Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) is an umbrella term for the laws, rules, guidance and processes designed to help protect employees, the public and the environment from harm. In the workplace, the responsibilities for designing and implementing appropriate procedures is often assigned to a specific department, often called the "HSE" department which is responsible for environmental protection, occupational health and safety at work. HSE management has two general objectives: prevention of incidents or accidents that might result from abnormal operating conditions and reduction of adverse effects that result from normal operating conditions.
Regulatory requirements play an important role in the role and HSE managers must identify and understand relevant HSE regulations, the implications of which must be communicated to executive management so the company can implement suitable measures. Organisations based in the United States are subject to EHS regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, particularly CFR 29, 40, and 49. Still, EHS management is not limited to legal compliance and companies should be encouraged to do more than is required by law, if appropriate.
From a health & safety standpoint, it involves creating organized efforts and procedures for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances. It also includes training of personnel in accident prevention, accident response, emergency preparedness, and use of protective clothing and equipment.
From an environmental standpoint, it involves creating a systematic approach to complying with environmental regulations, such as managing waste or air emissions all the way to helping site's reduce the company's carbon footprint.
Successful HSE 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 and the overall community.