Environment, health and safety
Environment (E), health (H) and safety (S) (together 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. Commonly, quality - quality assurance & quality control - is adjoined to form the company division known as HSQE.
From a safety standpoint, it involves creating organized efforts and procedures for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances. It also includes training of personnel in accident prevention, accident response, emergency preparedness, and use of protective clothing and equipment.
Better health at its heart, should have the development of safe, high quality, and environmentally friendly processes, working practices and systemic activities that prevent or reduce the risk of harm to people in general, operators, or patients.
From an environmental standpoint, 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.
Regulatory requirements play an important role in EHS discipline and EHS managers must identify and understand relevant EHS regulations, the implications of which must be communicated to executive management so the company can implement suitable measures. Organizations 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.
Notwithstanding the individual importance of these attributes, the various institutions / authors have accented on the acronyms differently. Viz in successful HSE programs also include measures to address ergonomics, air quality, and other aspects of workplace safety that could affect the health and well-being of employees and the overall community. Another researcher transformed it as SHE in 1996, while exploring the "concept of “human quality ” in terms of living standards that must follow later than the health…..[as per the] paradigm of SHEQ, ….raising up the importance of environment upto the “safety of people as a prime consideration". It is because "Safety First" is called in for the commitment to transform the safety culture of [countries].Quality is 'fitness for purpose', and without which each and every endeavour will be futile. . Besides ESH, SHE, HSE, SHEQ, a few more are also in vogue
- Federal / international
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
- Mining Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), etc.
- European Union (EU standards) – Health & Safety At Work Act
- Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
- Safety & Health Council of North Carolina, Massachusetts Nuclear Regulatory Commission, etc.
- Municipal fire departments (building code inspections)
- Environmental Management Agency (EMA)
EHS guidelines cover categories specific to each industry as wells as those that are general to most industry sectors. Examples of general categories and subcategories are:
|1.1 Air emissions and ambient air quality
1.2 Energy conservation
1.3 Wastewater and ambient water quality
1.4 Water conservation
1.5 Hazardous materials management
1.6 Waste management
1.8 Contaminated land
|2. Occupational health and safety|
|2.1 General facility design and operation
2.2 Communication and training
2.3 Physical hazards
2.4 Chemical hazards
2.5 Biological hazards
2.6 Radiological hazards BG
2.7 Personal protective equipment (PPE)
2.8 Special hazard environments
|3. Community health and safety|
|3.1 Water quality and availability
3.2 Structural safety of project infrastructure
3.3 Life and fire safety (L&FS)
3.4 Traffic safety
3.5 Transport of hazardous materials
3.6 Disease prevention
3.7 Emergency preparedness and response
|4. Construction and decommissioning|
4.2 Occupational health and safety
4.3 Community health and safety
The chemical industry introduced the first formal EHS management approach in 1985 as a reaction to several catastrophic accidents (like the Seveso disaster of July 1976 and the Bhopal disaster of December 1984). This worldwide voluntary initiative, called "Responsible Care", started by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (formerly the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association - CCPA), operates in about 50 countries, with central coordination provided by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). It involves eight fundamental features which ensure plant and product safety, occupational health and environmental protection, but which also try to demonstrate by image-building campaigns that the chemical industry acts in a responsible manner. Being an initiative of the ICCA, it is restricted to the chemical industry.
Since the 1990s, general approaches to EHS management that may fit any type of organisation have appeared in international standards such as: The Valdez Principles, that have been formulated to guide and evaluate corporate conduct towards the environment.
- the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), developed by the European Commission in 1993
- ISO 14001 for environmental management in 1996
- ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management in 2018, preceded by OHSAS 18001 1999
In 1998 the International Finance Corporation established EHS guidelines.
- exchange of know-how regarding health, safety and environmental aspects of a material
- promotion of good working practices, such as post-use material collection for recycling
- Kavianian, Hamid R. "Occupational and Environmental Safety Engineering and Management", Van Norstrand Reinhold Company, New York (1990), ISBN 0-442-23822-3
- "Editorial in J. Adv. Res. Prod. Ind. Eng. 2016; 3(2)". 2016-10-14.
- "Safety First". 2016-10-14.
- Joseph M Juran, Defeo Joseph Juran's Quality Handbook: The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence, Mcgraw Hill, 2000
- "H&S, OHS, HSE, HSSE, HSSEQ, HSSEQ/CSR … Alphabet Soupization". Redlog Environmental Ltd. 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- "Model WHS Laws". Safe Work Australia. 2017-11-03. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- Sanyal, R. N. and J. S. Neves: 1991, 'The Valdez Principles: Implications for Corporate Social Responsibility', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 883- 890.
Compare: TEPPFA. "Structure of Working Groups & Application Groups". TEPPFA, The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
Concentrates on: [...] exchange of know-how regarding health- safety- and environmental aspects of plastic pipes and fittings; [...] promotion of good working practices, such as post use material collection for recycling.
- "United States Department of Labor". United States Department of Labor. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety". Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "EHS Today". EHS Today. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "What you need to Know to Prepare Your Organization for Electrical Compliance". Safety+Health Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "Environmental Leader Is Your Source For Energy, Environmental & Sustainability News". Environmental Leader. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "Safety and health at work - EU-OSHA". osha.europa.eu. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "ISHN.com - the magazine for safety & health professionals who direct safety & health programs in high-hazard workplaces". www.ishn.com. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "CDC - The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)". www.cdc.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- "Occupational Health & Safety". Occupational Health & Safety Online. Retrieved 2017-04-07.