SAO leased properties in Massachusetts; oversees safety at the Greenland telescope. Assigns projects and tasks; prepare performance plans and perform performance appraisals; approve work schedules, leave, and overtime; resolve conflicts and take disciplinary action when required; nominate staff for awards to reward performance; give advice, counsel, or instruction to staff on both safety and administrative matters; determine training needs and arrange training as appropriate; and interview and hire new staff when vacancies occur.
  3. Oversees the planning, organization, scheduling and execution of a comprehensive inspection program for the diverse and complex array of SAO work environments in accordance with OSHA standards, NFPA codes, other applicable national consensus standards, and Smithsonian policies and procedures. Works with SAO personnel and onsite contractors to ensure that construction and maintenance projects are performed with minimal impact on the safety or health of building occupants and ensures contractor compliance with applicable safety and health standards and Smithsonian policies and procedures. Participates in related meetings, activities, site visits, and inspections.
  4. Investigates accidents, incidents, and reports of unsafe/unhealthful conditions including ergonomic hazards. Conducts ergonomic assessments for a wide variety of work activities in office, laboratory, maintenance, construction, and industrial work environments. Prepares reports including results and recommendations for corrective measures and leads and/or participates in implementation of corrective measures.  Coordinates and serves on Accident Review Boards for major incidents.  Uploads information and abatement actions to the electronic data management system. Assists with OSHA recordkeeping to ensure reports of occupational injury/illness are complete, determinations as to recordability are accurate, and properly recorded in the OSHA 300 logs in accordance with standards.  Assists with annual summaries of occupational injuries/illnesses and ensure posting in accordance with Federal standards.
  5. Works closely and collaboratively with SI OSHEM and serves as a POC for the SI Emergency Operations Group (& Unit Directors).  Prepares regulatory deliverables such as the Smithsonian Annual Report to OSHA (e.g., 300 Logs) and the submission of injury/illness data to BLS, along with internal deliverables such as the Facilities Performance Report, METR Schedule, and other required documentation as required, e.g., the MWRA Permit Renewal, etc. Reviews, evaluates, and analyzes injury/illness data, inspection reports, reports of unsafe/unhealthful conditions, accident/incident investigation reports, ergonomic assessments, and other sources of information to identify significant trends and to evaluate the performance of SAO and its subsidiaries against established goals.  Reviews strategies and makes recommendations for addressing trends that show increases in the number and/or severity of employee injuries and illnesses.  Prepares reports from electronic data management systems and/or spreadsheets to analyze and present data.  Develops Power Point presentations and/or Excel charts and graphs for various target audiences.
  6. Serves as a database administrator for SAO’s electronic safety and health management systems for injury/illness reporting, inspections, and incident reporting/investigation, and other safety and health program activities. This includes granting, modifying, and deleting access, assisting users with navigating the databases, modifying/deleting records in accordance with 29 CFR 1904 and Smithsonian policies and procedures, providing/coordinating training sessions.Researches and makes recommendations for changes to improve the accuracy and management of safety and health data.  In conjunction with administrative team, participates in the creation and maintenance of orderly and accessible central files to include active and archive (storage) files and file inventory.


Specialized Experience: One year of specialized experience that equipped you with the particular competencies to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To qualify at the GS-12 level, applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level or equivalent under other pay systems in the Federal service, military or private sector. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements including time-in-grade (General Schedule (GS) positions only), time-after- competitive appointment, minimum qualifications, and any other regulatory requirements by the cut-off/closing date of the announcement. 

For this position specialized experience is defined as experience planning, implementing, and evaluating the requirements of a safety and occupational health program for work activities and environments.  Experience must also include developing occupational safety guidance; training personnel on safety-related topics; applying safety and occupational health laws; inspecting workplaces for compliance and hazards; investigating incidents, reviewing designs, drawings and safety plans; conducting ergonomic assessments; and maintaining safety-related databases.

Education may not be used in lieu of specialized experience.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Qualification requirements are derived from the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at 

For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and its impact on your application, click on Smithsonian Institution’s Frequently Asked Questions.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: We will only accept applications online for this position. To view the complete vacancy posting, requirements and the procedures to apply, please visit USAJOBS

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

Learn more about SAO Human Resources

Visit the SAO website