Since the creation of EPA in 1970, companies have seen growth in the number of environmental regulations, tied key performance indicators more closely to regulations, and shown global acceptance that government-led initiatives are required to drive change.
These conditions led businesses to adopt EHS Compliance Programs: to meet the requirements of increased environmental regulation at the global, national, and local levels and have the processes in place for employees to be accountable to corporate goals when it comes to compliance.
In this blog series, RegScan will examine the six pillars of an EHS compliance program. The first four are implementation pillars meant to provide consistency across a business, create employee-level accountability, and offer transparency to regulators, auditors, and stakeholders. The last two are verification pillars which demonstrates that the organization is serious and committed to implementing its Compliance Program fully and effectively.
Implementation Pillar #3: Tasks
While the first two implementation pillars are a good starting point for an EHS compliance program, Legal Registers and requirements & obligations do not address how you involve your employees in the program.
EHS compliance should be managed or owned at all levels of your organization. Remember that old slogan: “Safety Begins with Me”? Compliance should be viewed in the same manner. If you can get compliance operationalized, then you are on the path to success.
Focus on shop floor employees or field service workers (i.e., the people who are performing the day-to-day jobs for the organization) and several questions arise: What does a Legal Register mean to them? How do these employees get involved in the compliance process? The answer is our third pillar: Tasks.
Tasks are the common language ‘to-do’ items of the EHS compliance program. Most likely, your employees are already doing them as part of their assigned duties or as part of the business’s safety program and/or environmental program. Oftentimes, they appear as action statements, such as “Inspect the fire extinguisher on a monthly basis”, or, as in the case of our previous example, “Visually inspect pumps for leaks.”
Now imagine this: at a newly built or newly acquired site, or even at a well-established facility, all your tasks have been pre-determined based on applicability and are tied to regulatory changes. It may sound too good to be true, but assuredly it is not. Services like RegScan, whether on our RegScan FLEX platform or through one of our EMIS partners, can do this for your organization.
If tasks are pre-built, timebound, tied into automatic updates, and provided to you based on applicability, it would take the guess work out of implementing your EHS Compliance Program. Moreover, it would provide another metric to demonstrate compliance.
Consider the accountability and consistency that you could drive throughout your organization when tasks are incorporated into your EHS compliance process, in addition to the efficiency gains that would result? Sounds like you have a new task or to-do on your list!