Verisk 3E

Diagnosing your HazMat compliance program - How do you get started?


Courtesy of Verisk 3E

In a competitive industry, environmental health and safety (EH&S) professionals are asked to do more, efficiently, with reduced staffs. This creates a tense atmosphere. Although employees perform to the best of their ability, they continue to feel the economic pressure. Other challenges facing companies today include multiple departments contending for the same limited dollars against a mass of financial pressure to justify expenditures, agencies, including OSHA, DOT and the EPA, enforce regulations related to hazardous materials. Between October 2002 and September 2003, companies were handed an average of two citations per inspection related to OS Com Standard. In addition, there has been a decentralization of operational functions.

Where EH&S staffs once utilized their technical expertise to manage the daily information and data flow and ongoing reporting activities, these responsibilities are now handled by individuals who may often lack the technical expertise or process understanding to oversee these EH&S activities. Besides the challenges of personnel and compliance issues for an EH&S staff, maintaining a safe working environment is a critical area of focus for EH&S staff. Reduced training affects an entire company and can lead to an incr , additional fines and other costs.

These outcomes b an issue of concern to managers at all levels. Moving In From the Outside It can be difficult for management to gain an understanding of the technical day-to-day responsibilities and critical safety systems handled by EH&S departments. This can lead to a false sense of security as executives believe everything is operating smoothly, when systems are in fact disruption or change in management or policy can create holes in the syst said Rich Warner, President, Rich Warner Associates, a consulting firm specializing in HazMat compliance.

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