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Are You Prepared for an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Audit?

Worker writing on an EHS audit clipboard with a pen

An environmental health and safety audit helps workplaces improve compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. EPA requirements exist to ensure the safety and health of the environment, including humans, animals, property and resources.

Conducting an audit is a good way to determine how efficiently and effectively your organization manages its overall health and safety program, especially when storing or handling hazardous materials. To prepare, many organizations and businesses conduct internal EHS audits before receiving an external assessment from a third party—often a government agency auditor.

What Is an EHS Audit?

An environmental health and safety audit is a regulatory compliance assessment tool. EHS audits involve a workplace survey that helps regulators determine if workers, procedures and methods at a facility adhere to health and environmental safety rules. The audit may also reveal if equipment such as spill prevention or secondary containment systems meet compliance requirements.

How Do You Conduct an Environmental Health and Safety Audit?

The scope and breadth of your EHS audit depends on the needs of your business. To conduct your own EHS audit, identify factors such as the size of your business, focus areas and time to completion. Consider the following before conducting your audit:

  • Identify local, state and federal regulation requirements
  • Assess how regulation requirements impact your business
  • Develop processes to track tasks, trainings, spills, permits and other data
  • Comply with your organization’s internal best practices and standards
  • Be prepared for an unannounced, external auditor to arrive onsite

Why Follow an EHS Audit Checklist?

When you follow a clear EHS audit checklist, you’ll cultivate a safer workplace environment, maintain a stronger emergency preparedness plan, and pivot more easily when regulatory requirements evolve or update over time. While there is no one-size-fits-all checklist, according to OSHA, topics on your checklist can include1:

  • Management leadership
  • Worker participation
  • Hazard identification and assessment
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Education and training
  • Program evaluation and improvement
  • Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors, and staffing agencies

To streamline the EHS audit, use technology to conduct paperless audits, review your audit data over time, and share your findings with company leaders to encourage transparent communication and implementation.

What Are the Benefits of an Environmental Audit?

When you perform a voluntary, internal EHS safety audit, you can uncover areas for improvement and quickly address them instead of waiting for results from an unannounced, external auditor’s inspection.

An EHS audit can help you:

  • Identify and resolve compliance issues
  • Improve workplace health and safety
  • Reduce liability
  • Find efficiencies and save costs
  • Gain insight into current spill prevention and containment methods
  • Increase awareness of regulations among employees

Stay Compliant with Polystar Secondary and Spill Containment Solutions

As an engineer or consultant, your knowledge base and recommendations lay the foundation for a project’s success. Ensure you and your team adhere to current industry regulations when scoping out investments or industrial projects by choosing the right spill prevention or secondary containment system.

Browse our collection of products or contact us to learn more about Polystar Containment’s secondary containment and spill prevention systems.

 

Source:

1 https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/SHP_Audit_Tool.pdf

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