Why an Environmental Emergency Plan Can Save Money
Emergency Situations Can Damage The Environment
Any accident or emergency situation can not only put the health and safety of workers and the public at risk of harm, but it can also bring about damage to the surrounding environment. Just as it is important to have plans and procedures in place if there ever is an emergency situation for any type of incident, having a comprehensive environmental emergency plan in place can help to significantly mitigate the impact upon the environment.
Contamination and pollution of the environment can occur rapidly during an emergency situation, and can even occur as a consequence of performing a remedial action to make safe another hazard such as tackling a fire with large volumes of water which wash hazardous chemicals into the surrounding soil and watercourses. Similarly, certain materials which burn in a fire can produce highly toxic and poisonous gases that pollute the air and endanger the health and wellbeing of people, animals and plant life in the vicinity. This area can encompass a significant size depending upon conditions such as wind speed, with effects depending upon the substances involved and the number of people that are currently present in the affected radius from where the incident occurred.
Environmental Health and Safety Training
The potential scope for causing ill-health or death to biological creatures, including people, is just one reason why environmental health and safety courses like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate are so important and increasing in popularity, in conjunction with other health and safety training courses in other areas to provide workers with the knowledge they need to keep themselves and others safe from harm. Being well-trained and highly knowledgeable in how to work safely and prevent accidents with regards to both the environment and health and safety in general will greatly reduce the likelihood of an episode taking place which endangers or damages people's health or animal habitat.
The Financial Consequences of an Environmental Emergency
Dealing with the consequences of an environmental emergency - both as it unfolds and needs bringing under immediate control, and dealing with the aftermath such as clean-up costs - can cost a business considerable amounts of money. Add to this the likely fines which may be imposed by the authorities and the cost of an incident which has a negative effect on the environment can be so expensive that it can sometimes even threaten the very existence of the company.
Companies which pollute or damage the environment, even if it is entirely accidental and a one-off event, are subsequently viewed in a very dim light by the public, many of whom will be current or potential customers of the firm's products or services. The damage to reputation and brand name can further compound the financial problem faced by the company, as not only will they have to pay fines and clean-up costs but they may also see a significant reduction in trading for the foreseeable future.
So whilst the ultimate intention is to prevent environmentally-damaging situations occurring in the first instance, like with other aspects of health and safety it will be virtually impossible to completely reduce the probability right down to zero, which is why it is so necessary for emergency plans to be devised and have employees trained in its implementation so that it can quickly be enacted should the need for it arise. This will help to lessen the monetary cost of the accident, as well as the more important issue of preventing as much destruction to the environment and the health of those living creatures unfortunate enough to be caught up in the incident.