Document Control Software Simplifies Compliance

Regulated industries face unique challenges regarding risk management and compliance, making document control software a crucial component in managing key documents such as permits, reports and forms.

There is a lot of confusion about what digitization, digitalization and digital transformation are, how they are different and what this means for document control. Many people use them interchangeably, but when you dig deeper, you will find that there are significant differences regarding their goals, scope and benefits. In the long run, they share a common goal of transforming legacy processes and operations to fully digital analogs that increase efficiency, transparency and customer satisfaction while reducing costs.

With benefits like these, it’s no wonder that companies are aggressively adopting these changes. The global digital transformation is expected to reach almost $3.3 trillion by 2025 as companies increase their spending on mobile technology, IoT and SaaS.

COVID-19 accelerated this trend and turned … Read more...

Biden’s FY 2022 EPA Budget: $11.2 Billion with Focus on Environmental Justice and Science

U.S. President Joe Biden’s FY 2022 budget request of $11.2 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency makes historic investments in environmental justice, science and support for the agency’s state and local programs, and reverses years of declining operating budgets

Submitted to Congress on May 28, 2021, the budget advances key EPA priorities, including tackling climate change, advancing environmental justice, protecting public health, improving infrastructure, creating jobs and supporting and rebuilding the EPA workforce.

“The FY 2022 President’s Budget proposes the investments needed to advance EPA’s mission across the board. The budget boosts support to our state, local and Tribal partners, increases support for national treasures like the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, accelerates job-creating water infrastructure improvements, elevates environmental justice across the agency, increases support for science and importantly, makes sure all EPA offices have the operational budgets and workforces they need to deliver for the American people,” said EPA Administrator … Read more...

Brand Damage, Financial Liability, Criminal Charges: The High Cost of Not Meeting Regulatory Compliance Obligations

AI can reduce the cost of regulatory compliance
ehsAI’s next-wave compliance technology uses a patent-pending artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solution to analyze, organize and summarize complex regulatory documents.

Around the world, organizations in every industry have obligations to follow the requirements outlined in various rules, regulations, permits and directives. These requirements outline the way in which a company operates day-to-day, its interaction with the environment and its obligations to the health and safety of its workers.

Regulations can be mandated by any level of government or can be specific within certain industries, with a few important examples being Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), the Clean Air Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

When organizations don’t meet their regulatory obligations, the result can be brand damage, financial liability and even criminal charges. For example, Volkswagen has paid billions to settle allegations that it used elaborate technology to cheat emissions tests and deceive … Read more...

Expert Connect Explores OSHA under the Biden Administration: Compliance, Enforcement, Collaboration or All Three?

What does OSHA under the Biden administration look like? Read what Scott has to say and learn more from our experts on April 7th’s Expert Connect.

With new leadership at the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA and the Biden administration signaling a return to more regulatory and compliance oversight, our panel of experts have been invited to explore how enforcement and regulatory action might change and what EHS professionals should be doing to prepare.

Join us on April 7th from 10:00–10:45 am EDT “OSHA under Biden.” Our panelists include Scott Gaddis, Vice President, Global Practice Leader—Safety & Health, Intelex, Travis Vance, Partner, Fisher & Phillips LLP and Jennifer Debias, Director of Business Development – North America, RegScan. Our moderator is Jonna Pedersen, Senior Manager, Customer Success, Intelex.

Scott recently sat down to answer some questions about the OSHA Under Biden session. Here’s what he had to say:… Read more...

How AI is Helping Organizations Meet ESG Expectations

Using AI, subject matter experts who need to understand ESG requirements can synthesize vast quantities of data that would take weeks or even months for human readers to wade through.

Today’s organizations are part of a dynamic marketplace undergoing seemingly constant disruption. While some of these disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, will produce times of crises, others will be the catalyst to monumental positive change.

Over the last few years, organizations have started to look beyond profit as the primary motivation for doing business to the possibility of having a positive impact on society and the environment. To this end, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) has become the foundation upon which many organizations and their customers see strategic decisions regarding investment and innovation being made.

However, ESG comes with a number of complex obstacles for implementation. This is where ehsAI’s artificial intelligence and deep learning solutions can make … Read more...

Don’t Let Your Incident Management System Sink Like the Titanic

Ask a group of people what caused the Titanic to sink and most will say, “An iceberg.” In reality, the Titanic tragedy was caused by a series of events—management failures, poor-quality construction, employee errors/lack of training, poor planning, and either failure to track incidents or the inability to analyze incident data in a meaningful way—that ended with the sinking of the ship.  

As explained in the new Insight Report, The Five Things You Need to Know about Incident Reporting and Management,” safety and environmental disasters rarely occur because of a single event or incident, which is why it’s critical to adopt an incident management system that identifies root causes and protects your business from future occurrences.  

Workplace incidents can be painful for injured employees, the environment, and your organization’s bottom line, but incident management and reporting doesn’t have to be a pain point for you. 

Effective incident reporting and risk management … Read more...

You Need More than Compliance to Achieve Operational Excellence in Quality

Since its introduction in 1987, ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems (QMS) has become the most popular standard in the world. The latest iteration, ISO 9001:2015, outlines a framework for improving quality and a vocabulary of understanding for any organization looking to provide products and services that consistently meet the requirements and expectations of customers and other relevant interested parties in the most efficient manner possible. It incorporates principles such as customer focus, process orientation, data-driven decision making, and systematic risk management to help organizations improve their operations across all areas. As a result, many organizations report reduced costs and improved quality and productivity after an ISO 9001:2015 implementation. 

However, not every ISO 9001:2015 implementation brings success. For some organizations, the time and effort dedicated to certifying to ISO 9001:2015 produce nothing but disappointing results such as increased costs, more bureaucracy, and even business failure. If ISO 9001:2015 is so … Read more...

Compliance at the Speed of Risk

I recently read that risk management begins and ends with decision making. Perhaps this is right, but I believe not in the sense that this statement was originally made. Risk management is more than just identifying the value at risk and deciding which is the best option. While this is important it is only half of the story.

Every plan, every project, every business endeavor operates in the presence of uncertainty and this uncertainty creates the opportunity for risk. This affects decision making, of course, but also affects how a company is organized, structured, the systems and processes that are put in place, and the culture it needs to contend with uncertainty as they make progress towards their goals and mission success.

Unfortunately, up until now, many companies build their defenses around disparate management systems implemented across functional silos and reinforced by reactive behaviors. This creates the possibility for risk … Read more...

EPA: Existing Owners of Upstream Oil and Natural Gas Facilities Can Perform Self-Audits to Return to Compliance

EPA offers a new temporary program in an effort to improve compliance, environmental outcomes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has temporarily expanded its voluntary self-audit and disclosure program for upstream oil and natural gas facilities by giving existing owners the opportunity to use EHS audits to find, correct and self-disclose Clean Air Act violations. EPA believes this self-audit program will motivate facilities to participate and start making the necessary changes to their equipment to address violations and return to compliance, improving air quality in surrounding communities.

“Upstream oil and natural gas facilities sometimes can have numerous emission violations. By temporarily expanding our self-audit program to existing owners, we expect more facilities to return to environmental compliance. This incentive to identify, correct, and self-disclose violations will provide additional public health and environmental protection in the surrounding communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Susan Bodine.

EPA is making … Read more...

Protect the Future with ISO 14001:2015

In December 2019, world leaders gathered for the Madrid Climate Change Conference (COP25) to discuss ways to implement the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is a part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is intended to find ways to prevent the world’s temperature from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It also promotes ways to help countries create the financial and technological frameworks to meet these responsibilities while continuing to encourage innovation and economic growth. Despite the overwhelming public support for determined action to combat climate change, COP25, like many other climate change conferences, descended into a rancorous series of confrontations and accusations between rich nations, developing nations, and climate change activists. 

The international marketplace has spoken loudly that economic growth and prosperity cannot be achieved at the expense of pollution, inefficient use of resources, and degradation of ecosystems. We cannot continue to pursue unsustainable growth … Read more...