Hello, my name is Russell Carr and I’m the founder and president of Berg Compliance Solutions and Berg Environmental Services.
Thanks for checking out this blog post and let’s get down to it….
Alright, if you’ve found this this blog post on-line, it’s probably because you’re concerned about environmental, health or safety issues at your company for one reason or another.
- Maybe you recently had a serious employee injury that’s made everyone at your company very nervous and concerned about safety,
- maybe you’ve had lots of injuries over time and now your Workmans Compensation premium has gone through the roof,
- maybe you just lost a big client because your safety program isn’t up to par,
- or maybe you recently got inspected by OSHA or an environmental agency and got hit with a major fine or penalty.
Or maybe none of these things have happened to you at all, and you’re just trying to be proactive with your compliance, which is great!
But these are some of the most common reasons that companies end up contacting us, and as troubling and costly as they are, it can get a lot worse.
I’d like to take a few moments to cover some much bigger risks that can trigger when companies fail to manage EHS clients:
Consider the following facts:
Let’s start with regulatory enforcement efforts:
- OSHA increased fines by 78% in August of 2016
- The average OSHA inspection now results in an average fine of $35 – $80,000 per inspection!
- But fines can be much higher for unprepared companies, for example in early 2017 an Austin, TX area manufacturer was fined over $450,000 for 25 different violations.
- 25% of all inspections are triggered by an employee complaint. This can be a current employee or one you fired or laid off up to 6 months ago.
- In Texas, TCEQ can fine companies up to $25,000 per day for every day a company is out of compliance with air, water or waste regulations
- The majority of environmental inspections are also triggered by complaints, that can come from employees, neighbors and even your competitors.
Now let’s talk about civil and even criminal liabilities:
- If an employee is injured or killed on the job, they or their families can team up with a personal injury lawyer and sue companies for settlements that often run into the millions.
- On the criminal side, if an employee is killed on the job as a result of willful negligence, the owner of the company can be put in jail for up to 6 months and fined up to $500,000 dollars.
- For willful environmental violation, both business owners and even management, can also be put in jail and also face significant fines.
If you add it all up, US companies lose an average of $140 billion dollars every year to these liabilities, including regulatory fines, legal fees, downtime, raised insurance premiums, damaged equipment, and the list goes on and on.
And then of course, there’s the most important risk of all, and that’s the risk to human life.
- On average, 4600 workers die on the job every year.
- This translates into 90 deaths per week, or 13 every single day.
- Over 4 million American workers suffer workplace injuries and illness every year.
- Many will never fully recover
- 2.5 million will become disabled.
A lot of companies make the mistaken of believing that none of these things will ever happen to them, but the statistics don’t lie, it happens every single day. Unfortunately we’ve seen it happen to many of our clients.
I know what you’re probably thinking about now. This is ridiculous, how can all of this be true, I’m just trying to run my business!
But here’s the thing you need to understand, and this is really important: if your business operations puts your employees, the environment or your local communities at risk, then there’s a long list of federal and state laws and regulations that you must follow in order to protect those things. And if you don’t, then you put your company at risk for these major liabilities It’s really that simple.
This includes manufacturing, construction, industrial services, energy, healthcare, and even retail companies.
Which leads us to the next important issue, and that’s the fact that following these laws and regulations is really hard. Not only do you need to figure out which regulations apply to your business, but then you have to figure out how to follow them. And following them includes all kinds of requirements including having written program, employee training, record keeping, inspections and audits, corrective actions, permitting, reporting and the list goes on and on. And if that weren’t tough enough, the regulations are constantly changing and it’s up to your company to somehow keep up to make sure you don’t fall behind.
Which leads us to the last important issue that needs to be addressed, and that’s the fact that small businesses are at greatest risk, and that’s because they rarely if ever have the necessary time, internal expertise and resources to understand and manage it all. Unfortunately the regulators and laws don’t give passes to small companies, they’re just as accountable and liable as their larger counterparts.
This probably explains why nearly all of the people who contact us either own or work for a small business.
So if this is your situation, and you’re feeling the pain, then you’re definitely not alone, believe me when I tell you.
In fact I’ve had a lot of personal and professional experience struggling with these challenges, because I’m an entrepreneur and I used to own a couple of small energy service companies, both of which had major OSHA compliance requirements that I really struggled to understand and manage. So I really understand how tough this can be which is one of the main reasons I starting this company (add CTA for “about us video”).
So there you have it, I’ve summarized all of the risks associated with failing to manage EHS compliance, and talked about how difficult it is to keep up with everything, especially for small companies, so what are you supposed to do now?
Luckily I have a good answer, and along with that answer comes a great offer for those people and companies who are committed to taking action and getting on the road towards compliance.
The first step to addressing these challenges is conducting an assessment of your company’s current compliance condition. By doing so you’ll benefit in a number of important ways:
- You’ll get a better understanding of which regulations apply to your company,
- You’ll also get a better understanding of where your company is deficient
- and finally, you’ll then know what needs to done in order to address those deficiencies and get in compliance.
For a limited time, we’re offering to complete a complimentary, no-obligation, 100% confidential summary EHS compliance assessment for your company. We’ve been doing these assessments for small companies for many years, with great results, and would love to do one for yours too.
The risks are too big to ignore, and every day you put it off, the greater risk for problems. So call 512-457-0374 or click on the link below and let’s get started on completing your assessment today.