A brief understanding of Environmental Safety Management Systems

Environmental Safety Management Systems, as the name suggests, are a set of regulations and practices meant for ensuring the safety and protection of employees from the adverse effects of the environment. During the course of their work, the employees in many types of industries are exposed to many hazards of the environment. In the same manner, the general public too, is exposed to the same.


The aim of Environmental Safety Management Systems is to minimize the dangers from these factors. Normally, Environmental Safety Management Systems work on environmental safety from two perspectives: Taking steps to prevent the incidence of environmental hazards and accidents in the first place, and two, taking steps so minimize the fallouts of the hazards and accidents, should they happen.

Environmental Safety Management Systems as regulatory requirements

In most countries, putting Environmental Safety Management Systems in place has to be in accordance with set regulatory practices. In the US, the Code of Federal Regulations has specific guidelines on the way organizations of different kinds have to implement Environmental Safety Management Systems. CFR 20, CFR 40 and CFR 49 deal with the Environmental Safety Management Systems aspects that organizations have to put in place to ensure compliance with laws relating to the environment.


The spirit behind CFR regulations

CFR regulations on Environmental Safety Management Systems have detailed the ways in which organizations have to work toward putting Environmental Safety Management Systems in place. These regulations vary according to the industry for which they are prescribed, as well as the nature of the hazard that needs to be addressed. Primarily, these regulations work on ensuring environmental safety from these standpoints:

  • Ensuring health and safety of employees and others concerned by taking the right steps for prevention of workplace hazards and risks related to the environment: This involves identifying the sources of hazards at the workplace that could react with the environment and cause dangers. This entails having to identify the possible types of work that could cause environmental dangers and eliminating or at least reducing their impact. It also involves having to identify substances that could cause dangers to the environment. Putting an Environmental Safety Management Systems in place in this case also involves providing staff with the qualified instruments, accessories and protective gear and offering them training on all aspects of safety.
  • In relation to the environment: At another level, Environmental Safety Management Systems also consist of taking measures to control the effects of workplace activities that could affect the environment. Examples of this kind of Environmental Safety Management Systems include keeping a check on emissions, managing the waste efficiently, and so on. Under this step, the following need to be regulated for their environmental impact as part of an effective Environmental Safety Management Systems plan: