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Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines

Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines


Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines Technical Revision


IFC is launching a three-year consultative process to revise the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines. More »

This page ( contains the most updated versions of the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines (known as the "EHS Guidelines"). 
The EHS Guidelines were developed as part of a two and a half year review process that ended in 2007. They are intended to be living documents and are occasionally updated.


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 [PDF].


The EHS Guidelines contain the performance levels and measures that are normally acceptable to IFC, and that are generally considered to be achievable in new facilities at reasonable costs by existing technology. For IFC-financed projects, application of the EHS Guidelines to existing facilities may involve the establishment of site-specific targets with an appropriate timetable for achieving them. The environmental assessment process may recommend alternative (higher or lower) levels or measures, which, if acceptable to IFC, become project- or site-specific requirements.


When host country regulations differ from the levels and measures presented in the EHS Guidelines, projects will be required to achieve whichever is more stringent. If less stringent levels or measures than those provided in the EHS Guidelines are appropriate in view of specific project circumstances, a full and detailed justification must be provided for any proposed alternatives through the environmental and social risks and impacts identification and assessment process. This justification must demonstrate that the choice for any alternate performance levels is consistent with the objectives of Performance Standard 3.



General EHS Guidelines


Translations of the EHS Guidelines are now available:


The General EHS Guidelines contain information on cross-cutting environmental, health, and safety issues potentially applicable to all industry sectors. It should 
be used together with the relevant industry sector guideline(s).


General EHS Guidelines (full document)
1. Environmental
  1.1 Air Emissions and Ambient Air Quality
1.2 Energy Conservation
1.3 Wastewater and Ambient Water Quality
1.4 Water Conservation
1.5 Hazardous Materials Management
1.6 Waste Management
1.7 Noise
1.8 Contaminated Land
2. Occupational Health and Safety
  2.1 General Facility Design and Operation
2.2 Communication and Training
2.3 Physical Hazards
2.4 Chemical Hazards
2.5 Biological Hazards
2.6 Radiological Hazards
2.7 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
2.8 Special Hazard Environments
2.9 Monitoring
3. Community Health and Safety
  3.1 Water Quality and Availability
3.2 Structural Safety of Project Infrastructure
3.3 Life and Fire Safety (L&FS)
3.4 Traffic Safety
3.5 Transport of Hazardous Materials
3.6 Disease Prevention
3.7 Emergency Preparedness and Response
4. Construction and Decommissioning
  4.1 Environment
4.2 Occupational Health and Safety
4.3 Community Health and Safety
References and Additional Sources



Industry Sector Guidelines


Forestry Infrastructure
  Board and Particle-based Products   Tourism and Hospitality Development
  Sawmilling and Wood-based Products   Railways
  Forest Harvesting Operations   Ports, Harbors and Terminals
  Pulp and Paper Mills   Airports
Agribusiness/Food Production   Shipping
  Mammalian Livestock Production   Gas Distribution Systems
  Poultry Production   Toll Roads
  Plantation Crop Production   Telecommunications
  Annual Crop Production   Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Terminals
  Aquaculture   Retail Petroleum Networks
  Sugar Manufacturing   Health Care Facilities
  Vegetable Oil Processing   Waste Management Facilities
  Dairy Processing   Water and Sanitation
  Fish Processing  
  Meat Processing General Manufacturing
  Poultry Processing   Cement and Lime Manufacturing
  Breweries   Ceramic Tile and Sanitary Ware Manufacturing
  Food and Beverage Processing   Glass Manufacturing
    Construction Materials Extraction
Chemicals   Textiles Manufacturing
  Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Manufacturing   Tanning and Leather Finishing
  Coal Processing   Semiconductors and Electronics Manufacturing
  Natural Gas Processing   Printing
  Oleochemicals Manufacturing   Foundries
  Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing   Integrated Steel Mills
  Phosphate Fertilizer Manufacturing   Base Metal Smelting and Refining
  Pesticides Formulation, Manufacturing and Packaging   Metal, Plastic, Rubber Products Manufacturing
  Petroleum-based Polymers Manufacturing  
  Petroleum Refining Mining
  Large Volume Petroleum-based Organic Chemicals Manufacturing   Mining
  Large Volume Inorganic Compounds Manufacturing and Coal Tar Distillation  
    Wind Energy
Oil and Gas   Geothermal Power Generation
  Offshore Oil and Gas Development   Electric Power Transmission and Distribution
  Onshore Oil and Gas Development   Thermal Power
  Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities    


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