When I started my career, there were no PCs and no internet. Our education was obtained by attending classes, reading books, and most importantly though work experience. Today, one essentially has access via the internet to the collective global HSE knowledge-base.
Unfortunately, direct access to what is practically an infinite resource is not without problems. We are now faced with information overload, the inherent challenges in sorting out information from misinformation, plus our growing impatience and lack of willingness to spend more than a few seconds looking at any one web page for information (one stat widely quoted on the web is that most web pages are viewed for less than 15 seconds!).
If you are part of the minority that are still reading – congratulations, you are the exception! Hopefully you are reading this because you are looking to enhance your web experience and make use this wonderful resource for your professional needs and to enhance your knowledge for the benefit of your career
To that end, below I have listed some of my favorite (and free!) HSE resources. Visit these sites when you have spare time. Spend more than 15 seconds per site. I guarantee you will learn something useful.
HSE Asia – Definitely at the top of the list (I may be admittedly biased!) Redlog Environmental’s weekly blog about HSE issues in Asia and the developing world. Wide ranging topics with the goal to educate the HSE professionals both in developing countries and their colleagues in the western world about HSE issues – how they affect your business, and practical solutions to put in place now to address these challenges.
IFC HSE Guidelines - The EHS Guidelines are technical reference documents with general and industry-specific examples of Good International Industry Practice (GIIP), as defined in IFC's Performance Standard 3: Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention. IFC uses the EHS Guidelines as a technical source of information during project appraisal activities, as described in IFC's Environmental and Social Review Procedures Manual. Lots of good general information here.
LEGOSH – The ILO’s Global database on occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation. The database serves as a snapshot of the current major national legislative requirements around the globe. Not necessarily complete for all countries but is a good starting point for looking at OHS legislation for those that are interested.
The World Law Guide - HSE legislation for over 200 countries. This is a good starting point for HSE legislation, albeit not particularly comprehensive nor up to date.
National and Local Government Web Sites - Almost all countries now have their own website(s) with HSE legislation and regulations. I will leave this up to you to locate the ones relevant to your needs. Of course, this is a starting point for developing your own HSE Legal Register – see this blog post for information on how to do that yourself.
Google Scholar – Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research. This is for the HSE geeks (and one that I use regularly)!
Occupational Health/Industrial Hygiene
WHO - The World Health Organization has an extensive list of publications related to many aspects of occupational health/industrial hygiene, including guidelines for indoor air quality.
TOXNET – US National Library of Medicine’s databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. One-stop shop for all technical data on these subjects.
Haz-Map - US National Library of Medicine’s database designed for health and safety professionals seeking information about the adverse effects of workplace exposures to chemical and biological agents. Among other uses, Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous job tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms.
PubMed - US National Library of Medicine’s database of more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. This is the best site to search for occupational health related medical and technical publications.
MSDS - Free access to more than 3.5 million MSDSs available online.
safetyrisk.net - Dave Collins has posted blogs about safety issues since 2009. The posts are informative, thought provoking, and entertaining and well worth reading. There are also many other free resources for the safety professional.
ILO – In addition to the OHS database listed above, ILO also has a number of interesting publications on worker health and safety. This includes training packages and an app series of digital tools for improving occupational safety and health in the workplace, e.g., ergonomics, stress prevention.
Toolbox Topics – There are a lot of good resources for toolbox topics; this being one of them.
OSHA - US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration has a wealth of information available on its website, including sample safety programs and training resources.
IFC Pollution Prevention Standard - IFC's Environmental and Social Performance Standards define IFC clients' responsibilities for managing their environmental and social risks. Widely followed as international best practices.
US EPA Risk Assessment – A wealth of information related to human health and ecological risk assessments.
Basel Convention – Everything you need to know about the Basel Convention and lots of good information on managing all sorts of wastes.
UNEP Chemical and Waste – UNEP website has many publications related to the environment and sustainability, including this page full of information on chemical and waste management.
IPC Climate Change – You can find sites on the web to support any view you have on this issue. The IPC site is definitely one of the most important.
NASA Global Climate Change – Great photos, graphics and numerous technical reports on this important issue.
WWF Biodiversity – Right up there with climate change as one of the most serious issues we face.
EU Waste and Recycling – The European Commission has lots of technical information on waste management and recycling practice that can be applied anywhere.
Sustainability – Asia Development Bank is a good resource for sustainability information and data for Asia countries.
Geeky Science Sites
These two sites have nothing to do with HSE, but I find many interesting and thought-provoking articles. Worth looking into for those so inclined.
Deepstuff.org - Latest science news covering artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, physics, medicine, and other deep stuff. I read this one daily to keep my brain cells active!
ScienceDaily – A good resource for all science-related news items. Guaranteed to expand your knowledge base.
Of course, there are countless other resources that I use. Many of you will also have others that are valuable - please share links to your favorite sites and let us know why you find them useful.
Thanks for reading. Keep safe. Be healthy. Respect your environment.
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