Prevention of Leaks and Spillages for Environmental Safety
The prevention of any accident or incident is preferable when it comes to safeguarding the health and safety of living creatures, including people. This philosophy is also true when it comes to environmental safety, with prevention being far more preferable than having to sort out the consequences and deal with the aftermath.
A cause of a high percentage of environmental damage is through leaks and spillages of substances hazardous to health. The substances involved will vary but typical ones include oil and sewage. It is imperative that companies have procedures in place which minimise and reduce the chances of a leak or spill occurring to as low a level as is reasonably practical not only to prevent damage to the environment, but also to avoid any regulatory fines or even criminal prosecution in severe cases of negligence or breaking of legislation. As well as having procedures in place, a company also needs to ensure that their employees are suitably trained in how to comply with them in order to obtain maximum effectiveness. Health and safety training is an area which cannot be skipped over or done on the cheap as the consequences of an accident or incident taking place can be extremely severe for both those involved and for the company's management and directors. Employees need to have a good knowledge of general health and safety risks and issues as well as a thorough understanding of how procedures and control measures operate and their role and responsibilities in relation to them. As far as environmental safety is concerned, having employees who hold the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate will translate into a workforce who are much more aware of how their actions can negatively affect the environment.
Along with training programmes and control procedures, it is also important that companies perform regular inspections and maintenance on machinery and equipment. Even when all procedures are followed to the letter, a fault in equipment such as pipework or storage containers can result in the escape of hazardous liquids into the ground and surrounding watercourses.
Preventing leaks and spillages, certainly the prevention of any substances that have escaped from getting out and damaging the environment, often does not require significant investment or disruption to operations to establish. Additional health and safety training (including refresher courses), along with regular inspections, good maintenance practices and simple safeguards such as bunded areas and storage containers with thicker walls can make the difference between an environmental disaster occurring or not.