What is EHS ?

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 5106 | Date: 13-Nov-2012

Companies that aspire to be better environmental stewards invest in strong environmental, health and safety management, otherwise known as EHS. From an environmental standpoint, it involves creating a systematic approach to managing waste, complying with environmental regulations, or reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Successful EHS programs also include measures to address ergonomics, air quality, and other aspects of workplace safety that could affect the health and well-being of employees.

What is EHS?

EHS Cares

Environment, Health and Safety

Companies that aspire to be better environmental stewards invest in strong environmental, health and safety management, otherwise known as EHS. From an environmental standpoint, it involves creating a systematic approach to managing waste, complying with environmental regulations, or reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Successful EHS programs also include measures to address ergonomics, air quality, and other aspects of workplace safety that could affect the health and well-being of employees.

What does an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) manager do?

Management-level environmental, health and safety, and sustainability leaders are the environmental stewards of the corporate world, working behind the scenes at many of the country's largest companies to comply with regulations, advocate for progressive environmental policies, and protect workers' safety.

Engineers or scientists by training, EHS Managers bring a highly specialized skill set to their work, marrying technical expertise with management skills to translate corporate policy into practice.

How does EHS relate to sustainability?

With the advent of sustainability, our members’ skills and experience are more important than ever. EHS leaders are increasingly responsible for designing and implementing strategies to take companies beyond compliance.

These initiatives involve tasks such as:

  • Developing and leading a formal sustainability program
  • Creating successful internal partnerships to integrate EHS values and practices across the business
  • Communicating enterprise risks associated with environmental, health, or safety failures
  • Establishing global corporate EHS standards and practices
  • Publicly reporting progress on a full spectrum of EHS and sustainability initiatives
  • Responding to stakeholder inquires about their company’s EHS and sustainability performance
  • Working with supply chain
  • Global auditing
  • Ensuring safe and healthy workplaces around the world

What is the history of the EHS profession?

The corporate EHS function, which oversees environmental, health and safety compliance began to merge at the management level around 1990.

The first area is environmental management, which emerged as a profession in the 1970s, following the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other state-level regulatory systems. As companies began limiting waste to prevent pollution, they needed engineers to adapt scrubbers, filters, and other process changes to existing manufacturing systems. Workplace safety and occupational health also grew in importance during this time, with the passage of legislation such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Over time, companies developed systematic way of complying with environmental, health and safety regulations. Corporations began tracking key measures and looking for ways to improve their performance. Then, in the 1990s, improvements in data technology management made it easier for an organization to analyze its operations. Around that time, corporations began to merge oversight for environmental, health and safety programs through a new management role called EHS. The newly appointed leaders, who began their careers in one of the three sub-disciplines, started to create systems to drive EHS progress across all operations.

Today, with the advent of sustainability, EHS professionals are leading corporate efforts toward sustainability. Building on their decades of experience, EHS leaders are striving to meet this challenge, creating systems to reduce energy use, conserve water, and better communicate with stakeholders. Indeed, a 2009 NAEM survey found that two-thirds of the sustainability initiatives at member companies are being led or managed by the EHS function.

Environment, Health & Safety (EHS)

EHS Objectives

We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus, contributing to a better future. As a signatory of Responsible Care®, BASF is dedicated to the fundamental tenets of safeguarding people’s health, protecting the environment, reducing risk and supporting sustainable growth. We believe that our commitment to sustainability generates value for us and our stakeholders, as well as for future generations.

EHS Activities

We undertake various activities that help us use natural resources more efficiently, minimize emissions, protect the ecology and ensure the safety of people.

Climate Protection

Climate protection is an issue that affects us all. BASF has undertaken several steps globally in the area of climate protection. In India, in 2010, logistics played a large role in controlling carbon dioxide emissions. Our production site in Mangalore used shipping transportation instead of largely relying on road transport for the movement of bulk cargo.

Product Stewardship

At BASF, product stewardship does not end at the factory gates.

We review the safety of our products along the entire value chain from our raw materials suppliers to our own production and finally to our customers. We not only adhere to national legislations in India, we also comply with international legislations like the European REACH, which impacts Indian manufacturers exporting to Europe. In 2010, we registered all of our substances produced with a volume of greater than or equal to 1000 t/a.

In 2011, we started working towards achieving the next deadline of 2013 by registering all substances produced with a volume greater than or equal to 100 t/a. Our Trade Control Compliance program ensures compliance with relevant legal requirements. We regularly communicate new regulatory changes to customers and all involved. With these measures, we support the Global Product Strategy of the International Council of Chemical Associations.

Occupational Safety


Under occupational safety, we strive to reduce accidents and injuries.

There were no fatalities in 2011. Safety campaigns were conducted for the benefit of all employees, including contract employees. This began with training programs and manuals on hazard identification and risk assessment, work permit system, accident incident reporting and global incident database.

Safety initiative C.A.R.E.:

In 2011, BASF continued to support behavior based safety through the regional C.A.R.E. program, which was rolled out at the Nalagarh site, Kolkata office, Chandigarh office and two office locations in Mumbai (Bandra Kurla and Navi Mumbai).

C.A.R.E. stands for Communication, Awareness, Responsibility and Excellence. In addition, a travel safety template in Hindi was prepared for BASF travelers in India.


Lost Time Injury Rate

In 2011, BASF reported a Lost Time Injury Rate per million working hours of 0.46 for BASF employees (2010: 0.25) and 0.00 for contractors and lease employees (2010: 0.40).


Process Safety
BASF carries out a five-step system of reviews for the planning and construction of new chemical plants to protect the health of our employees, neighbors and the environment. As a part of this initiative, we carried out “Process Safety Workshops” at our different sites. To ensure proper hazard analysis of any change at our existing plants, we strengthened the management of change process, to review all technical or organizational changes.

Emergency Response
At BASF in India, we have a well rehearsed “On Site” and “Off Site” emergency incident and crisis management plan. We also invite the neighboring community and district crisis committee to the mock drills. The incident and crisis management plan for BASF in India is in line with our regional incident and crisis management plan to minimize the overall negative impact of a given situation. We have also launched a comprehensive disaster management program for our employees. A well-equipped disaster control centre has been created at our office in Navi Mumbai and is staffed with qualified professionals.

  Distribution Safety
We ensure that all our transporters and warehouse operators meet minimum safety requirements by conducting Road Safety Assessment of road haulers and Warehouse Safety Assessments of the safety performance of the warehouse operator and assess the potential risks from products stored. Regular workshops are conducted by global and regional experts from BASF. Furthermore, Tank Terminals for bulk storage of raw materials are used only after a risk assessment is conducted by the product steward of the respective business unit in line with the Chemical Distribution Institute terminal assessment programs.
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