What is EHS?
Welcome to Encamp!
Maybe you’re visiting as an EHS professional, a student in the environmental space, or even as a future Encamper yourself (take a look at our open opportunities). However you arrived, we’re happy you dropped by.
Here at Encamp, we’re working very hard to reinvent the way EHS requirements are maintained and reported. You can read more about how we came into existence here or download our one-pager to learn how our platform helps EHS professionals organize, manage and comply with state and federal regulations.
Completely new to EHS? Here’s a very simple overview of why Encamp is needed in the first place!
EHS stands for “Environment, Health, and Safety” and refers to the rules and regulations in place to protect the environment, workers, and the public. The laws and regulations that govern EHS change, as new data becomes available and as laws change to reflect public needs and awareness. Insert environmental/safety concerns?
EHS mandates are developed based around those three words; Environment, Health, and Safety. When the environment is discussed, the issues often revolve around things from the workplace that can damage the environment. This might include spills or carbon emissions. When health is considered, these are things that can directly impact the health of the population and the employees of a workplace. Safety includes anything that can cause injury within the workplace.
The EHS industry is large and growing. As we learn more about damage to the environment and develop cleaner, safer technologies, regulatory compliance issues will change to reflect better, safer processes.
EHS professionals focus heavily on compliance issues and also assess the workplace to determine when there are risks to the environment, personnel, and the population. There are several different job titles you might hear, including EHS Manager, Compliance Manager, Environmental Compliance Specialist, and Compliance Officer. You also may see the initial Q used in terms of EHS. The Q stands for quality or quality control.
EHS professionals work across different industries and various aspects within industries. For example, you might have a Product Safety Engineer in manufacturing whose main goal is in assessing the safety of that product for the public to use. There would still be a different EHS professional working to ensure employee safety during the manufacturing process, and there may be an entirely different professional assessing environmental issues that may be a concern in the production process.
In general, EHS professionals take on a few responsibilities, including:
- Inspecting and Assessing Worksites
- Accident Reports and Investigations
- Conducting EHS Audits
- Creating Safety Programs and Training
- Monitoring Conditions
- Regulatory Compliance
About EHS Compliance
Regulatory compliance is not the only reason to employ good EHS protocols, but it is a strong consideration. Businesses need to maintain compliance in order to operate and they can face legal and financial repercussions when they do not maintain compliance, especially in the event of an accident or hazard which could have been prevented by following the correct protocol.
The Department of Labor routinely updates regulations and provides new lists twice a year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (also known as OSHA) provides hundreds of regulations that were created to meet the needs of every type of workforce and industry. People often think of OSHA when discussing construction or manufacturing, but they also have standards that traditional offices and retail locations need to consider for the health of their patrons and staff.
Maintaining compliance is the responsibility of each business. This includes making sure that your reporting is done on time, records are maintained filings are maintained, audits are conducted according to schedule, and training initiatives are up to date. It’s the organization’s responsibility to stay up to date on new regulatory changes, as well.
Tips to Maintain Compliance
Maintaining compliance can pose a challenge to many businesses. There are a lot of regulations and issues to consider. Some industries also have stricter regulations than others. For manufacturing and construction, there is often an EHS professional on staff or a member of the staff who is well trained in compliance to work to mitigate any EHS issues with regulatory issues and take the lead in working with safety experts.
One challenge that many companies face is in the massive amount of data. Internal record keeping needs to be concise but you also need to maintain a strict schedule on necessary inspections and reporting. You’ll also need to track regulatory changes, which can mean changing protocols within your organization, as well. There are many moving parts which means that your organizational process is key to maintaining great oversight.
EHS Managers can use a number of tools to help them improve their process. Industry newsletters can provide great insights on upcoming changes and offer resources that you might not otherwise find on your own. Most EHS Managers also find user-friendly and comprehensive software that can help. (most EHS Managers use excel! lol)
Encamp provides a modern and easy to use solution for all of your EHS compliance needs. If you want a centralized location that allows you to control and maintain all of your compliance data while having a clear overview of your schedule for reporting, deadlines and training, contact us today.
If you’re interested in how Encamp helps EHS managers deliver consistent processes and first-rate compliance programs, learn more at our free webinar.