Are you a Corporate Titan or Bob's Local Workshop? Regardless of your size and situation, performing an internal audit of your organization is always a good idea to uncover possible pitfalls and identify areas for improvement. This can pay even more dividends if your industry is already subject to rigorous external Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Audits and reporting requirements. If an inspector comes unannounced to your facility for a spot inspection, wouldn't you feel more secure that your internal audit gave things the OK three months ago?
This peace of mind factor is one of the major benefits that comes with practicing internal auditing.
Here are six more great reasons why you should perform an internal environmental, health & safety assessment:
- Get more efficient - The environmental impact of your work processes is one of the clearest indicators of areas where you can improve how you work. A huge carbon footprint or high energy-usage could indicate where your business isn’t performing its best. Putting the details of your manufacturing processes regularly under the microscope, and comparing them to best practices throughout your industry (and others) will allow you to highlight areas for improvement. Many companies taking a "business as usual" approach end up having to play catch up, often when its too late and the damage has been done.
- Cut costs - We all hear it every day, but even simple steps can save money in the long run. An Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) audit can highlight money saving opportunities, from something as small as reducing office paper use to overhauling which vendors you do business with. It can also uncover potentially hidden costs that you were not aware of.
- Be proactive - Too often, businesses wait until after they have to pay a noncompliance fine, miss a deadline, or have an on-site incident to address issues. An Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) audit can be used to identify potential problems before they happen.
- Make your workplace safer - It is just good business sense to focus on workplace safety, but sometimes businesses get complacent. An EHS audit is one of the best ways to pinpoint dangerous situations and plan preventative actions. Communicating the message that your workers safety is a top priority will bolster your public image and improve your stakeholder opinion. Why wouldn't you do it?
- Start voluntary reporting and green marketing - An EHS audit can give you some great material to share with your shareholders, public interest groups, and potential clients. This transparency is increasingly sought out in today’s competitive economy. Going the step beyond mandatory reporting shows your business is dedicated to sustainability and excellence.
- Get one step closer to ISO 14001 certification - One of the most important steps in getting your business ISO 14001 certified is to institute a system for assessing and managing your business’ environmental impact. If you have already taken the steps to make this internal process voluntary, achieving ISO 14001 certification will just be another small step, rather than a huge implementation.
How Do You Do An Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Audit?
There are many ways of doing a self EHS audit. The size and focus of your business will dictate how you approach the task. However, a successful EHS audit should use the following tools:
- Standardized and thorough inspections
- An employee who can lead the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) auditing project
- Transparency and communication across all corporate levels
ERA is offering a free, no-obligation compliance evaluation. Since your audits should at least be covering the areas of your operations that are regulated, an evaluation with our Specialists will help you uncover key areas for improved performace.
This is a great first step in identifying the areas that you need to cover and how to identify areas for improvement.
November 10, 2011