EHS Safety Compliance

EHS Safety: Complying with New Safety Regulations

If you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who cares deeply about the well-being of your team and the environment, just like I do.

With over two decades of experience in the EHS field, I’ve seen firsthand how crucial it is to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to safety regulations.

Today, I want to walk you through the latest updates in EHS safety regulations and how you can ensure your organization remains compliant.

What Exactly is EHS Safety?

Let’s start with the basics. EHS stands for Environmental, Health, and Safety. It’s a framework designed to protect employees, the public, and the environment from workplace hazards. Think of it as the safety net that catches potential risks before they turn into real problems.

Why is EHS Safety Important?

EHS safety is more than just a legal requirement; it’s a commitment to creating a safe and healthy workplace. It protects your employees, reduces liability, and enhances your company’s reputation.

Plus, a safe work environment leads to happier, more productive employees – a win-win situation!

A History of EHS Regulations

The concept of EHS isn’t new. It has evolved significantly over the years, influenced by industrial accidents, scientific advancements, and societal expectations.

Understanding this history helps us appreciate the importance of current regulations and the need for continuous improvement.

What’s New in EHS Regulations?

Recently, several new EHS regulations have been introduced to address emerging risks and improve safety standards. These updates come from various regulatory bodies, such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Key Areas of Focus

The latest regulations cover several critical areas, including:

  • Chemical Safety: Stricter guidelines on handling and storing hazardous substances.
  • Ergonomic Standards: New rules to prevent musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Enhanced protocols for dealing with emergencies like fires and chemical spills.

Industry-Specific Regulations

Some industries face unique risks and, therefore, have specific regulations. For example, the construction sector has updated fall protection standards, while the healthcare industry sees new rules on infectious disease control.

Regulations Introduced During Covid-19

In 2020, COVID-19 regulations and best practices dominated the worker safety scene.  In 2021, vaccine resources were added.  In 2022 we don’t know what other new safety regulations will be enforced.  There is no shortage of work to do to ensure evolving risk avoidance compliance in the workplace. 

There is lots of information out there, but publications and safety training options alone don’t prevent job type hazards.  Best safety practices require all of the information is streamlined for efficient implementation and sustained use. 

Watching Pending Safety Regulations

This is certainly not intended as legal advice.  It’s more of an FYI on new OSHA Laws and Regulations Federal Registers Publications. 

  1. There is a proposed regulation protecting workers, both outdoor and indoor, from hazardous heat.  Additional information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat at work, and the effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat related injuries and illness is sought.  As of December 3, the Comment period of the Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings is extended for 30 days.  The extension is to allow additional time to collect information and data necessary for comment.
  2. There is an emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 vaccination and testing.  You can access more information on this topic here.
  3. OSHA announced late November the expansion of recognition for SGS North American Inc as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.  Details on this update are here.

How Do These EHS Safety Regulations Impact Your Business?

New regulations can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they require you to update your practices and invest in compliance measures. On the other, they provide an opportunity to enhance your safety culture and potentially reduce incidents.

Common Challenges in Compliance

Adapting to new regulations isn’t always easy. Businesses often face challenges like understanding the detailed requirements, allocating resources for compliance, and training employees on new procedures.

The Benefits of Compliance

Despite the challenges, complying with EHS regulations brings significant benefits. It helps you:

  • avoid legal penalties
  • reduce the risk of workplace accidents
  • demonstrate your commitment to employee well-being.

Plus, a safe workplace can boost morale and productivity.

4 Steps to Ensure Compliance

Step 1: Conduct a Compliance Audit

One of the first steps to ensure compliance is to conduct a thorough audit of your current practices. Identify gaps and areas for improvement.

Regular audits help you stay proactive rather than reactive.

Step 2: Update Safety Protocols

Review and update your safety protocols to align with new regulations. This might involve revising procedures, investing in new equipment, or enhancing your safety training programs.

Step 3: Train and Education

Continuous training is key to maintaining compliance. Ensure your employees are aware of the new regulations and know how to apply them in their daily tasks.

Consider using e-learning platforms for ongoing education.

Step 4: Document and Keep Accurate Records

Accurate documentation is essential. Maintain detailed records of your compliance efforts, including training sessions, safety audits, and incident reports. This not only helps in inspections but also demonstrates your commitment to safety.

Tools and Resources for EHS Compliance

In today’s digital age, technology can be a game-changer for EHS compliance.

Tools like MyMomentum, our groundbreaking EHS management software, can streamline your compliance processes. It helps you track safety measures, manage incidents, and ensure that you’re always up-to-date with regulations.

With this tool, we help facilitate accountability with a streamlined mobile software app that you can load onto your phone, tablet, laptop and/or desktop.  Then use the mobile app to report safety risks, and order repairs immediately. 

Using an application throughout your company does more than protect your workers; it shows OSHA and workers a culture of safety that protects your workers and boosts morale, while showing OSHA you are compliant. 

Additionally, insurance sees lower risk, so getting quality coverage becomes an easier task.

Consulting Services

Sometimes, it’s beneficial to seek external expertise. EHS consultants can provide valuable insights and help you navigate complex regulations. They can also conduct independent audits and offer training programs tailored to your needs.

Online Resources

There are plenty of online resources to help you stay informed. Websites of regulatory bodies like OSHA and the EPA offer a wealth of information. Additionally, industry associations and EHS forums can provide practical tips and peer support.

Staying Compliant is an Ongoing Requirement

As we conclude our discussion on complying with new EHS safety regulations, it’s clear that staying updated and proactive is essential for creating a safe and compliant workplace. By understanding the latest regulatory changes, addressing the associated challenges, and taking strategic steps towards compliance, you not only protect your employees and the environment but also strengthen your organization’s overall safety culture.

To recap, we’ve explored the importance of EHS safety, reviewed recent regulatory updates, and outlined practical steps to ensure compliance. By conducting regular audits, updating safety protocols, providing continuous training, and leveraging tools like MyMomentum, you can navigate these changes effectively and efficiently.

Remember, compliance is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment to safety and excellence. I encourage you to stay informed about new regulations, invest in your team’s education, and foster a culture of safety in your organization. By doing so, you’ll not only meet regulatory requirements but also create a healthier, safer, and more productive workplace.

If you’re feeling concerned about the organization and effectiveness of your safety program, contact us to open a no obligation conversation. 

We spent years developing a workable system for the industry, and we think we can save costs and grief by getting you into an easier system soon.

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