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Environmental Safety: Why Devise Emergency Plans?


Health and Safety and Environmental Training Share the Same Objectives

Just as the primary purpose of health and safety training is to prevent an accident, injury or illness befalling an employee or nearby member of the public, environmental preventative measures such as safety controls and environmental training are intended to prevent an environmental disaster or indeed any negative impact upon the surrounding environment. However, even with all of the training, safety controls, planning and procedures in the world, it will often be impossible to entirely and completely eliminate every single potential risk and danger which may cause harm to a person.

Similarly, the same can be said for the issues which could cause damage to the local environment and have negative consequences for human, plant and animal life in the vicinity. Whilst all reasonable precautions and plans can be made and followed to the letter, there will still be the possibility, however slight, for an incident to occur which has negative repercussions for the environment.

Therefore it is imperative that in addition to doing all they can to prevent such a situation occurring in the first place, the company has comprehensive plans and procedures which can quickly be engaged and put into action should such a situation occur. This will greatly assist with mitigating and limiting the damage being done to the environment. How it does this will depend greatly upon the exact nature of the emergency situation, but can include measures like activating emergency shut-off valves, alerting the emergency services in a timely manner, initiating evacuation procedures quickly and efficiently etc.



Trying to Organise During an Emergency Will Be Too Late

In order for environmental emergency plans to operate as intended and with maximum effectiveness, suitable levels of planning and training need to be utilised, just as they do for emergency procedures not related to the environment. Although emergencies are unpredictable and it is difficult to plan for every possible eventuality, thorough planning needs to be comprehensive enough to cover as many likely scenarios as possible, with certain dangers such as fire or explosion risks being a common possibility of many different disaster situations.



The Need for Communication, Training and Practice Sessions

It is all very well management conduction thorough planning and devising comprehensive action plans, but if they are not properly communication to staff members and practiced through suitable training and periodic drill sessions then they will be next to useless in their effectiveness is nobody knows what to do during an emergency which means certain actions such as shutting off valves or checking certain areas are not performed and left for someone else to do and so it never gets done. Employees need to be fully up to speed with their own role and requirements should an emergency occur, whether environmental or otherwise, in order for the situation to be brought under control as quickly and efficiently as possible, thereby minimising the negative impact upon both the environment and the health of people nearby.




Related Course

Please see below for more information on the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate:

NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

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