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Issue 71 July 2013

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Environment, Health & Safety Compliance Audit Protocols & Scorecards

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Assessing facility compliance with internal company guidelines and local regulations is challenging enough in your home country, but foreign operations pose substantial additional challenges.

These and a myriad of other questions must be addressed when auditing international operations.

Enhesa provides a variety of services to clients to help verify that activities and operations throughout the world are carried out in compliance with local regulatory requirements, internal corporate policies and procedures, and appropriate and applicable best environmental management standards.

Enhesa is the global leader in the provision of up-to-date international environment, health and safety compliance audit protocols. Our international regulatory specialists and our network of local experts around the globe research specific legal requirements in detail and prepare comprehensive protocols that our clients know will result in an accurate assessment of their facilities' compliance. This is of fundamental importance in today's enforcement environment in most countries, where accuracy counts for everything when it comes to managing regulatory risk and avoiding legal liabilities. There are many audit support tools available on the market today, but none combine the unique features and services available in the Enhesa Audit Protocols. Our Protocols offer the assurance that the assessment will cover all applicable regulatory requirements in force at the time of the audit.

Here are fourteen good reasons why companies operating globally prefer the international EHS compliance Audit Protocols developed by Enhesa.

14 advantages of using Enhesa's Audit Protocols:

1. Updated for each user on demand
Using an Audit Protocol that is two to four years out of date may be worse than none at all! The rapid pace of regulatory change worldwide means a continually shifting landscape for compliance assurance, and auditors using materials even a year old may be missing some of the most critical requirements, and run the heightened risk of losing credibility with management and staff of the facilities they are auditing. In today's heightened enforcement climate, this could lead to serious infractions going unnoticed until it is too late. 

Enhesa's global Regulatory Monitoring service and Regulatory Monitoring Reports, covering over 150 countries on six continents, keep us fully up to date of all critical EHS regulatory changes, and give us access to the key regulatory documents, allowing us to regularly update our compliance Audit Protocols at short notice.

2. Detailed background info and guidance for auditors
Each Audit Protocol comes with a Country Profile, a list of EHS Legislation and an accompanying ScoreCard to keep track of the audit results as you go.

Country Profile - The Audit Protocol comes with an introduction to the Country, identifying the regulatory framework, regulatory instruments, and competent authorities.

Introduction per module - For each major topic area (e.g., air, water, waste, safety, etc.) an overall introduction explains the applicability of the module concerned and describes how the topic is regulated and by whom in the country concerned. It also includes a list of the laws and regulations that are relevant to the topic at hand.

List of EHS legislation - Enhesa Audit Protocols include hyperlinks to the full texts of the cited laws and regulations whenever possible to allow the auditor to appreciate the legal tolerances and limits applicable to the facility in question. The hyperlinks connect you to the text as provided by the public authorities in the country concerned or to the Enhesa EHS Regs KnowledgeBase which contains more than 10,000 electronic copies of Regulations. If none of the aforementioned works and you still need the text, you can always call upon Enhesa to email, fax or courier the text to you.

EHS ScoreCard - Each Audit Protocol is accompanied by an Excel ScoreCard with all the key compliance questions by module (between 30-50 key questions per module or some 300-500 compliance questions for each Audit Protocol), allowing the auditor to quickly tally compliance results. The EHS ScoreCard is an easy-to-use tool, allowing for the filtering of applicable questions and a weighed rating on the level of compliance and associated risk. It also allows you to filter the non-compliance questions, add in your comments and issue the result as your audit report before leaving the facility. The EHS ScoreCard also allows for the comparison of multiple facilities with the same scoring system and the identification of issues that arise across all the facilities, or to compare facility performance against the parameters defined by the user. This allows the company to better focus its EHS programme and resources on the issues where it faces the greatest non-compliance liabilities and challenges.

3. All relevant EHS issues fully covered
Enhesa Audit Protocols cover the environmental and occupational safety and health requirements that apply to your facilities. We separate each protocol into the following subject areas:
  1. Administrative and legal structure
  2. General Environmental Requirements
  3. Air Emission Management.
  4. Water Management
  5. Waste Management
  6. Chemicals Management
  7. Hazardous Materials Management/ Transport
  8. Safety Management
  9. Facility/ Process Safety
  10. Emergency Preparedness/ Response
  11. Occupational Health
  12. List of EHS legislation
Each section is subdivided into lower levels of detail.  For a detailed overview of what each subject area covers please click here.

These topic headings were selected on the basis of a comparison of international regulatory approaches, particularly those used in the USA and in the European Union. They focus specifically on what your facility needs to do to be in compliance. Use of these standard headings also avoids any confusion over whether or not an issue is dealt with in the Audit Protocol. The Audit Protocols are presented in a modular format, which allows the user to split them up among different audit teams focusing on different aspects of the audit.

As an option therefore, Enhesa can provide the environmental portions or the occupational safety and health portions of the Audit Protocol separately or together as required. We can also work with your audit managers to identify and include regulatory requirements relative to other areas of your programme (such as corporate social responsibility, product stewardship, requirements specific only to a particular process or type of operation, etc).

4. Compliance assessments simplified using a ScoreCard
Each of the protocol's modules includes a ScoreCard in Excel, with all of the key compliance questions contained in the module (between 30-50 key questions per module or some 300-500 compliance questions for each Audit Protocol), allowing the auditor to quickly tally compliance results. The EHS ScoreCard is an easy-to-use tool, allowing for the filtering of applicable questions and a weighed rating on the level of compliance and associated risk. It also allows you to filter the non-compliance questions, add in your comments and issue the result as your audit report before leaving the facility. The EHS ScoreCard also allows for the comparison of multiple facilities with the same scoring system and the identification of issues that arise across all the facilities, or to compare facility performance against the parameters defined by the user. This allows the company to better focus its EHS programme and resources on the issues where it faces the greatest non-compliance liabilities and challenges.
5. In the language you want: English and local language
How do you audit facility compliance in a foreign country, the language of which you do not speak, and whose employees' English is rudimentary at best? Enhesa provides Audit Protocols and Scorecards in English as well as in the local language of the country concerned. When Enhesa provides a dual-language Audit Protocol (available for virtually any country), we develop it directly from the original in the local language, drawing on the official texts of the laws and regulations, and including key terms in both English and local langauge to prevent misunderstanding. If requested, the documents are also translated, resulting in two versions containing exactly the same information and which are updated simultaneously. This allows them to be used side-by-side by the auditor and local management and staff with the maximum level of comfort and assurance that both are literally on the same page.
6. Access to texts of applicable laws and regulations
Even the most comprehensive Audit Protocols can only go so far in detailing the regulatory requirements, auditors can find themselves face with situations that call for a closer examination of the exact text of the law or regulation. Enhesa Audit Protocols include hyperlinks to the original texts of the cited laws and regulations or excerpts sufficient to allow the auditor to appreciate the legal tolerances and limits applicable to the facility in question. The hyperlinks connect you to the text as provided by the public authorities in the country concerned or to the Enhesa EHS Regs Knowledge Base which contains more than 30,000 electronic copies of Regulations. If none of the aforementioned works and you still need the text, you can always call upon Enhesa to email, fax or courier the text to you.
7. In an easy-to-use format (including your own)

Enhesa Audit Protocols can be delivered via your dedicated Enhesa website or by email. They typically come in an easy-to-use electronic format that does not require any user training: PDF format, Word, and/or Excel. You can easily copy and paste the information into your audit report or use the information to improve facility operating procedures.

If need be, you can opt to have Enhesa work with your IT department to deliver the content to you as database tables (e.g. Access, XML, etc) for direct upload to your audit platform. We pride ourselves on our custom solutions, and are happy to work with you to identify the best solution to your needs.

8. Licensed for use by anyone in your company
The Enhesa Audit Protocols are delivered for use throughout a company. As such the number of users within a company is not restricted. The same protocol, for example, can be used by all facilities in the same jurisdiction and subject to the same regulatory requirements. All Audit Protocols can be delivered in electronic format, and can be posted to client-dedicated websites for use by any concerned person in the company.
9. Tailored to your operations
Most auditors using standard off the shelf checklists know the frustration of using tools that seem to have been made for another job, or for someone else's facility or operations. They also are left wondering whether or not they cover all of the truly critical questions and requirements applicable to their activities. Enhesa's unique Decision-Tree-Mechanism provides the user with the right level of detail needed to assess the compliance of the operations under scrutiny, without having to wade through dozens of non-applicable questions. The user can easily determine whether a set of questions are potentially applicable to the activities under review, while the option is left open to re-assess the situation in case the nature of operations change at a later date.

As an option, therefore, Enhesa can tailor the Audit Protocols and/or Scorecards to suit your business, or even to a specific facility, with the inclusion of local regulations and your facility's permit requirements, thereby excluding in advance what is known to be non-applicable. To do this, we typically gather and analyse as much information about your business and facility as possible to guide the preparation of the tailored Audit Protocol. We also adapt the questions to match the type of facility concerned, scaling our approach to the level of regulatory complexity involved. We are therefore able to provide tailored Audit Protocols, for example, for office buildings or warehouses, in addition to industrial operations.

10. Integrated into your Corporate Management System
While Enhesa has developed an Audit Protocol that covers all relevant regulatory issues and provides substantial background information to aid the auditor in preparing for and conducting the audit, many companies have their own formats and programmes to take into consideration. Some have developed their own approaches that have been tried and tested over several years, and want to ensure that their own internal policies and requirements are also covered along with local regulatory requirements. Others have linked their auditing tools to other compliance assurance management systems and need to expand these tools to include local regulations in other countries. Whatever your special requirements, Enhesa will work with you to incorporate the relevant international regulatory requirements into your protocols. We also incorporate national and regional regulatory requirements into pre-designed corporate EHS audit protocols.
11. Continuing support, even during the audit!
Our specialists are also available to accompany the client's audit team to the facility for a day or for the entire audit to provide more in-depth regulatory support, as well as to facilitate communications with local management and staff by providing interpreting and translating support during the audit. And, of course, Enhesa regulatory specialists are also trained and experienced auditors in their own right and are available to lead such audits on behalf of the client as well. Even when Enhesa is not leading or participating in the compliance audit on behalf of clients, we continue to back up our work with Helpline Support. This service provides a quick response to regulatory questions that might arise during an audit. Our regulatory experts, typically the person that prepared the protocol, are available by phone or email to quickly carry out any additional research that might be needed to finalise an audit report before the audit team leaves the site or within a matter of days of conclusion of the on-site portion of the audit.
12. Competitively priced

When you consider the overall budgets your company commits each year to compliance assurance and auditing, doesn't it make sense to be sure that the results are accurate? Shouldn't your facilities be assessed against the requirements in force now, instead of against those that were relevant a year or two (or even 3-4 years) ago? (Download an order form here)

As an additional option, Audit Protocols can be provided in dual language, updated as needed, tailored for specific business and industrial activities, or according to client-defined formats and templates, as well as in the Enhesa standard format for one or more additional countries as required by the client.

13. For virtually any country you need
Enhesa has developed international Audit Protocols for more than 160 different countries and jurisdictions around the globe, all of which are updated at least annually if not more frequently. If there is a location for which you need and Audit Protocol and we don’t yet have it, let us know and we will look into the most cost-efficient way of developing it for you.

List of all Audit Protocols currently available

14. A proven track record
Enhesa developed its first series of Audit Protocols in 1993, tailored to the specific operations of the client concerned and incorporating the relevant regulatory requirements into the client's corporate audit protocol. We have continued to update and expand the global coverage of our services ever since. Enhesa Audit Protocols have been used by hundreds of auditors at more than a thousand audits of industrial sites around the globe. Our experience allows us to continually improve our approach to ensure the highest quality and better meet the needs of the user. Almost all international Audit Protocols are developed according to the standard format described above, with a built-in Decision-Tree-Mechanism, 10 standard subject modules and standardized list of issues covered. All questions come with an exact legal citation, and the list of legislation allows you to determine exactly what latest regulatory developments have been covered.

Enhesa has been selected by numerous Fortune 500 firms to develop and maintain up to date their EHS compliance audit protocols over the past decade, including companies with noteworthy international compliance assurance programmes such as Agere Systems, Almatis, Applied Materials, AT&T, Avery Dennison, Baxter Healthcare, Cardinal Health (Allegiance), General Electric Company, Georgia Pacific, GrafTech, Halliburton, Levi Strauss, Lucent Technologies, Merck, Noveon, Pfizer, Rohm & Haas and Tyco International. We continue to assure that our clients receive fully up-to-date and comprehensive Audit Protocols to meet their audit objectives.

  • Enhesa International Audit Protocol Service (Download pdf)
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