EHS Audit Preparation

by | May 9, 2024

If your business was surprised with an environmental health and safety (EHS) audit today, would it pass? Many times, the answer is no.

An EHS audit is used to assess regulatory compliance in the workplace. Many different agencies can conduct an EHS audit, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or state and local regulatory agencies. They may conduct a full inspection or only focus on certain environmental or safety regulations.

Although an EHS audit can be stressful, you can take steps to prepare your facility and make sure there are no surprises.

One effective tactic to utilize when preparing for an audit is to conduct an EHS assessment yourself or have a third party do it for you before a regulatory agency comes in. This way, you can identify any compliance gaps you may have and give yourself a chance to fix them. This proactive approach has many benefits and can increase awareness and understanding of safety and environmental regulations. It also provides an opportunity to involve your employees in your EHS program.

Environmental health and safety encompasses numerous topics, like workplace safety, management of wastewater, stormwater, hazardous waste, and addressing air pollution, among others. An effective safety program should incorporate steps to improve things like machine guarding, crane and hoist operations, chemical exposure, powered industrial trucks, risk analysis, and lock-out/tag-out. The more operations and outdoor activities that a facility has, the more thorough an audit will need to be.

Additionally, agencies like OSHA could audit training and recordkeeping. If you are habitually unorganized or tend to fall behind in training your employees, government representatives may observe that during an audit and it will negatively impact your facility.

Being proactive and performing a pre-audit yourself will identify things that you should attend to, such as the overall condition and housekeeping of the facility. Are there obvious signs of leakage? Are walkways clear? Are chemicals and tools properly stored and easily accessible? Are hazardous materials handled correctly?

As you can probably tell, preparing for an audit takes a lot of time and effort. It is a good idea to prioritize EHS activities and work on ensuring your compliance year-round. Making a schedule and delegating tasks to different personnel can also help lessen the burden and keep things on track.

Sometimes, it may be best to hire a consulting company such as Walden to help you understand which regulations apply to your facility. Walden can also help your organization develop a comprehensive safety program, train employees, and conduct an environmental analysis.

Contact Walden today for more information at 516-789-2972.

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Contact Walden’s EHS team at 516-789-2972 to schedule a facility audit with one of our experienced consultants.