Environment Protection Agency (EPA) staff have found that Scottish Environment Protection Authority (SEPA) staff were more likely to have taken action to protect their work environment than their colleagues in England.
The figures were revealed by the agency’s latest marine protection guidance for staff.
This guidance provides guidance on how to ensure the protection of marine and coastal environment by safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.
The guidance states that it is best to consider protecting work environments in terms of the specific circumstances in which the environment is exposed, the nature and duration of the exposure, the level of risk to the staff, and the overall public health, economic and environmental impact of the work environment.
A further issue that is important in determining the effectiveness of any measures is that they must not detract from the overall environment.
“In terms of work environments, it is important that staff understand the importance of protecting the environment and what impact that will have on their personal and professional wellbeing,” a spokesperson for SEPA said.
“The agency will be working with colleagues from across the UK to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of its marine environment policy.”
The guidance comes as Scotland’s Scottish Government and other local government bodies have struggled to respond to the massive number of sick and injured marine mammal deaths in the last year.
The agency has been working with a range of stakeholders to help them to understand the impacts of the marine environment on their work and their staff.
It said that, for example, staff were asked to make plans to manage and manage the marine life that is in their environment.SEPA staff are also asked to monitor their work area and their workplace for any signs of disturbance, and to provide regular reports to the Environment Protection Authorities (EPA).
The guidance also said that the Agency should have staff working from the same area, to ensure they are both safe and healthy, and that they are aware of the risk of any workplace incident and the actions that should be taken to minimise or avoid it.
The guidance said that “it is important to understand that each environment must be viewed in its own right, and not be viewed as a single set of policies or actions that can be applied across the whole environment.
The agency must also be mindful that marine life are important members of the Scottish environment, and must be protected in accordance with national, regional and local environmental laws.”
The agency said it would be developing a new marine environment guidance that would be published on the agency website later this year.