Risk bureaucracies in environmental health and safety management

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The management of health risks from environmental factors continues to be at the forefront of environmental policy and management in many areas, including energy production. In the 1990s, institutions to manage environmental health have continued to be created and refined and new bureaucracies and a professional workforce to deal with these problems have continued to be formed as well. This paper reviews the following aspects of environmental health risk management in the executive branch of the federal government, including those agencies responsible for energy risk management: (1) The nature and size of agency missions in environmental health; (2) the organization of risk functions; (3) the size and composition of agency workforces; and (4) the use of external resources to expand traditional human resources. Major findings are that environmental health has been given a high priority in the federal system in both agency missions and in the organization of the risk management function. The environmental health component of the workforce in many agencies having environmental health responsibilities is still relatively small compared to the representation of the conventional engineering disciplines. The environmental health profession is highly diverse, drawing from many disciplines, and as such, can diversify the existing workforce engaged in risk management. The size and composition of the environmental health workforce in federal agencies (including those devoted to energy production) necessitate reliance upon external resources and cross-agency linkages to supplement existing agency resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Energy Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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