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health, safety & environment and its growing importance in today’s times

health, safety & environment and its growing importance in today’s times

HSE refers to a system, which looks at protecting the environment and maintaining health and safety of individuals. Several organizations and governments around the world are acknowledging the importance of adopting HSE measures in view of ensuring good health and safety for their employees.

The Safety aspect involves making organized efforts for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations. The Health aspect, on the other hand, involves the development of safe, high quality, and environmentally friendly processes to reduce the risk of harm to people. Environment here involves creating processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

HSE DURING COVID TIMES

With the onset of pandemic, maintaining and following COVID protocols has become critical and is identified to be the most effective way of combating the pandemic. Following norms like social distancing, wearing masks and using sanitizers is absolutely essential to maintain a safe environment for others and ourselves.

Making workplaces secure as the pandemic rages on around us is another important aspect that would fall under the purview of HSE. Ensuring safety protocols at work and other organizations could go a long way in the fight against COVID. This would minimize risk posed to workers and those who are most vulnerable to the impacts such as school going children.

Experts Speak

To enhance our knowledge on the issue, we spoke to Dr. S.P. Garg, former executive director at GAIL India, who gives his views on how HSE is emerging as one of the most crucial sustainability challenges, especially during times of uncertainties.

Do you think HSE is emerging as one of the most crucial sustainability challenges, especially during times of uncertainties characterized by extreme weather events, cyclones, pandemics etc.?

HSE is a crucial challenge. The kind of environment was not seen earlier so there was no preparedness initially. However, the positive part is in India people have adapted well.  Organizations have been resilient and manpower has become agile and alert. In a way, the pandemic has given rise to positive anxiety and everyone is giving their 100%. There has been an increase in efficiency and productivity we’ve learnt a lot during these times.

What things must businesses across the board incorporate, especially businesses with complex operations, so that health and safety risks can be minimized in these times?

In order to incorporate HSE in organisations, it is very important to pay attention to the company culture. There should be no quick fix solutions for long-term business sustainability. For example, a good culture practice would be where an employe goes to his workplace and an employee follows the protocol even without supervision.

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Feature: COVID-19

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