Our environment gets affected by various problems like climate change, biodiversity loss and natural resource use. All these have long-term consequences and long-term policy solutions are required to keep the environment safe. It is advisable to anticipate the circumstances lying ahead and get the picture of current, upcoming and underlying developments.
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This will be helpful in making the up to date strategic decisions. A broad mind vision is required to tackle discontinuity and uncertainties of future developments and to plan vigorous policies that can survive in future (Scenarios and forward studies — policy context, n.d.).
The sustainable development policies which are being made at global, European, national or local levels have great concern for the future generations. Many international conventions and protocols support the long term objectives to deal with the problems of environmental change (Scenarios and forward studies — policy context, n.d.).
There are two parts of Risk analysis- Risk Management and Risk Assessment (Ganoulis & Simpson, 2006). Risk management is a process of decision making. It is the result of the risk analysis and risk evaluation (Greiving, n.d.). Before going further we should understand the meaning of risk.
“According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, ‘risk’ is defined as “the possibility of loss of injury” or “someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard” (Stern, 2007). “It is useful in making choices between a range of options and achieving the “required outcome.”
There are many ways of determining the “required outcome”. It can be specified by legislation by way of environmental standards, may be determined by a formalized risk-cost-benefit analysis or may be determined by another process for example “industry norms” or “good practice” (Five step to risk assessment, n.d.).
The aim should be reducing the risks to a certain “acceptable level” within the framework of the available resources (Scenarios and forward studies — policy context, n.d.).A risk assessment is a right formula to protect any organization and its workers (Five step to risk assessment, n.d.).
Risk management and assessment approaches are being used for the solution of environmental issues and for this all the rules and regulations of the legislation are being followed (Chapter 2: The use of risk assessment in environmental management, n.d.).
In the past few years, the approach to deal with environment has been more practical. It is being understood that risk assessment could be applied with the benefit of hindsight (Guidelines for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management, 2009).
An appropriate arrangement system in place for the management and control of environmental matters is highly required by the legislation in the United Kingdom. To meet this requirement it is obligatory that the employers have a well-defined, properly documented and effective environmental management system.
It depends on the organizations to adopt the most suitable system which can contribute to their constant improvement and progress (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.). For environment protection there should be some set standards (How to comply with your Environmental Permit, n.d.).
From the past few the need of risk management have been a matter of great concern (Flaherty & Maki, 2004). Global warming is developing many environmental problems (Hendriks et al, 2005). By using the environmental management system organizations can ensure their legislative compliance as well as their commitment to environment related issues.
By applying such system the standard in the management and control of environmental risks will be improved. This will help in decreasing the environmental incidents, insurance claims and downtime and costs (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.). Environmental subjects are normally more clearer than socio-economic subjects (Smith et al, 2010).
In the Environmental Protection Act 1990 environment is defined as it ‘… consists of all, or any, of the following media, namely the air, water and land’ (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.).
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“So, the term environmental includes the physical surroundings like air, water, land, plants and wildlife that are common to everybody” (ERASM, n.d.). “In 1992, an industry management steering committee on Environmental Risk Assessment and Management has been created to increase top management awareness around European Risk Assessment” (ERASM, n.d.).
Environmental risk management comprises of the some key stages such as (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.). Even environment risk assessment is required for the crops too (Planning Environmental Risk Assessment for Genetically Modified Crops, 2008).
- “identification of hazard in which that situation or property is identified which could cause harm..
- The estimation of the possible consequences includes presence of the hazard, the possibility of the receptors getting affected by the hazard and the consequential damage from exposure to the hazard.
- Risk assessment where the significance of the risk is evaluated by estimating the severity of the consequences” (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.).
“In environmental assessment the concept of source- pathway- receptor is frequently used. The pathway between the source and the receptor is investigated in environmental risk assessment. The pathway is the connecting agent between the source and the receptor.
It determines the consequences linked with the source and the receptor. This approach can be applied to many areas for example assessment of contaminated land.
For achieving risk management certain steps like reducing or modifying the source, managing or breaking the pathway and/or modifying the receptor should be taken” (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.).Environmental Risk Assessment gives the fundamentals of many legislative and regulatory programs (Environmental Risk, n.d.).
Finally, the importance of the risk is assessed concerning environmental standard or other criterion as in legislation, statutory etc. (Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.). Environmental risk assessment can be performed on various levels depending upon its priority and complexity (Environment, Health and Safety Committee Note on: Environmental Risk Assessment, n.d.).
Environmental risk term is used extensively (Environmental Risk Scan, n.d.). Environmental risk assessment proves that one organization’s products are safe for everyone (Environmental Risk Assessment, 2005).
We have become very much concerned with environmental risk issues as they put effect on us (Environmental Risk Advisors, n.d.). Environmental health risk assessment discourses human health concerns and ecological risks (Jafari et al, 2010).
The chief reason to identify risks is to manage, reduce and remove them (Calow, 1998, p.4). There is an extensive range of environmental legislation and these are primarily obliged on the organizations. Though there is no single enabling Act which can bring all legislations related to environment together but they can be grouped under the following headings (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Pollution prevention and control
The Environment Protection Act 1990(EPA) Part1 Institutes the principal of Integrated Pollution Control for those processes which pose a possibility for affecting the environment. The EPA aims at controlling releases into the environment as a whole (land, water, and air).It does not establishes different statutes or enforcement frameworks for each part of environment (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Ecological risk assessment is also the part of environmental risk assessment (Ecological Risk Assessment, n.d.). Many approach whether qualitative or quantitative are being adopted for ecological risk assessment (Leung K.M.Y. & Dudgeon, D. 2008).
“The processes are classified as Part A or Part B processes in The Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations made under the EPA. in England and Wales Part A processes cannot be operated without an authorization from the Environment Agency or in Scotland without authorization from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency” (Wrightson et al, n.d.).
“Part B processes are dealt with in Air Pollution. Part 1 of the EPA is gradually being replaced by a system of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999.The new scheme phased by the industry sectors is more or less same as the present arrangements except for the requirement of an integrated permit for the functioning of some listed processes.
This scheme will include a wider range of issues that are related to environment, health and safety for the site as a whole and not only sanctioning authorization to an individual process” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Air Pollution
“Local Authority Air Pollution Control system was introduced by the EPA which establishes that Part B listed processes require an authorization from the Local Authority for their operations. The Clean Air Act 1993 which is also administered by the Local Authority has the right to control the release of dark smoke, grit and dust” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
“This Act prohibits the release of dark smoke from chimneys and also directs the length of the chimneys” (Wrightson et al, 2008). “The smoke control areas can be declared and emission rate of grit and dust can be put in limits by the Local Authority” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
The air pollution is becoming the cause of diseases like asthma, tuberculosis etc. giving warning to the health of the people (Environmental risk factors and prevalence of asthma, tuberculosis and jaundice in India, 2007).
Legislation for Statutory Nuisances
“Statutory nuisances include the pollution created by smoke, dust, fumes, steam, odors and noise” (Wrightson et al, 2008). “The Local Authority has the right to serve abatement notices to check a statutory nuisance” (Wrightson et al, 2008). “On the other hand, an individual can also apply for an abatement order in the Magistrates Court” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Waste
“Part II of the EPA imposes duties on waste producers requiring them to stop anyone from depositing, treating or disposing of waste illegally; prevent the escape of waste; ensure that waste is transferred to (and by) an authorized person; and ensure that an accurate description of waste is provided when the waste is transferred and ensure that a transfer note is completed.
A license is required by all people involved in the disposal, treatment or storage of waste under the EPA and the Waste Licensing Regulations 1994. The identification and management of hazardous wastes is covered under the Hazardous Waste Regulations2005” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Noise and Vibration Pollution
“If noise and vibration produced from a site is found to be harmful to health or is a nuisance in general comes under statutory nuisance. However, there is a range of more specific controls within other legislation including Part III of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993, the Noise Act 1996, the Control of Noise (Codes of Practice for Construction and Open Sites)
(England) Order 2002 and the Control of Noise (Codes of Practice for Construction and Open Sites)(Wales) Order 2002” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Water Pollution
“The EPA, the Water Industry Act 1991 and the Water Resources Act 1991 are the main legislative requirements relating to the discharge of trade effluent and water pollution” (Wrightson et al, 2008). “It is an offence to discharge trade effluent either into controlled waters or a sewer.
Consent has to be attained from the Environment Agency, in England and Wales, or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in order to discharge trade effluent into controlled waters, and from the local sewage undertaker (Water Companies in England and Wales, Scottish Water in Scotland and Water Services in Northern Ireland) for discharge into sewers” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
“An integrated advancement towards the protection, improvement and sustainable use of the water environment is endorsed by the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). The implementation of these Regulations will identify the hazardous substance discharges which should be ceased and the use of which should be brought to an end by 2020.
The anticipated EU Groundwater Daughter Directive will commence the precautionary approach to put a stop to pollution and this will need to be addressed by the UK in future. Other regulations will also be introduced in due course to establish and implement river basin districts under the requirements of the Directive.
The magistrates are given powers to increase fines and stronger powers are given to the Drinking Water Inspectorate by the Water Act 2003” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
“The Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, Part II makes it mandatory to acquire a license from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for the dumping of substances or articles at sea or under the seabed” (Wrightson et al, 2008).
Legislation for Food, Pesticides and Chemicals
“The Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA), provides controls to reduce the risk of contamination of food in the environment. “Part I of the Act gives Ministers the power to make emergency orders to prevent hazards to human health” (Wrightson et al, 2008.)
“Part III of the FEPA deals with both the control of pesticides and the issuing of codes of practice relating to the use of pesticides. The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 made under FEPA gave a legal basis to the former Pesticides Safety Precautions Scheme for the approval of new and existing pesticides.
The packaging, labeling, transport, storage and use of chemicals are covered in a number of sets of Regulations made under HSWA. Some of these Regulations include environmental issues, notably the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH)” (Wrightson et al, 2008.).
Legislation for Recovery of Packaging Waste
The Environment Act 1995, poses a range of Regulations on the implementation the Packaging Waste Directive. “The Producer Responsibility Obligation (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 and succeeding amendments set targets for the recovery and recycling of various types packaging waste” (Wrightson et al, n.d.).
“The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 1998 necessitate that the packaging volume and weight be limited to the minimum sufficient amount to maintain the necessary level of safety, hygiene and acceptance for the packed product and for the consumer. The concentration of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium in packaging is also limited” (Wrightson et al, 2008.).
Legislation for health and Safety at work is also made to deal with health and safety issues with the people who are working (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, n.d.).
Most environmental legislation imposes duties on organizations. However, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Clean Air Act 1993duties can be imposed on Directors of organizations. This requirement relates to the most senior level of management who are, in effect, part of the “directing mind” of an organization and, therefore, control it (Wrightson et al, 2008.).
Now if we assess the environmental risk in any organization, before that we will have to understand that an organization’s financial reputation can be affected badly due to environmental risk. It can very badly affect the financial performance, brand and reputation of an organization (Environmental, 2011).
Now-a-days are UK organizations are in better position to prevent pollution which have been possible through physical control. Still, some organizations may come to know later that their insurance policies are not much beneficial in any environmental damage or the managers of the organizations are not much aware of any damage.
It is very important for an organization to know about some environmental risk related issues as discussed following (Environmental, 2011):
- If the organization knows all about environmental risks
- If the organization is aware of all insurance policies
- If the organization is aware of new responsibilities related to environmental risk
- If the organization has evaluated the insurance cost
CEFIC: it is a chemical industry and based in Brussels. It is known as European Chemical Industry Council (ERASM, n.d.).
CEFIC understands environmental and human health effects. It is stick to use safe modes for chemical substances and follows the rules of EU and global legislation made for such uses. The EU rules and regulations came into existence in June 2007 to make safe use of chemical substances and Cefic is following those rules since then.
Cefic is constantly participating in environmental and health issues and it is willing for a constant integrated approach for making policies. Cefic not only abides by the rules and regulations of legislation but also promises to improve its chemical management. That is why it takes deliberate initiatives and follows some specific action programs (Environment & Health, n.d).
“Cefic is a partner in the Integrated Assessment of Health Risks of Environmental Stressors in Europe (INTARESE), a five-year EU-funded project that aims to provide methods and tools for the integrated risk assessment of health risks from environmental factors such as air quality, water pollution and climate change.
Through Research and workshops funded by its Long-range Research initiative (LRI), Cefic is contributing to the development of new methods of integrated risk assessment and tools aimed at better understanding the concept of dose, exposure and risk” (Environment & Health, n.d, Para 6).
Managing Water Quality: The Water Framework Directive is now being implemented to get positive results by 2015 (How to Protect and manage Europe’s Water, n.d.). Cefic is also trying to maintain the standards set by the Water Framework Directive for water protection and management.
“The establishment of strict limits for 33 substances ranked as priority substances (Environmental Quality Standards, EQS) should be done through transparent selection processes, which continue to follow a risk-based approach” (How to Protect and manage Europe’s Water, n.d.).
Cefic is doing its best to contribute in conscripting water guidelines. “This Directive is a living exercise” (How to Protect and manage Europe’s Water, n.d.). “The PHS list is to be reviewed at least every four years. Cefic is, for example, a member of an electronic forum designed to exchange the most recent scientific information on the water issue” (How to Protect and manage Europe’s Water, n.d.).
“Cefic has also contributed to the creation of guidelines for the mixing zones in the vicinity of point source discharges in those parts of the water body where EQSD cannot be met, due to the high levels of pollutants in the effluents” (How to Protect and manage Europe’s Water, n.d.).
Except all these environmental issues Cefic is very much concerned with air pollution too and for that reason it is taking extra care to deal with any issue related to air pollution (How can we ensure cleaner air for Europe, n.d.).
The Hyelm Group
The Hyelm Group provides elevated standards of accommodation, services and amenities for people coming to or staying in London to work or study (The Hyelm Group, 2011). The group offers good, homely environment to London’s key workers and young people. The accommodations are affordable by the people having low to moderate income (The Hyelm Group, 2009).
It is a non-profit organization that is committed to offer better accommodation, services and facilities to its clients and constantly developing and spreading out the same to fulfill the increasing and changing requirements of the clients (The Hyelm Group, 2009).
For being a successful organization not only internal but also external environment should be taken care of (What Is The Impact Of External Environment In A Organization, Give The Latest Examples?,n.d.). In the year 2003 Envex started working with Hyelm to manage their legionella risk and there after helped them in implementing a comprehensive health and safety management system.
Modified Health & Safety Policies & procedures were developed on the basis of the findings of the risk audit. It is ensured that policies stay up to date and also reviewed time to time and update tenants’ handbooks on health and safety issues (Envex Clients and Case studies, 2011).
To meet the requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; fire risk assessments were periodically reviewed with updated management action plans. It also provided training to fire wardens and general staff on fire safety and was reviewed by Fire Brigade with positive comments. Legionella risk assessments with a written scheme for the present management.
Thereafter these risk were reviewed in-line with the Approved Code of Practice L8.It also provided periodic oversight of contractors as well as provided guidance on contract specifications so that the Group’s needs were met satisfactorily.
Conducting COSHH & Manual Handling risk assessments for housekeeping staff.Risk assessments on key risk areas e.g. running a resident’s bar & parties for residents was also conducted.Use of high level terraces by residents e.g. slips & trips, falls, BBQs, security, safety of the public below.Falls from windows using the Housing H&S Rating System (Envex Clients and Case studies, 2011).
Contractor management systems including Permit to Work and other safe systems of work to make sure that risk is properly managed and to ensure best value is delivered at the required safety standard e.g. Legionella, cleaning, kitchen/catering provision. Guidance is provided on stress policies and the HSE’s stress management initiatives to avoid stress at work place.
The delivery of a broad- spectrum of bespoke H&S Training: including General H&S for Managers, Principles and Practice of Risk Assessment for Duty Managers, General H&S for staff, Manual Handling training for staff, Legionella Responsible Person, DSE awareness and Fire Safety (Envex Clients and Case studies, 2011).
Source: The OECD Environmental Risk Assessment Toolkit: Tools for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management. Web.
Hatsu Marine Ltd: The above said two companies are already following all the rules and regulations made for environmental risk. One more company Hatsu Marine is also committed to apply all the rules and regulation made for environmental risk responsible and that is why company has achieved the certification of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for quality ships and well trained crews.
After getting ISO 14000 in 2004 Hatsu announced that this “accreditation reduces the risk of environmental incidents which may bring with them pollution and significant legal and recovery costs. It also demonstrates to regulatory authorities that the company is proactive in reducing pollution risks and is committed to upgrading its systems on a continuous basis.
This should also reduce the likelihood of delays due to port inspections, as companies holding this accreditation are less likely to be targeted for environmental inspections” (Hatsu Marine Ltd achieves ISO 14000/EMS accreditation, 2004).
Hatsu believes that according to estimation “every year more than 2 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die from waste materials discarded by humans. Rain forests, home to many precious species, are shrinking at an alarming rate of 10 million hectare per year.
In view of this depletion of natural resources and exploitation of the environment, governments and protection groups have been calling the world’s attention to these serious problems. They are also trying to stop the worsening situation through binding agreements and regulations” (Hatsu Marine Scoops Coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise, 2006).
Hatsu has presented its new S-Class ships and it has successfully met with all the regulations whether national or international made for marine environment.
“It incorporates double-skinned hulls and fuel tanks located within the transverse bulkhead spaces, thus minimizing the risk of oil pollution or fire as a result of grounding or collision. They also feature ‘cold-ironing’, or the ability to shut down all shipboard generators while in port and switch to shore-based electricity supplies” (Hatsu Marine Scoops Coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise, 2006).
Hatsu has positively accepted all the rules made by UK legislation for water safety and pollution by designing its ships in that way and by training its staff moderately. The accreditation received by the company shows that it is very much concerned with the environment safety and trying to develop its all strategies to save the environment in all the ways.
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