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What is Pollution Risk Management?

Find out what pollution risk management is and why it's important.

Risk management is a common business term, but what does it mean when we talk about pollution risk management? This blog will discuss what pollution risk management is and why it is important for your business.

Pollution Risk Management

Risk management is a process of identifying and assessing risks and prioritising appropriate actions to control them. Pollution risk management specifically focusses on the risks of pollution and will identify any source or activity that could introduce a substance that can be harmful or poisonous into the environment.

Pollution Risk Assessment

To effectively manage risk, a risk assessment must be completed, specifically addressing pollution. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what can do harm, allowing you to determine whether enough precautions have been taken to prevent environmental pollution. The risk assessment should include identification of the hazards, determining the pollution pathway and receptor (read more about this here) and evaluating the current controls and how effective they are.

Managing Pollution Risk

Once a risk assessment has been completed, the results should be assessed. This will include determining whether the current pollution prevention controls in place are effective and whether any improvements should be made. Any urgent areas should be addressed as soon as possible, with other opportunities for improvement being assessed and actioned as necessary. All pollution control measures should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are working correctly and continuing to provide pollution protection. This can include visual inspections e.g. of bunded areas and maintenance of equipment like interceptors. Any issues identified during this process should be addressed to prevent environmental pollution from deteriorating or ineffective control measures.

Why Manage Pollution Risk?

You have a legal obligation to ensure your activities do not cause harm to the environment. To fulfil this obligation, you must take measures to ensure potential pollution sources are managed to reduce the risk and protect the environment. A pollution risk assessment, acting on the findings and managing the controls you put in place to ensure they remain effective will ensure that your activities are unlikely to cause pollution. Managing pollution risk will be the same as managing any other business risk and should be given equal consideration. How do you ensure you are effectively managing pollution risk in your business?