A proactive approach to product EHS compliance offers your company the best way to get your products to the public and meet your customer's needs. Yet to execute this type of approach, your company must create EHS programs that incorporate environmental health and safety into any development and production process. You can best achieve proactive compliance by considering the challenges involved and the methods required to meet those challenges.
Understanding the Challenges
Benefiting from proactive EHS compliance requires that you first recognize the challenges associated with this in order to create the best safety plan. This includes:
- Organizational Strategies - You must have a fluid organizational process and strategy already in place in order to implement effective proactive safety strategies. Once implemented, organizational compliance is directly related to the success of new proactive safety strategies.
- Increased and Changing Regulations - Every year there are new environmental health regulations that your company must follow as well as continual changes to existing ones.
- Increasing Safety Obligations - As regulations continue to increase and change, your company has a greater obligation to monitor and adhere to such regulations. They must also adjust all production to reflect these laws in order to protect consumers and the environment.
Developing A Process
Once you understand the challenges referenced above, it is necessary to develop production methods that address these concerns by implementing your EHS programs that include an effective production strategy as follows:
- Monitoring Compliance - To stay on top of environmental health and implement optimal production processes, your company must monitor activity in the world today. This should include awareness of current news on regulatory laws and legislation as well as following social media and various demographics to see what consumers are saying.
- Assessment of Risks - The second most essential part of monitoring regulations and consumers is to assess how specific compliance risks can affect or do affect the consumer or go against regulatory laws. Through careful assessment, your company must then determine whether any conflicts exist and identify any issues.
- Planning - After identifying EHS compliance risks, the next stage in the proactive compliance process is to develop production strategies that recognize known risks and work around them. This should include developing processes that reduce risk and adhere to regulations from the supply chain all the way through the extended life of the product.
- Implementation - Along with creating strategies that address risk reduction and proactive compliance, you must also develop a strategy for implementing all of these processes. For a company-wide acceptance of such methods, they must become core company values accepted from upper management down to all employees. Failure to motivate from above will usually result in failure of the strategy.
Environmental health and EHS compliance are important factors that every company that makes products for the consumer must recognize. Yet implementing the appropriate EHS programs can be quite challenging. By first having answers to major compliance questions in the development and production process, then formulating strategies to identify and correct compliance issues, your company can become proactively compliant!