If you’re running a business, it’s important to make sure you are compliant with Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) regulations. These regulations vary from country to country, so it’s important to understand what applies to your business.
This guide will discuss EHS compliance, why it’s important, and how you can become compliant in your industry.
What is EHS Compliance?
EHS compliance is an industry regulation that refers to the rules, programs, protocols, and policies involving workplaces. These regulations ensure that all company-related activities do not compromise worker health and safety or cause severe environmental damage.
EHS compliance is also the combination of all activities, actions, directives, and prohibitions to prevent workplace accidents, injuries, facility contamination, and environmental pollution. These regulations are enforced by federal and international agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others.
According to OSHA, the implementation of safety processes will improve compliance with the rules, prevent hefty penalties, reduce costs, improve worker engagement, and increase the overall efficiency of business operations.
Consequences of Non-Compliance with EHS Regulations
Always keep in mind that EHS is a legal requirement for businesses. Failing to comply will not only result in financial penalties but can also lead to long-term consequences. With that said, here are six potential negative impacts that could happen if you don’t have an EHS program in place:
Illness and Injury
One of the most common consequences of failing to comply with EHS is the potential for employee illness and injury. This is because EHS compliance covers many health and safety issues, from exposure to hazardous materials to ergonomic concerns.
If an employee becomes ill or injured due to a workplace hazard, your company could be held liable. This could lead to a lawsuit, which could be very costly. In addition, if an employee is injured on the job, they may require time off work to recover.
Fines and Penalties
Another potential consequence of failing to comply with EHS regulations is fines and penalties. Depending on the severity of the violation, these fines can be quite costly. In some cases, they may even exceed the cost of implementing an EHS program in the first place.
In addition to monetary penalties, your company could face other consequences, such as being placed on a watch list or required to implement corrective action plans. These consequences can be time-consuming and costly, damaging your company’s reputation.
Civil Lawsuits and Criminal Charges
Another potential consequence of failing to comply with EHS regulations is civil lawsuits and criminal charges. In addition, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of a workplace hazard, they or their family could file a lawsuit against your company.
In addition, if your company is found to have willfully violated EHS regulations, you could be subject to criminal charges. This could lead to jail time and/or significant fines.
Damage to Employee Relations
Another potential consequence of failing to comply with EHS regulations is damage to employee relations. If your employees feel that their health and safety are at risk, they may become disgruntled. This could lead to a decrease in morale and an increase in turnover.
In addition, if your company is found to have violated EHS regulations, it could damage your relationship with your employees.
Another potential consequence of failing to comply with EHS regulations is environmental threats. For example, if your company is found to be polluting the air, water, or land, you could be subject to significant fines. In addition, your company could be required to clean up the pollution at its own expense.
Finally, another potential consequence of failing to comply with EHS regulations is a stained reputation. If your company is found to have violated EHS regulations, it could damage your company’s reputation. This could make it difficult to attract and retain customers, partners, and investors.
Important Steps to Ensure EHS Compliance
At this point, you should understand what EHS compliance is and why it’s important. You should also be aware of the potential consequences of failing to comply with EHS regulations.
So, what can you do to ensure that your company complies with EHS regulations? Here are some important steps to take:
Identify Applicable Regulations
Keep in mind that EHS regulations differ in various regions and industries. Therefore, it’s important to identify the specific regulations for your company. This will ensure that you comply with all applicable regulations.
Familiarize and Understand Relevant Requirements
Identify relevant operational requirements and make sure your team is familiar with them. This will ensure they can properly implement the requirements and avoid potential violations.
Monitor Potential Developments and Changes in Regulations
Keep up to date with potential developments and changes in regulations. This will ensure that your company complies with the latest regulations.
Determine Points of Change
Not all policies apply to your specific operations. That’s why sorting through all of the potential changes can be a daunting task. Instead, you should take the time to determine which changes will have the biggest impact on your company. This will ensure that you focus on the most important changes and ensure compliance.
Once you’ve determined the changes that need to be made, you should implement them as soon as possible. This will ensure that your company complies with the latest regulations.
Monitor and Document Compliance
After implementing changes, it’s important to monitor compliance. This will ensure that your company remains in compliance with EHS regulations.
In addition, you should document compliance. This will provide evidence of your company’s commitment to complying with EHS regulations.
Conduct EHS Compliance Inspections with DATAMYTE
It’s important to conduct, monitor, and update EHS compliance regularly to ensure that the program you placed is in accordance with changes in the rules and policies. Regular EHS assessments should be accessible and well-documented at all times.
DATAMYTE’s Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that businesses can use to create EHS compliance workflows to utilize in their daily operation inspections. It also has a checklist builder that helps create EHS audit checklists.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard also offers the following features:
- Add photo attachments to provide proof and make your inspections faster and more credible.
- Create workflows, checklists, and forms using the DataMyte Digital Clipboard’s drag-and-drop interface.
- Immediately assign your EHS compliance program to the right personnel.
- Create customizable and ready-to-use EHS templates according to your business needs.
- Utilize paperless inspections for cloud-based recordkeeping.
- Generate reports in PDF or Excel format for easy sharing.
EHS compliance is important for businesses of all sizes. No matter what industry you’re in, compliance with EHS regulations is essential. That’s why it’s important to have a solid understanding of what EHS compliance is and why it’s important. Additionally, you should ensure that your company complies with all applicable regulations.