We Are OSHA Safety Consultants In Texas Specializing In Helping Small Companies Manage EHS Compliance
In this blog post we discuss the challenges faced by small companies when trying to manage OSHA and environmental compliance, and what steps they can take to achieve their EHS compliance goals.
Why is workplace safety and environmental compliance so important?
- Small companies really struggle with managing EHS compliance, because they almost always lack the necessary time, expertise and resources to do so,
- This puts them at risk for huge losses that companies often aren’t aware of.
These losses include major regulatory fines and penalties from agencies like OSHA, EPA and TCEQ, civil and even criminal liabilities when employees get hurt or major environmental violations occur, and all of the direct and indirect costs associated with workplace injuries that end up costing US companies $140 billion every year.
Unfortunately the regulators and laws don’t give passes to small companies, they’re just as accountable and liable as their larger counterparts.
One or more of these events can literally destroy a small company. I’ve actually seen this happen.
And then there’s the biggest loss of all, when employees get seriously injured or even killed on the job as a result of a company’s failure to manage OSHA compliance.
Despite the challenges faced by small companies when trying to manage environmental, health and safety compliance, the costs and risks for failing to do so are too big to ignore so companies need to take action before it’s too late. So what can be done?
For companies with nothing in place, which is the situation with most small businesses, they must begin implementing compliance programs. For some companies, this might only involve OSHA heath and safety programs, but for others, it could also include environmental compliance programs to meet EPA or state environmental requirements.
For companies who believe that they have EHS compliance programs in place, they must review and verify if those programs are complete and up to date. Companies often mistakenly believe they’re in compliance only to find out later that they’re wrong after OSHA inspects and fines them. Don’t risk it, verify before it’s too late. For example, don’t make the mistake of believing that your insurance company or workmans compensation carrier is managing your safety compliance, or that the generic safety manual sitting on your shelf is getting it done.
But unfortunately this is much easier said than done. Not only do you need to figure out which regulations apply to your business, but then you have to figure out how to understand and follow them. Have you ever logged onto OSHA’s website and tried to interpret and implement their standards? Doing so involves a long list of requirements including having customized written programs, employee training (much of which is recurring), record keeping, conducting routine inspections and audits, implementing 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.
Add it all up and you have the 6 keys to managing compliance which are..
- Expertise: You have to have experienced and qualified safety proffessionals managing these programs and give them enough time to do it. We see many companies make the mistake of tasking a staff manager with these responsibilities, which is a recipe for disaster because not only do they lack the technical knowledge, but they never have enough time to get it done.
- Audits/Inspections: OSHA and environmental laws require routine inspections and audits to not only identify problems, but fix them as well.
- Customized EHS Written Compliance Programs: Your written programs must be customized to your actual operations. Many companies make the mistake of downloading a generic template, put their name on the cover, and then stick it on the shelf never to be seen again…
- Employee Training: This might be the toughest challenge of them all, because not only do you have to train your employees on all of the right topics, but many of those topics need to be trained annually, and if you have lots of employee turnover, then training becomes a never ending cycle.
- Staying Up To Date with Regulatory Changes: OSHA and environmental agencies continually add and change regulations, and it’s up to your company to keep up and adjust as needed.
- Ongoing Program Maintenance: This is a catch all for everything listed above. You need to have systems in place to ensure that everything happens.
So there you have it, this is what it takes to achieve and maintain compliance, but also to protect your business, employees and local communities from harm.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and feeling the pain, then you’re definitely not alone, believe me when I tell you. We routinely get calls from other small companies in the same boat.
And again, I’ve had a lot of first hand experience struggling with these same challenges while running my own energy service companies, so I really understand how tough it can be which is one of the main reasons I starting this company.
So what are you supposed to do now?
We understand the pain and frustrations involved with trying to manage EHS compliance at a small business and have responded by offering a tried and true proven outsourced OSHA and environmental compliance solution called Assured Compliance. We’ll manage all of your companies regulatory compliance for less than 1/2 the cost of a full time employee and we’ll even guarantee your compliance!
Call 512-457-0374 or click below to learn more: