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Guide to Environmental Issues in the Workplace

BySharon Cullars, writer
Apr 30, 2011
Image Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock
> Human Resources

Learn how to manage workplace environmental issues

Environmental issues in the workplace is a growing concern for companies, especially as it relates to employee health and safety.

Bad air quality and ventilation as well as asbestos-riddled structures can lead to sick building syndrome, which can compromise the health and comfort of your employees. Not only can poor workplace environments reduce productivity, but research has shown they may be linked to asthma, lung cancer and other medical problems.

Employers need to take affirmative steps to ensure the health and welfare of their workers. Confronting the problem makes business sense by way of health management savings as well as low absenteeism and contained insurance premiums. To make sure they are in compliance, employers should consult EPA and OSHA guidelines and follow directives. If necessary, consult an environmental consultant to determine cost-effective ways to handle workplace environment issues. Here are things that you as an employer can do to combat health issues in the workplace:

1. Consult governmental guidelines to ensure compliance and reduce risk exposure.

2. Hire an environmental consultant to manage workplace environmental issues.

3. Train your employees about work environmental issues.

Educate yourself regarding environmental issues in business to ensure compliance

You can find online EPA resources outlining issues such as air quality assurance, on-site wastewater management, and on-site remediation. Also read OSHA's handbook for small businesses.
EPA Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, EPA Guidelines for Management of Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Systems, EPA Guidelines for Environmental Management of On-site Remediation and OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses are online resources to give you a good start in complying with standards on environmental issues at work. You can find online EPA guidelines for several industries as well.

Consult with environmental experts to handle health issues in the workplace

At some point, you may decide you need to consult with an expert on environmental issues in the workplace. Check online and with local resources to find a consultant who can do site inspections. Determine what services you need and what experience you want in an environmental consultant.
GreenBiz provides a downloadable guide for small businesses on choosing an environmental consultant. One choice, EBI Consulting, is a nationwide environmental management service that conducts on-site investigations and determines workplace compliance. has compiled a broad list of national environmental consultants.

Train your employees on environmental issues in business

Training your employees about business environmental issues is vital to complete workplace compliance and helps them assess potential health issues. You can find affordable resources, including DVDs and software, for on-site training. offers a list of companies that provide training on business environment issues. TrainUp conducts environmental training seminars for various industries.

  • Find guides and resources online to help you "green" your office by finding cost-efficient ways to recycle smarter and take care of workplace environmental issues at the same time.
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Sharon Cullars
Sharon Cullars
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