Oct 08, 2017

Environmental Management – a Different Perspective

When larger organizations consider environmental protection and occupational health and safety as an important aspect of providing quality products, they often have managers and departments responsible for these areas. The departments are called Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS), also known as SHE or HSE departments. EHS managers generally have two main goals. The first is to prevent incidents or accidents that might result from abnormal operating conditions, while the second focus on reducing adverse effects that result from normal operating conditions.

The release of harmful substances into the environment or the work area, fire and explosions must, for example, be prevented. Action must also be taken to reduce an organization’s environmental impact under normal operating conditions. This is measured by looking at the organization’s carbon footprint. Another important aspect is to create working conditions that will prevent workers from developing work-related illnesses.

These days, complying with EHS regulations isn’t the only concern of most organizations, but rather one part of managing a productive and healthy organization. Compliance is however still vital in order to manage an effective and safe organization and EHS managers have the formidable task of handling regulatory compliance across many functions and facilities, often without many resources.

Regulations define the minimum requirements

Regulatory requirements play a key role in both approaches and it is critical that EHS managers recognize and understand relevant EHS regulations.

EHS managers are also responsible for communicating the implications of legislation to top management and ensure that the organization implements suitable measures. Organizations based in the USA are subject to EHS regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, while other countries each have their own set of laws and regulations.

EHS management should however not be limited to legal compliance and organizations should be looking at doing more than is required by law.

EHS makes business sense

Billions of dollars are spent every year on workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Liberty Mutual estimated that employers paid more than $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs in 2013. This figure, contained in the 2016 Workplace Safety Index, only includes the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses.

Organizations with effective safety and health management systems manage to reduce injuries and illnesses significantly and reduce the direct costs associated with these, including medical expenses, workers’ compensation payments and lost productivity.

Organizations do however also often find that when process and other changes are made to improve workplace safety and health, it results in substantial improvements in both their organization’s productivity and profitability.

An EMS reduces costs even further

MyEasyISO’s Environmental Management System promotes compliance with a range of standards, including the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Standard. Using the EMS will help you:

  • Develop and track your environment targets and objectives.
  • Analyze your environmental Aspects and Impacts.
  • Improve environmental record keeping.

You’ll see significant long-term results such as a safer, more positive workplace, higher productivity and lower compliance costs.

When implementing an aggressive environmental management system, organizations reduce pollution, save energy, eliminate environmental hazards and enhance competitiveness.

Achieving ISO 14001 certification clearly shows employees, customers, and investors that an organization is serious about their environmental quality management efforts.

Sree vidhya

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