What does SHEQ mean?

Roles referencing SHEQ in the title or description have developed in recent years and are formed of 3 distinct disciplines.

1. Safety and Health
An established compliance area, occupational health and safety management is governed by several pieces of UK legislation, as well as national watchdog – the HSE.  More on Safety.

Often linked with H&S in terms of the health impacts that can occur, an organisation’s environmental impact is also governed by legislation and enforced by the Environment Agency. Depending on the actives of the business, this role can vary in size and complexity. More on the Environment.

3. Quality
While there is no specific legislation around quality, it could be argued that the quality aspect helps to build SHE in to business processes. Either way, quality management involves measurement and control that is common to Safety, Health and Environment. More on Quality.

Combining SHEQ creates a role that is essentially compliance based, and while it focuses internally at the organisation, SHEQ people can often be called upon to support and respond to new business tenders.

In an SME these roles individually may not amount to a full time commitment, whereas combing them can reduce consultancy costs and add a valuable resource to the business.

The distinct elements of SHEQ require an adaptable person who can keep on top of legislation and best practice across all areas of the business. Often subscriptions to news and resource providers can help.

Particularly in terms of Health & Safety, the person must be competent and this often involves costly certifications and memberships, which need to be maintained.

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Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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