Protecting the Public from Environmental Hazards
When it comes to health and safety, many organisations are so concerned with the safety and welfare of their own workers that they forget they also have a responsibility to ensure that they do not directly or indirectly injure or cause illness to members of the public.
Numerous environmental hazards can be inadvertently created as a result of business operations, particularly from workplaces such as construction sites. This can be in the form of excessive dust, noise, pollution of local watercourses, destruction of surrounding land area etc. All of these issues can create danger for the public who may be injured or suffer illnesses as a result. For example, large amounts of dust or other contaminants being released into the air can cause nearby residents to suffer temporary respiratory problems, which may be particularly dangerous for small children or the elderly. Similarly, discharge released into nearby watercourses can cause illness to those who swim or take part in activities like canoeing or windsurfing on the water who accidentally swallow some of the contaminated water.
Environmental health legislation is now in place in virtually every country in the world which places restrictions and legal responsibilities on organisations with regards to how they can impact the environment, particularly how this impact will affect the health of people (although plant and animal life is also considered important too). Environmental health and safety courses such as the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate will provide attendees with a sound level of knowledge for managing the environmental issues and potential impact upon the environment that their organisation has. In fact, environmental issues are becoming so important that many different health and safety qualifications such as the Site Management SMSTS and NEBOSH General Certificate now have an element in their syllabus which deals with the environment and its preservation, covering issues ranging from waste management to COSHH and harmful substances.