Using Training to Instil an Environmental Awareness Culture
Throughout a variety of other health and safety articles we have seen how the successful promotion and development of a comprehensive health and safety culture within a business or organisation depends to a great extent upon the attitudes of management. If managers do not regard health and safety training or the need for working safely as particularly important, or prioritise the achievement of deadlines through sacrificing safety controls in order to save time, then the likelihood of accidents occurring are greatly increased.
Just as the health and safety of employees and nearby members of the public can be impacted through attitudes and the business culture instilled by management, so too can approaches and ways of thinking when it comes to the environment. In fact, environmental issues are often given even less respect than the health, safety and wellbeing of human beings, as many managers and directors will only focus upon their particular company and its operations in a microcosm without considering the negative effects which they may be having upon the local environment. Often this is because the effects are likely to be small when viewed as a single event, but the cumulative effects over a long period of time could mean that they have a devastating impact upon the environment.
Whilst it is all too easy and tempting for managers to instruct workers to sacrifice environmental and health and safety controls and safeguards in order to meet deadlines, increased legislation and better rights for workers means that it is more likely than ever before for managers, directors and owners of a business to face civil or criminal prosecution for violations of laws and regulations. A greater interconnection between people all over the world through the internet and social media means that negative news events, such as those brought about through bad accidents or environmental damage can have ruinous effects upon the reputation of a company.
This means that instilling an environmental awareness culture within an organisation is more important than ever before if a business wants to prosper in the 21st century, just as it is to create a health and safety culture also. This will ultimately come from managers and directors, through the provision of environmental training courses like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate and ensuring that environmental control procedures and safeguards which have been introduced are understood, enforced and complied with, both during normal business operations and when deadlines are tight. When workers know that these methods of working are not optional or flexible, they are much more likely to conform to them at all times rather than picking and choosing whether to apply them or not.