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Can you tell me when to know which EHS (which can be either of the above two definitions) definition is correct? I read the first definition as the guidelines for the health and safety of the environment (2 things) and the second definition as guidelines for the environment, for health, and for safety (3 things).

I work in an industry where the acronym is used very often and, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think that there is a distinct difference in those two meanings.

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If the name of the organization is the Environmental Health and Safety, then you would speak of Environmental Health and Safety guidelines: no commas. If the name includes commas, then include them. I doubt that it includes commas.

  • It isn't an organization. – user6088 Mar 14 '11 at 16:58
  • @Bernadette: Well, the terms are capitalized in the title, so I took them to be the name of an organization. If you just mean the terms generically, then by all means separate them by commas. And don't capitalize them. – Robusto Mar 14 '11 at 17:01
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The definition with commas looks weird, because you use them to put one adjective and two nouns on the same level. If it were “Environment, Health, and Safety guidelines”, it would make more sense than “Environmental, Health, and Safety”.

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