Graphic: Healthy environment copyright

Health Environment Safety & Social

Management in Enterprises (HESSME)

, a global environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulatory consultancy firm, identify the current and pending regulatory requirements and have produced the following list of priorities for the next couple of years. The 'Workplace Wellbeing' programme, based on HESSME, should help organisations deal with these priority areas together.

Global EHS Priorities for 2004

A review of over 2000 individual policy and regulatory developments in over 40 countries on five continents has yielded the following list of ten key priority areas that will challenge companies to adapt over the coming 12-18 months:

1. New global chemicals management system and fundamental change in the regime for admitting new and existing chemicals onto the market (cost for implementing may top USD 30 billion over the coming decade, but will streamline many aspects of international chemicals trade)

2. Spread of GHG emissions trading schemes and other regulatory frameworks to promote energy efficiency to combat global climate change (energy costs will continue to rise, but more energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure will become available)

3. Tougher workplace safety standards to eliminate injuries and fatalities, along with more demanding accident and illness reporting standards

4. Spreading of extended producer responsibility (e.g., take-back) measures aimed at holding manufacturers responsible for the life-cycle environmental impacts of the products they place on the market, as well as other measures aimed at preventing or reducing the volumes and toxicity of wastes generated

5. Extension of industrial emergency planning and response requirements, particularly to smaller facilities and to lower threshold quantities of hazardous materials

6. Stepped up initiatives aimed at improving urban air quality, particularly in Asian countries, but also in Europe and North America

7. Greater measures to promote the sustainable use of water resources, particularly in areas hard hit by ongoing drought and water scarcity problems (industry is the fastest growing user of the world’s freshwater resources)

8. Tighter requirements aimed at reducing workplace noise exposures and protection of hearing (excessive noise is viewed as the most common occupational hazard)

9 More countries implementing mandatory environmental performance reporting, including in countries where this has heretofore been voluntary (France seems poised to influence EU-wide rules in this area)

10 Broadening existing management systems to ensure achievement of environmental protection goals and, more recently, occupational safety and health protection objectives through the OHSAS 18000 standard.

The Executive Summary of the "2004 Global Forecast of Environmental Health and Safety Policy and Regulatory Developments Impacting Industry." Issued by ENHESA - Environmental Policy Centre (EPC) (in Pdf format)

The full report "2004 Global Forecast of Environmental Health and Safety Policy and Regulatory Developments Impacting Industry."

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