25 Aug 2021

Where should EHS compliance practitioners focus their efforts?

EHS Compliance – Where to Focus your Efforts

The rapidly evolving business environment might be a little overwhelming, and while environmental, health and safety or EHS compliance isn’t the sole concern of some businesses at the moment, it is still a critical part of running a productive one.

EHS compliance is essential to running a safe and productive organisation, and EHS managers are faced with the difficult task of maintaining regulatory compliance across various facilities with limited resources.

The challenge with EHS compliance lies in determining what to prioritise in this quickly changing and ever-adapting work environment. But what are the areas EHS practitioners should concentrate their efforts on?

Here are some recommendations:

Maintain a culture of EHS

To establish an EHS culture in the workplace, keep in mind that the process cannot simply be carried out from the top down or the bottom up. The entire organisation must be involved. Ensure that your people are held to the standards that are set.

Technology is your biggest asset in work from home (WFH) and hybrid environments. Building an EHS culture can be a collective approach and teams need to be kept accountable even if face-to-face interactions are less frequent.

Training, training, training!

To ensure optimum EHS compliance, training for staff and stakeholders is very important. Teams must be empowered and trained. Employees recognise when their company is investing in them and often respond with loyalty and performance.

Like before Covid-19 lockdowns and WFH stipulations, effective training enhances employee competencies; helps businesses avoid distress caused by accidents and ill health; and saves a business potential financial liabilities accrued from accidents and ill health.

Training, even in unprecedented times ensures that companies and their employees remain safe. Develop a positive health and safety culture where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone.

Review your EHS programme regularly

Does your EHS compliance programme make sense to the organisation and does it bring the value you are looking for?

Assessing EHS compliance with regular EHS audits is an effective way to not only uncover risks but also seek out and identify opportunities for improvement.

Audits can be used to analyse any improvements and issues, detect patterns, highlight risk, and develop new safety initiatives based on the actual audit data.

Reward EHS champions

It’s important to recognise those staff members, who have adopted EHS compliance. They’re the ones who can lead the rest of the staff and demonstrate how it should be done to the rest of the organisation. Recognising these champions for their efforts will motivate them to keep going in the right direction, while they serve as role models for others.

While EHS compliance is essential, it is no longer the only goal of an EHS programme. The “new normal” is also about creating a joyful and healthy work environment where workers feel at ease and are encouraged to really engage in EHS initiatives. What’s good for employees is good for business too.

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