What’s the biggest challenge a person could face throughout their lives? Some would say starting a family or dealing with personal grief, but one of the toughest things you could ever take on is going to be starting your own business.
Running a company isn’t all that glamour and luxury lifestyle you see in movies and on TV. It is a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and constant stress. True, it is more fulfilling than anything out there, but it is not an easy ride. A particular angle you’ll most likely have trouble with is compliance with the rules, especially environmental, health, and safety (EHS) regulations. Here is how you can get there.
Before you can comply with EHS regulations, you need to understand what they are and what they stand for. It is a set of rules or standards that any company must follow pertaining to the environment and health as well as the safety of the workers. These regulations can and will affect your company operations no matter where they are around the world. In other words, you need to make sure that your employees don’t pollute the environment, and it’s also your responsibility to ensure your people are safe and healthy at their jobs. Understanding those broad terms definitely isn’t enough. You will need to thoroughly go through EHS regulations where you are located, so you could begin formulating a plan on how you will follow those rules and standards.
Train Your people
It also won’t suffice if it’s just you who knows the EHS regulations. You want your people to be kept in the loop and fully understand those laws. How else would the employees comply with the regulations if they don’t know them? This is why you need to set a strong training program that ensures that your entire staff is not only aware of EHS regulations, but is fully capable of complying with them. In fact, in some places around the world, conducting employee training on EHS laws is a must. Moreover, laws and regulations aside, it’s for your own people’s protection. They need to know how to wear protective equipment and maintain safety standards around the worksite. They should also know what practices to avoid in order to protect the environment and minimize pollution. This is the core of EHS practices, and your team needs to be well aware of and trained in those practices.
Like pretty much everything out there, technology has changed how we think of EHS compliance. You need to train your people on how to use technology and leverage it to their advantage. The right management software can help you improve business efficiency and ensure compliance with all environmental, health, and safety protocols. Instead of using forms and paper for the checklists, you can use such software, which will make your life and that of your people much easier due to improved efficiency, accessibility, and reliability. Paper checklists can get lost or damaged, but having all your EHS checklists and regulations on a software makes it much easier for anyone to follow through or check certain points even from their phones.
Create a system based on EHS compliance
If you really want your company to comply with EHS regulations, it can’t just be some rules you tell your people to follow. You need to base the company culture and environment on those grounds, and you’ll notice how people actually follow those rules without the need for constant supervision. This is particularly important for when your company starts growing because it will be impossible to keep track of each department in every facility in the country –– or around the world. This is why it’s important that you blend EHS into the work culture as an integral part of your business, and one that will help it thrive and grow.
For that to happen, your people need to have a solid understanding of EHS and why it’s important. Never enforce the rules because they are standards that everyone has to comply with, but rather because we need to follow those standards for personal health and safety, as well as the well being of the environment. It’s also important that you are extremely clear on what needs to happen. Yes, integration of EHs regulations is important, but having set rules and clear policies helps everyone know their roles and what exactly is needed of them.
Moreover, you should also have a clear reward and penalty program because compliance requires discipline. Minor infractions should warrant mild consequences, but if the disregard for health and safety protocols persists, then you should take disciplinary action since that is how you ensure that things go smoothly. The same should be done for rewards. For teams and facilities that consistently comply with EHS regulations, offer bonuses and rewards to motivate them to keep going forward.
Create a dedicated team
One of the most powerful strategies you could follow in order to ensure EHS compliance is creating a dedicated team to monitor the company’s progress and discipline when it comes to this particular area. Trying to monitor what each team is doing and how they’re complying is never a good idea, and it’s always best to have a special team whose sole task is EHS compliance.
At the end of the day, you’re doing this for the betterment of your company and to protect your people. And as mentioned earlier, they need to understand this and that disciplinary actions are for their own good. Once you get those points across, you’ll have few, if any, problems with compliance.