Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS)


What is Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS)?

Environment, health, and safety, or EHS, is defined as a field that evaluates the practical elements of protecting the environment, while also maintaining health and safety in a workplace. 

EHS teams are responsible for making sure that the company does not undertake any activities that may cause severe harm to the environment, or to employees and others. 

As the name suggests, EHS teams are responsible for three main things: protecting the environment, the health, and the safety of the company’s stakeholders. 

The Importance of Environment, Health, and Safety

It’s hard to understate the importance of environment, health, and safety teams in the modern workplace. Many companies are required by regulation to set up EHS teams to review different activities and estimate their impact on the environment, and on the stakeholders. 

Each of the attributes must be independently evaluated and the recommendations put forth must be implemented. Companies often set up EHS programs to measure points like air quality, ergonomics in the workplace, and jobsite safety. 

Without EHS regulation, there is a risk that companies may end up causing irreversible damage to the environment. Or, they may not care as much about the health and safety of its employees. 

EHS teams can review general safety performance in the workplace and give their suggestions, which could help the company mitigate the risk of safety incidents, and ensure that it complies with CSR and environmental obligations.

General Responsibilities of EHS Teams

Environment, health, and safety teams have several responsibilities, as discussed below. 

Environmental Responsibilities

Teams are responsible for tracking the impact of the company’s activities on the general environment. This may include proposing steps to conserve water usage, checking air quality, or recommending steps to reduce energy consumption. 

In organizations where hazardous materials are used, EHS teams are responsible for devising a safe method for handling hazardous materials, and also for its disposal. They must also prepare steps for mitigating noise or decontaminating land and other spaces.

Health and Safety Responsibilities for Employees

Similarly, EHS teams are also responsible for managing the overall health and safety of the employees in the organization. 

This means identifying any major risks or hazards, including physical, chemical, or biological, and recommending steps to mitigate or eliminate these risks.

EHS teams are also responsible for mandating standards for wearing PPE and monitoring its use to ensure employee safety. 

Health and Safety Responsibilities Towards the Community

EHS teams play an important role in making sure that the organization doesn’t harm the community at large due to its activities. From disease prevention to traffic safety and the transport of hazardous materials, they play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of the community. 

They devise plans for disease prevention, water testing and availability, fire safety, and also ensure the availability of resources in case of an emergency. 

For instance, on a construction site, EHS teams are responsible for making plans for decommissioning as well as making sure that all workers know how to properly protect themselves. 

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is another important duty of EHS teams. They review regulations depending on the industry and then devise plans to ensure that the company abides by them. 

EHS guidelines differ based on industry and the region, but almost every major country has some principles that companies are required to follow.

Empower Your EHS Teams with Protex AI

Protex AI is a robust workplace safety solution that seamlessly connects to your company’s existing CCTV infrastructure. It helps companies monitor safety conditions and compliance, and allows EHS teams to make better decisions.

With Protex AI, EHS teams are capable of making data-driven decisions that benefit the company. It’s a fully customizable solution, allowing EHS teams to use their knowledge and create custom rules tailored to their work conditions. 

This helps improve safety in the workplace considerably and gives EHS teams critical information about near misses or safety events, which they can use for more effective decision-making. 

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