EHS environmental health is the study and practice of protecting people and the environment from harmful exposures to hazardous materials. It is a vast field that includes everything from chemical safety to radiation protection. The importance of EHS environmental health cannot be overstated. Every day, people are exposed to hazardous materials both in their workplaces and in their communities. Without proper safeguards, these exposures can cause serious injuries or even death.
An effective EHS environmental health program:
It should include a variety of components, including a hazard communication program, a written site-specific EHS environmental health plan, an EHS environmental health training and education program, a monitoring and surveillance program to detect exposures, a medical screening and surveillance program for people who have been exposed to hazardous materials, a proper incident investigation process when accidents happen, and an effective medical removal benefits (MRB) program.
The Hazard Communication Program:
It is often one of the most important components of an effective EHS environmental health program. Many employers already have a comprehensive hazard communication program in place. If this is not the case, however, there are several things that employers should do to put together an effective hazard communication program. First, they should identify all hazardous materials that are used in the workplace.
Second, they should document how these hazardous materials are used and stored on site. Third, they should identify any personal protective equipment, engineering controls, or administrative controls that are currently in place to keep workers safe while handling these hazardous materials. Finally, employers should create a written plan for communicating information about hazardous materials to both workers and other interested parties, including the public.
The Written Site-Specific EHS Environmental Health Plan:
It is another vital component of an effective EHS environmental health program. A written site-specific EHS environmental health plan should include all relevant information necessary to communicate the hazards posed by the hazardous materials at a specific site so that any person who could be exposed to those hazards knows what they are and how to safely handle them. This should include information about the type of hazardous material, how it is used, how it is stored, any personal protective equipment that may be necessary to keep workers safe when handling these materials, incident response procedures that would be implemented if an accident were to happen involving these hazardous materials, and any other precautions that should be taken.
An EHS environmental health training and education program is another important component of an effective EHS environmental health program. Workers need to be properly trained and educated on the hazards posed by hazardous materials used in their workplaces as well as how those hazards can affect them.