Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) (EHS)

Definition - What does Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) (EHS) mean?

Environmental health and safety (EHS or HSE or SHE) is the department in a company or an organization involved in environmental protection, safety at work, occupational health and safety, compliance and best practices. EHS aims to prevent and reduce accidents, emergencies and health issues at work.

Safeopedia explains Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) (EHS)

Business organizations are feeling more and more pressure to reduce environmental pollution caused by their services or production processes, and reduce accidents in the workplaces ensuring better health of their employees and the third parties. Some of these compulsions are required by law, demanded by their customers, or the owner’s aspirations for higher quality production. EHS ensures a systematic method of prevention of accidents and emergencies including fire, solid or liquid waste management, reduction of environmental footprints and use of carbon energy, improving safety and health of the workers, employee ergonomics and confirming a risk free workplace. EHS also aims to prevent workers from suffering from occupational diseases.

Formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the 1970s initiated the requirement of environmental management. Soon after it was followed by other regulatory systems at the state levels. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, required many other compliances for the industries to protect employees. In the 1990s the EHS started functioning at the company level. Professionals were required to reassess and redesign the production processes to become more eco-friendly and health risk free. ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 have set standards of EHS internationally. Business leaders are now becoming increasingly responsible for implementing EHS in their organizations.

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