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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

How to Define Environmental Health and Safety Services

The lawyers in the safety practice here at Vinson & Elkins, along with our friends at ERM, recently held a round table discussion with management from several local companies concerning risk management. During our conversation, one company representative said, “EHSS [Environmental Health and Safety Services] is a value creator, not just a cost center as it has been historically defined . . . if you define it correctly.” This is an excellent point.

Instead of adopting a “grow at all cost mode” philosophy of business, many companies are now reconsidering this approach and focusing more on “value creation.” In doing so, they have recognized that EHSS and the evaluation of operational risk must play an integral role for this to occur.

At our round table discussion, there was a broad consensus from the participants that there needed to be more thought on how to manage operational risk in a more coherent and integrated way. The big question was how to do this, especially in the energy industry where budget cutting is so prevalent. How do EHSS professionals sell this idea to their company’s management?

The participants at our round table had many thoughts on how to meet these new challenges. At the upcoming Vinson & Elkins Annual Fracking Symposium on October 4, we will talk about some of the brainstorming that took place among some of the most experienced EHSS professionals in our area and how best to integrate EHSS and proper risk management into the DNA of their companies. We hope that you will join us for this presentation and many other valuable presentations about the fracking industry.

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Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner