EHS plays a pivotal role in our world today as it helps to uphold the standards and regulations needed to protect our environment, the health of the workforce, and their safety. To keep your workforce safe and create a safe working environment, it’s important that you truly understand what is EHS, EHS regulations, and more.
Let’s dive into the EHS definition and explain the implications of following compliance in EHS, meaning regulations, inspections, and many other aspects.
But first, let’s start with the basics:
What does EHS stand for?
EHS stands for Environment, Health and Safety.
What does EHS mean?
EHS, meaning the certain standards and policies put in place across certain industries and organizations to help keep the environment and employees safe from potential harm, is essential to protect others and our surroundings.
What is environmental health and safety?
Environmental health and safety is an important part of any organization, as its purpose is to protect the environment and workforce while on-site. It’s essential that organizations follow industry regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other recognized bodies to maintain a strong safety program and ensure the safety of the workforce and environment.
Read more on the EHS definition and find explanations for many other common safety terms in our safety terms glossary.
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Environment, health and safety compliance refers to adhering to the rules, regulations, policies and procedures that are put in place on the worksite to keep workers safe. Several organizations must comply with these policies and regulations or be subjected to hefty fines, legal action, or loss of credibility within their industry.
EHS compliance is of the utmost importance, as it reflects the dedication and commitment EHS leaders have towards their teams and their environment. Many incidents, injuries, and even fatalities on-site could be avoided when EHS regulations and requirements are followed. It is the responsibility of every EHS director, manager, or leader to put the wellbeing of their teams and environment first, above productivity or deadlines.
Following EHS Requirements will also help companies sustain a strong safety record, helping them avoid fines, time lost due to injuries or incidents, or possible shutdowns. This will help boost production rates with lower Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART rates) and Lost Time Injury Rates (LTIR) and help you to win more bids/tenders, with a greater sense of credibility. Companies want to do business with organizations who have a strong safety record and staying compliant is one way to do so.
To maintain EHS safety, here are some other ways we recommend to help stay compliant and on top of the safety of your teams.
Inspections and JHAs
Conducting regular inspections and job hazard analysis (JHA) on-site is essential. This will help identify potential hazards and risks and keep your organization proactive rather than reactive.
Essentially, a job hazard analysis is the process of breaking down each job task into different parts to spot any hazards or risks which may arise in each step. If certain flags are raised, then you can take the steps necessary to help mitigate or eliminate them, if possible, with your team. During this process, it’s also important to make sure all job tasks are aligned with industry regulations and standards.
To read more about how to conduct a job hazard analysis effectively, check out our blog: Job Hazard Analysis.
OSHA Form 300 Recordkeeping
Staying compliant with OSHA recordkeeping requirements is another way to keep your workforce safe. The OSHA 300 log is one such requirement for organizations who have ten employees or more in high-risk industries.
There are three forms which make up the OSHA Injury and Illness 300 forms which are:
- OSHA Form 300: This form highlights the injuries and illnesses which have occurred on-site which have resulted in fatalities, loss of consciousness, days off work, medical treatment and more.
- OSHA Form 300A: Here, EHS professionals must record the total number of work-related injuries and illnesses on-site during that particular year.
- OSHA Form 301: This document helps safety leaders dive into more detail on the injuries or illnesses mentioned in OSHA form 300, to illustrate exactly what occurred.
Check out our blog, OSHA Form 300 – Recordkeeping and Workplace Injury Reporting, for more information.
Every 7 seconds, a worker is injured in the United States1. This astounding statistic could be rectified with the help of proper training. When your people are trained to do their jobs in the best possible way, injuries, medical expenses, and lost working hours can be avoided.
In addition to on-site training, eLearning courses can be a great compliment to the way you train your teams. Due to the pandemic, many leaders have had to shift their approach and utilize online or digital learning methods. With the ability to assign courses through a digital solution, workers have the freedom to learn from anywhere. This method can also help leaders track completion and expiry dates to help make sure everyone is up to date.
Under OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.132, it states that hazard assessments are required to identify the right PPE for certain job tasks. Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is a simple way to help workers avoid injury or illness on a day-to-day basis. At times, workers may feel that certain pieces of equipment are not necessary because they are in a rush, however this is not the right approach. It’s essential to make sure all workers wear the right PPE when completing a task.
To read about more tips to help create a safe working environment, read our piece, 8 Workplace Safety Tips for Every Employee.
EHS Software & Programs
EHS software can help EHS professionals simplify safety, streamline their processes, maintain compliance and strengthen their environmental health and safety programs. What is EHS software? Let’s get a bit more specific.
EHS software entails digital solutions which help organizations and safety leaders stay ahead of risks and hazards on-site to better protect their team members and the environment. They also offer a 360-degree view of their safety program to be able to identify gaps or deficiencies which may be present. This visibility helps leaders mitigate risks faster and more effectively. With robust reporting capabilities, EHS leaders can also easily track safety KPIs and metrics like total recordable injury frequency (TRIF), days away restricted or transferred (DART), and lost time injury rates (LTIR) and identify trends and patterns to help make necessary corrective actions.
What’s more, is digital EHS solutions help to streamline communication and connect the front-line workforce to boardroom executives. This way notifications, alerts and messages are sent directly to all key players instead of having to travel from site to site. With accessibility to information made simple with the help of this digital solution, EHS leaders can set priorities and make actionable insights.
Ready to take your safety program to the next level and better protect your workforce? Check out our EcoOnline suite of solutions and speak to one of our safety experts to learn which is the right fit for your organization.