Over the last century, globalization has driven a 4000% increase in international trade and prompted a rapid rise in the number of multinational (MNC) and transnational (TNC) corporations operating around the world. But companies operating in multiple countries must comply with rapidly changing local environment, health and safety (EHS) regulations such as OSHA in the U.S., the “Framework Directive” in the EU and JICOSH in Japan. In 2018, Enhesa covered 4,222 EHS regulatory developments from over 40 countries and 275 jurisdictions globally, an increase of 20% from 2017.
The short- and long-term costs (shut-downs, fines, litigation and tarnished brand) of non-compliance can be staggering. A recent Enhesa benchmarking survey of corporate EHS Executives found that:
- 74 percent had incurred an enforcement action in the last five years
- Two-thirds of the respondents had been issued regulatory fines up to $100k due to recent non-compliance. An additional 10 percent experienced fines in the range of $100k to $500k.
In an increasingly regulated EHS climate (i.e. more regulations in more countries) it is more important than ever that MNCs track their compliance data. MNCs are facing increasing pressure to manage vast quantities of data to remain compliant with international law and, at the same time, stay competitive in the marketplace and attentive to the needs of their workforce.
How can you keep track of the ever-changing regulations that your company must comply with? What are some best practices to help guide the application of regulatory content to your specific facilities and what role does software play in managing your compliance obligations?
6 Best Practices for the Application of Regulatory Content
Take a global approach. Adopt a global approach that allows for centralized compliance management and local inputs.
Align EHS laws with global sites. Establish which EHS laws are applicable to work sites in specific countries. Knowing what does not apply can be just as important as knowing what does.
Identify the gaps. Conduct an initial assessment or gap analysis of where sites stand in terms of compliance with local laws.
Track compliance with dashboards. Document the results of any compliance assessment using a software application that allows a dashboard view of site, regional, and global levels of compliance.
Keep current with regulation changes. Ensurechanges in regulations are highlighted and explained.
Automate the flow of information. Integration of regulatory content is a technical process between partners that is developed with the end user in mind. Understand your end user and the type of content he or she needs.
These six practices will help you apply regulatory content to your facilities and maintain compliance with new and existing regulations. With 4,222 EHS regulatory developments from over 40 countries and 275 jurisdictions globally in 2018 alone, and with fines for non-compliance costing companies as much as $500,000, the use of software to help manage your compliance responsibilities makes good business sense.
For more details about best practices, plus information about the common pitfalls and ROI of integrating your regulatory content into and EHS solution, please download our ebook – Intelex/Enhesa Best Practice Guide: Integrating Regulatory Content into an EHS Software Platform