About EHS (Environmental Safety and Health)
Environment, health and safety (EHS) is a discipline and specialty that studies and implements practical aspects of environmental protection and safety at work. In simple terms it is what organizations must do to make sure that their activities do not cause harm to anyone.
In the organization, EHS is the department involved in environmental protection, safety at work, occupational health and safety, compliance and best practices. EHS aims to prevent and reduce accidents, emergencies and health issues at work. It involves creating a systematic approach to complying with environmental regulations, such as managing waste or air emissions all the way to helping site’s reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
What environmental health and safety manager does
EHS managers must identify and understand relevant EHS regulations, and the implications. Organisations based in the United States are subject to EHS regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, particularly CFR 29, 40, and 49. Still, EHS management is not limited to legal compliance and companies should be encouraged to do more than is required by law, if appropriate.
Hence, EHS managers must acquire the necessary training and certification in environmental health and safety. He must also keep himself abreast with the progress and changes in the field of environmental health and safety.
Generally, EHS managers will;
- Promote good working practices for employees in terms of environmental health and safety.
- They observe these organizations to ensure that they comply with environmental legislation regarding safety in the workplace.
- Help reduce carbon footprint or minimize environmental impact.
The EHS professional require attention to detail, great observation skills and knowledge of environmental law. They examine procedures and actions, and look for potential hazards in the day to day operation. When an individual is injured, they will often be the person conducting the investigation and writing the report. They may be called upon as expert witnesses for either side in the result of a prosecution.
How EHS relates sustainability
EHS professionals are increasingly responsible for designing and implementing strategies to take companies beyond compliance.
These initiatives involve tasks such as:
- Developing and leading a formal sustainability program.
- Creating successful internal partnerships to integrate EHS values and practices across the business.
- Communicating enterprise risks associated with environmental, health, or safety failures.
- Establishing global corporate EHS standards and practices.
- Publicly reporting progress on a full spectrum of EHS and sustainability initiatives.
- Responding to stakeholder inquires about their company’s EHS and sustainability performance.
- Working with supply chain.
- Global auditing.
- Ensuring safe and healthy workplaces around the world.