To comply with environmental laws and avoid harsh penalties deal with these four environmental factors

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 09 Jan. 2015

Tags: environmental laws, environmental factors, company environmental impact, limit company impact on the environment, health and safety environment factors

There are many factors that make up workplace health and safety.

You might think they all focus primarily on protecting your employees from workplace risks.

This isn’t true.

A large part of health and safety includes protecting the environment too.

Now I don’t mean you have to start using solar power and printing on recycled paper, but you do have to control the impact your company has on the environment.

If you don’t, you won’t be complying with environmental laws. That could lead to harsh punishments and penalties of up to R10 million.

To prevent this, make sure you deal with these four environmental factors…


Comply with environmental laws by dealing with these four environmental factors

If the DoL does an environmental audit on your company and you fail, it could charge you up to R10 million in fines. That’s why you must deal with:
1. Air pollution
Environmental laws say, if your company creates air pollution, because you run machinery, burn fuel, etc. you have to deal with it. 
There are easy ways to do this. You can invest in air pollution control equipment. This equipment filters the air before it leaves your plant so it’s clean and pollution free. 
You can also switch to clean fuels that don’t give off harmful smoke and fumes when you burn them. 
Lastly, limit the amount of time you run certain machines for. If there’s no need to keep a machine running all day, then shut it down. 
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Three tips to get your employees to comply with health and safety laws
Employees think that safety is something “management’ must do. They’re wrong. Employees also have duties to comply with the OHS Act.
It’s your responsibility to make sure your employees comply. Don’t know how to do it? 
Here’s how…
2. Water pollution
You need to make sure your company doesn’t contaminate any nearby water sources. This can happen if you work with harmful chemicals or any dangerous substances that can seep into soil and water. 
To prevent this, seal all harmful substances in containers. Store and use them in closed, but well ventilated areas to stop the substances spreading. 
3. Waste
Every company produces waste in someway. Whether it’s used paper or old chemicals, you have to deal with your waste correctly. 
The first thing you must do to deal with this is reduce the amount of waste your company produces. For example, get your employees to print on both sides of the paper. Or use chemicals wisely so you don’t need as much. 
Secondly, you need to have a way to safely recycle your waste. This is easy with paper and office waste as you can just send it to a recycling plant. With chemical and mechanical waste you’ll have to find a special recycling facility that can dispose of the waste properly. 
4. Power usage 
The amount of electricity your company uses has a massive impact on the environment. Even though this is an indirect impact, because your power usage means more pollution from power plants, you still have to try and reduce it. 
Make sure you turn all lights off and shut down machines at the end of the day. 
And yes, using solar power will definitively help too. 
There you have it. To comply with environmental laws and help protect the environment, make sure you deal with these four factors. 
Your starting point is to draw up an environmental impact and affects register. You can find out how to do this in the Health and Safety Advisor.

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