Staying on Top of EHS Regulatory Changes
Blog | January 17th, 2022

Staying on Top of EHS Regulatory Changes

All over the world, health and safety regulatory requirements undergo revisions from time to time to improve workplace safety and employee well-being. Though a new regulation may only be introduced in one region, normally, it has a ripple effect and quickly spreads to several geographies.

Additionally, regulatory bodies keep close tabs on what other regulators are implementing, often making changes to their own requirements.

This helps with standardization and ease of doing business, pushing companies in a single direction in terms of regulatory compliance.

When a regulatory change is announced in a specific country (or region), enterprises that do business in that location have to act quickly. Often, regulatory changes also have a positive impact on business; they could improve operational efficiency, enhance safety culture, boost employee morale, etc.

From an operation perspective, meeting evolving regulations requires a well-planned approach to do the following:

  • Keep track of all regulatory changes
  • Identify changes relevant to your organization
  • Plan necessary steps to implement new compliance requirements
  • Bring employees, especially the regulatory affairs and EHS team up to speed
  • Ensure risk management plans are in place, while changes are being done
  • Hire the right auditors and build necessary new workflows to ensure compliance
  • Do whatever it takes to avoid penalties/fines

To remain on top of regulatory changes, businesses will need a three-pronged approach. These include:

  • Proactively tracking and seeking information on the changes
  • Identifying gaps in the organization and areas that need alignment with the new changes and implementing them quickly
  • Effective internal and external communication to ensure that the team, as well as suppliers and customers, understand what it means for them

5 Effective Ways to Keep Track of EHS Regulatory Changes

  • Track Websites: Staying informed of any regulatory changes is one of the most important steps in keeping track of new regulations. While it sounds most intuitive and straightforward, in reality, it requires businesses to continually watch out for all changes and monitor the websites of the regulatory bodies and governing agencies.
  • Automated RSS Feed Reader: Leveraging the automated RSS Feed Reader can make accessing relevant information from regulatory agency websites and law firms easy. Notification services such as Google Alerts, Mention, Talkwalker Alerts, and Meltwater monitoring can help with tracking regulatory changes.
  • Subscribe to a Notification Service: Businesses can also use content change detection and notification service that use specific keywords or web links to scan for the changes relevant to the business and industry.
  • Conferences and Events: This is another source of information on planned and impending changes to the regulations. Experts will share what the change is about and how it can impact industries.
  • Have a Dedicated Person: Having a dedicated person or team committed to compliance can make tracking and implementing changes systematic and effective.

Identifying Gaps

  • Not all regulatory changes may have any significance for the business or the industry it operates in. However, it is a good time to quickly evaluate the implications of these changes for your particular case. This may require professional guidance from an EHS or legal specialist who can interpret and explain the changes and their impact on business processes.
  • The next step would be to assess the current level of compliance by conducting internal and external audits and identifying gaps between current practices and the new requirements. Through the early identification of gaps, businesses can take corrective action to improve compliance quickly and proactively.

Internal and External Communication

  • The changes will impact processes and may require the employee to be trained in new skills and capabilities to meet the new requirements
  • Documentation, storage, retrieval, and so on will also get affected, and proper procedures must be put in place
  • The business must also assess how these changes will affect their supply chain on the one hand and the clients on the other
  • In all this, communicating with the employees, suppliers, and clients will become crucial to help them prepare and adapt to the regulatory changes

Automate Your EHS Compliance Program

Tracking, implementing, communicating, and managing the regulatory changes can be very demanding for a business, especially in terms of the time and resources required. Any non-compliance may take time to identify unless supported by technology to implement and monitor process changes and their impact. Automating compliance with an Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) management software will make it more cost and time-effective, improve productivity while freeing up resources to pursue operational programs and innovation efforts.

ComplianceQuest’s 100% cloud-native, next-generation EHS management software enables improved and automated compliance to regulations across the organization. It facilitates integrating remote locations, thereby ensuring centralized management with localized control to ensure workplace safety. The software includes the following modules, covering every key aspect of EHS management in the organization:

  • Environmental and Sustainability: Establish managing, tracking, and analyzing environmental and sustainability metrics
  • Incident Reporting and Management: Empower employees to report incidents, near misses, and observations
  • Management Review: Provide a tower of data to facilitate smart management reviews to improve safety systems
  • Risk: Identify, manage, evaluate, and mitigate operational risks
  • Supplier: Improve safety across the supply chain by onboarding using a risk-based approach
  • Training: Identify skill gaps and provide relevant and periodic training

In addition, the ComplianceQuest solution suite also enables audit management, document management, collaboration, and communication on the platform, connecting teams in disparate locations with ease. It is also mobile-ready, allowing secure access from anywhere, anytime.

It is also important to note here that effective audits are the foundation for risk and compliance. The latest releases of standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14971, ICH Q9, ISO 31000, ISO 45001, ISO 14001 etc. include “risk-based thinking.” Therefore, it is critical to go with an EHS solution with an integrated risk management solution.

To help our customers remain on top of regulatory changes, ComplianceQuest has also formed a strategic partnership with Enhesa, a leading global environment, health, and safety compliance content provider. Our customers remain compliant by accessing Enhesa’s global regulatory content through the CQ solution suite. Enhesa customers can also benefit from the enterprise quality and safety Solutions provided by ComplianceQuest.

To know more about how to improve EHS regulatory compliance in your organization, contact us now:

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