May 28, 2020

Part 2 – EHS Incident Management: What is Compliance and how can you Achieve Performance Excellence?

This is the second blog of a three-part series on Environmental, Health and Safety Management. Please subscribe to our blog to keep up to date with the latest industry discussions here >

The validity of compliance is at times underestimated or overlooked when performance excellence is concerned. The following explores what compliance is and how it can elevate performance excellence and overall operational visibility.

To be, or not to be – compliant

Compliance is the adherence to established guidelines or specifications. The definition of compliance also encompasses efforts to ensure organisations abide by both industry regulations and government legislation.

Compliance standards with specifications are often created by regulatory bodies, and then applied across organisations, depending on which compliances apply to their business operations.

It is a continuous business management task to oversee compliances, exceedances and potential expiries of documents (such as permits). This is largely due to the increasing amount of regulations that may apply to organisations and their operational practices as well as maintaining awareness and comprehension of their regulatory compliance requirements.

Improve safety metrics

Software systems are designed to simplify how organisations track and measure compliances, associated metrics, checklists and regulations. After all, no manager wants to discover breaches of regulations and legislation anywhere across their business operations.

Compliance systems aim to safeguard organisations against acting irresponsibly; they provide a framework to help organisations understand and obey laws and regulations governing how they manage their business, staff, environment and their customers.

Management of compliance can prevent and detect violations of guidelines, laws or agreements. Furthermore, when there are issues to be managed, a good compliance system can assist with keeping all your stakeholders informed, track remedial actions and closeout tasks effectively.

Ensuring ongoing compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and licence conditions requires cooperation between multiple personnel and departments. Line managers, environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals, occupational hygienists, laboratory staff, learning and development teams and others all have a role to play.

Let’s continue to look at some ways of how when we work together, we can achieve compliance in all these areas confidently and efficiently.

Elevating performance excellence

Regardless of jurisdiction in which an organisation operates, there will be a range of legislation that must be complied with and almost every employee will have a part to play in this. All employees have an obligation to identify and report hazards, supervisors and HSE professionals have to investigate incidents, and corrective actions need to be assigned to the relevant employees and/or contractors. Most organisations will also have an ongoing program of audits and inspections as well.

The need to manage and coordinate all these activities can be challenging and time-consuming, yet it is important that the data is collected accurately and efficiently. Below is a visual representation of  Operational Excellence Strategies and the standard execution approach of incident management by business maturity and investment levels.

 

Operational Excellence Strategy

Source: Verdantix from INX Software “Exploring End-to-End EHS Management” webinar

 

Technology transformation

Technology has transformed the way EHS is managed. It has allowed management systems to become more finely tuned to individual organisation requirements and needs. EHS management systems have redefined the role of corporate culture to highlight the salience of and increasing EHS performance credibility.

For example, organisations can use INX InControl (our Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) management system designed to assist organisations to increase compliance and adopt a proactive approach to workplace health and safety) to schedule, track and manage all their activities, establish processes, and collect the data on a single platform where compliance with obligations can easily be tracked and managed.

Workflows can also be configured to match specific business processes in INX InControl, there to help achieve best practice across an entire organisation.

Incidents, accidents and other injury-type events in INX InControl can be linked directly to obligations in INX InForm (our platform with tools to centrally manage obligations, stakeholders, issues and communications) to make communication efficient and accurate across the whole organisation.

These are some of the ways software technology platforms can be linked and used to an organisation’s advantage to not only manage health and safety, oversee compliances but also elevate and make it easier to oversee organisational responsibilities on multiple levels.

Let us remember the importance of using facts and insights to drive decision-making. Many companies lack a “single source of truth” when it comes to data, connecting complex processes and mining data trapped in antiqued data systems. The ability to gather, organise, interpret, and act on data and analytics is the defining competitive differentiator. Companies that embrace it have an edge.

This article is brought to you by our collaboration with Verdantix on our most recent webinar, “Exploring End-to-End EHS Management”.
Get your copy of the webinar recording here >

Stay tuned for our final part, part three, of our EHS Management series, with “Monitoring Environmental Compliance” coming out next week.


 

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