Abu Dhabi Environment, Health and Safety Management System
The Environment, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) is an integrated system that takes into consideration all aspects related to protection of the environment, and the health and safety in the work places. It includes a series elements to facilitate the development of the policy, objectives, plans and arrangements necessary to improve performance in EHS issues.
On 6th December 2006, the Executive Council issued a Decree (Decree 2-Session 31/2006) approving “Abu Dhabi Emirate EHS policy“. The objective of the policy is to achieve excellence in the management and protection of the environment, health and safety, through partnership between all government and private sectors to ensure activities within Abu Dhabi Emirate are undertaken in a responsible, safe and sustainable manner.
The EHS Higher Committee:
To facilitate the EHS Policy and follow up the development and implementation of Abu Dhabi Emirate EHSMS Framework, the Executive Council established the “EHS Higher Committee” on 11th June 2007 (Committee Decree 10-S 19/2007). The committee is chaired by EAD and comprises members from all relevant parties.
The Higher Committee supervised the development of the EHSMS Framework with the help of seven “Sector Technical Committees” chaired by the member of the Higher Committee representing that sector ((Energy, Industry, Transport, Tourism, Health, Construction and Building, and Oil & Gas).
In 2008, waste sector was added to the list of sectors since Oil and Gas was well advanced in EHS management system implementation. In 2010, the higher committee added two more sectors to start development of their systems in early 2011, these include Education Sector and Food Sector.
Abu Dhabi Emirate EHSMS Framework was initially produced in the form of a “Manual” that included a set of documents designed to facilitate development and implementation of the system, in addition to a set of sector guidelines that outlined the basic requirements of the sectors initially targeted. These documents were reviewed by all sector technical committees.
In February 2008, Abu Dhabi EHSMS Framework was launched during the National Symposium held in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of EAD. Opening speeches were by H.E Mohammed Al Bawardi, Secretary General of the Executive Council and H.E Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the EHS Higher Committee. The symposium was attended by around 250 representatives from all sectors and other concerned parties.
Starting March 2008, the Framework went through a one year process of consultation and revision in cooperation with all sectors to produce documents of the new version of the system within “Abu Dhabi EHSMS Regulatory Framework” which incorporates the main requirements any government entity/private entity needs to satisfy in order to develop and implement an EHSMS, taking into consideration that this is supplemented by entity specific procedures.
This process culminated with an “EHSMS consultation workshop” held in January 2009 and “AD EHSMS Regulatory Framework” was officially released in July 2009 after approval by the higher committee in April 2009. This version of the Regulatory Framework includes the EHSMS Manual and a set of Codes of Practice identifying the main requirements for system implementation, administration, management, monitoring and reporting as well as specific issues related to environment and occupational health and safety.
The EHSMS Manual clarifies the aims, benefits, distinctive features and minimum requirements of the system.
The aims of AD EHSMS are:
- Serves as a management tool to achieve increased compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Ensures that the Emirate’s Environment Health and Safety Policy objectives are met
- Align with existing EHS laws and regulations;
- Drives continuous improvement in the management of EHS issues to achieve the best outcomes having regard to the social and economic development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; and
- Identifies elements required to ensure EHS issues are addressed in a systematic matter.
The aims of AD EHSMS are:
Decree No. (42) of 2009 concerning AD EHSMS was issued by H.H The Crown Prince, Chairman of the Executive Council on 16th June 2009.
This Decree aims to implement the Environment, Health and Safety Management System in the Emirate through provision of a unified tool at Emirate level to facilitate implementation of legislations relevant to environment, health and safety and for protection of human health and safety and the environment and conservation of natural resources.
This Decree clearly specifies the roles and responsibilities of the EHS Higher Committee, the Competent Authority and the Sector Regulatory Authorities in the Emirate.