If your facility is like many, you are likely very familiar with environmental and health and safety acronyms of all types: SPCC, SWPPP, RMP, PSM, PSD, SMOP, NPDES – the list goes on and on. However, how familiar are you really with all the requirements in these plans and regulations? Could you hold up to a full media audit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or your state agency?
Some permits, plans, and programs may result in redundant recordkeeping and may eventually lead to plenty of confusion and forgotten tasks. It can be daunting to navigate all the complexities and deadlines associated with environmental and health and safety regulations. Additionally, missing important regulatory deadlines can result in significant fines and decreased productivity – ultimately affecting your bottom line. By not fully understanding and implementing all compliance dates, you are putting your facility at an unnecessary risk for enforcement, public scrutiny, and revenue loss.
With a new administration entering the White House, a push on increasing environmental regulatory enforcement and audits/inspections is a likelihood that all facilities need to be prepared for, so being confident in your recordkeeping and compliance is absolutely essential. A helpful, simple environmental and health and safety organizational tool that is gaining more and more traction and popularity is the compliance calendar.
So what is a compliance calendar, and why does your facility need one? Compliance calendars are easy-to-follow, visual guides with checklists and are tailored based on the specific regulations that apply to a facility. A facility’s Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) manager can use a compliance calendar to track training requirements, inspections, deadlines, and compliance dates. These tracked tasks include training cycles, document review dates, program reviews, routine inspections, performance testing dates, chemical inventory dates, wastewater sampling, tank testing/inspections, hazardous waste shipments, and any other regulatory requirements that are outlined in the facility’s plans/programs and permits. A compliance calendar will give you and your team the ability to be more consistent, timely, accountable, and thorough in compliance-related tasks. I have seen that when an EHS manager implements a compliance calendar, it shifts the facility’s compliance approach from reactive to proactive.
Not only can a compliance calendar keep your facility’s environmental and health and safety requirements organized, but it also acts as a reliable paper trail for compliance dates. The calendar serves as a quick reference point for dates and locations of documents. It further proves to agency inspectors that the facility is implementing and abiding by applicable regulations.
It’s a new year, and we all have goals in mind for 2021: exercise more, eat healthier, learn something new – but what are your goals for your facility? If your answer is to be more productive, more organized, decrease risk, avoid fines, and keep team members accountable, then developing and utilizing a compliance calendar is an easy and clear way to achieve your goal. As always, we at PPM are here to help you with the development of a compliance calendar that is tailored to your unique facility. Please reach out with questions or for more information.
District Manager, Jackson, MS Office