When it comes to any business, making sure the job on hand is seen through is always a top priority. However, there are multiple factors just as important that are often overlooked. One of these is the overall safety and protection of the environment where projects take place. Because there are countless items on a project’s task list, it can be difficult to keep track of them. Having someone who can oversee this, however, is key to ensuring that safety is not overlooked. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of an Environmental Control Officer. More importantly, how they can help your business flourish.
What is an Environmental Control Officer (ECO)?
An Environmental Control Officer (ECO) oversees assessing risks and monitoring, regulating, and enforcing laws regarding public health problems in different environments. This is to promote sound environmental practices as well as good human health practices. Moreover, ECO specialise in areas such as air, food, and water quality, and disease vector control (mosquito control, for example). Other areas also include waste management, environmental protection, health education, and noise control. Should a problem arise, officers should report conditions to the contractor with the proper solutions and preventive measures. Specifically, the main areas ECO are called to are the following:
- Vector Control
- Food Hygiene
- Waste Management
- Noise Management
- Air Pollution and Dust Abatement
- Earth Littering
- Water Pollution and Earth Control
- Sanitary Facilities Management
What are the Duties of an Environmental Control Officer?
Environmental Control Officers are responsible for several tasks. These duties include:
- Proper monitoring and verifying that the employees follow environmental control plans under any circumstances. If not, it is part of the officer’s duties to take appropriate actions
- Proper monitoring and verifying that there is minimum environmental impact pre, during, and post-construction
- Serving as the right-hand man of the project team to obtain environmental authorisation;
- Ensuring the successful implementation of environmental awareness training and environmental training needs analysis
- Reviewing and approving environmental objectives
- Aid in developing environmentally responsible solutions
- Conducting inspections and detailed audits monthly
- Providing checklists for surveillance and inspection requirements and ensuring their accomplishments
- Proper recording of all environment on-site activities/incidents in a Site Diary
- Issuing spot fines in the event of a transgression in the environmental control plan
- Issuing of penalties through a recommendation to the Engineer’s Representative for contravention of the environmental control plan.
- The following should be penalised:
- Hazardous chemical/oil spill
- Damage to sensitive environments and cultural sites
- Damage or uproot of indigenous trees and other vegetation
- Unauthorised explosion
- The following should be penalised:
- Tracking on-site complaints and recording community comments and issues
- Accomplish daily inspections and weekly compliance audits of all workplaces
- Present a weekly environmental report recording the inspections and audits conducted during the week. This also includes incidents and complaints, should there be any, and the corrective actions taken
- Attend meetings for the project and Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE) discussions, and stakeholders
- Submission of monthly reports to the PD & PM
- Liaise with the NEA and other Authorities and Assist the Engineer with external bodies on environmental matters
- Sustain all site documentation including permits, method statements, and reports. Other documents include audits, monitoring results, receipts for waste removal etc.
- Maintain a regular photographic record of the site from fixed points and of all environmental incidents
- Direct any environmental incident enquiries
- Execute induction programmes for all new contractors and subcontractors to the site and for all first-time visitors
What Skills of an Environmental Control Officer Should You Seek?
Since Environmental Control officers must oversee several responsibilities, they equip themselves with the proper skill set. These personal requirements are as follows:
- Exemplary communication skills
- Sound negotiation skills
- Diplomatic and courteous
- Firm and impartial in decision-making
- Innovative and resourceful
- Takes initiative
- Excellent in problem-solving
- Able to function independently or as a part of a team
Provide Safety and Produce Success with Advance Safe!
Under the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA) 1987, occupiers of construction sites are required to employ either a part-time or full-time ECO(SCS) depending on the contract sum. Providing a safe environment for work is vital for employees to execute their jobs effectively. Without proper preparation, not only is the job at risk but also the welfare of every individual on site. That is why having an Environmental Control Officer to ensure that they meet protocols and solutions are within budget is essential. With Advance Safe’s dedicated consultancy services, you can count on minimum environmental impacts while being given utmost safety and security to ensure goals are met. Reach us today through our website or call us on (+65) 6252 4456!