Why Environmental Breaches Can Be Expensive
Any environmental breach or act of negligence can result in a costly and expensive headache for those responsible, as most developed countries have strict rules and regulations in place to protect the environment and safeguard the health and safety of all living beings which may be at risk from harm. In conjunction with this legislation, there usually exists substantial punitive measures to punish wrongdoers and act as a deterrent to prevent others from damaging the environment through a form of pollution or other means.
The size of the financial punishment will vary greatly depending upon the laws of the land where the incident took place, the severity of the offence and the damage caused to the environment and loss of income for businesses, especially those in the tourism and leisure industry for example. Even so, it is highly likely that the fine will still cause a substantial impact upon the profitability of the company in question, possibly even putting it at risk of closure if it cannot afford to pay its bills as a result, which obviously makes avoiding any fine highly desirable.
Costs as Well as Fines
Not only can fines be levied, but polluters and contaminators can also be liable for paying the costs of cleaning up the environmental mess caused by themselves. This amount of money can be extremely high, as it is likely that specialised equipment and highly trained personnel will need to be brought in to return the area to a condition where it no longer poses a hazard to the health and safety of people, plant life or animals.
Environmental Training for Avoiding Breaches
In order to avoid breaching environmental regulations, a number of things need to happen. If the breach was as a result of a deliberate action in terms of the company knew the regulations but still went ahead and deliberately took an action which damaged the surrounding environment in some way, then the whole attitude and working culture needs to change, starting with the managers and directors of the business. Hopefully a substantial fine and costs will achieve this.
More likely though is that the breach came about accidentally, not as a result of management instructions but because of a lack of thorough knowledge about how certain actions can cause environmental accidents, an ignorance regarding the hazard level associated with the particular substances used, or inadequate control measures in place to prevent such accidental incidents from happening. This is where environmental training and qualifications like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate along with specialist training on the correct operation of control measures will be crucial, as the increased knowledge for workers and operatives is required for minimising the chances of an environmental incident taking place.