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During the 1970s the United States EPA as well as state level regulatory systems were first formed to address environmental concerns surrounding industry. The first objective was to limit the waste generation and prevent pollution using retrofits. For such tasks, industry needed engineers to install scrubbers, filters and other components to already existing manufacturing systems. Due to the continually increasing requirements of workers of such risky tasks, workplace safety and occupational health also became a concern, thereby giving rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. During the early stages, the EHS Compliance data would be required weekly or montly and mostly for recordkeeping purposes. Not much data was utilized for accident/incident analysis.
Today, Compliance Management requires real-time capabilities into existing business systems. What has made businesses yearn for real-time data? Why is the traditional methodology no longer good enough for businesses around the world? The world’s information is moving faster than ever, and organizations are under constant pressure to keep up. Operations are getting streamlined, supply chains are getting bigger, products getting diversified, and competition has always been ruthless. Organizations need to move faster or risk being pushed out of business by competitors.
There is a need for an organizational shift from a reactive to proactive style of management with respect to EHS issues.here have been some signs of positive results in this area. Companies around the world have proactively started adopting the EHS Management Systems by following standards such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 that not only assist in tackling their current EHS issues but also help them to continually improve their system in a well-structured manner.
Managing Compliance: Staying Up-to-date with Regulatory Data
Most regulatory data comes in three varieties:
1) Directly from regulatory agencies like OSHA, EPA, RIDDOR et al.
Ref: http://www.osha.gov/, http://www.epa.gov/, http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/, http://www.hse.gov.uk/
2) From external parties who stay up-to-date on the significant changes and addendums in the National and Local EHS laws
3) From internal sources that stay up-to-date with changes in the existing policies
Barriers: Incoherent & Incapable Data Management Systems
The most common hurdles to build an effective compliance management system are the tools (excel sheets, ad-hoc databases, paper files) used to manage data. Each department may have differing methods of storing data, creating a lack of standardization.In such cases, the tracking of various metrics and making sense out of the data (analytics) becomes almost impossible and the efforts of the EHS manager and his/her team might completely go to waste.
The Key: Automated & Integrated Data Management System (AIDMS)
The AIDMS will enable you to do the following:
A data management system containing all these elements will help in make a robust and efficient Compliance Management System.