The Flash is Enhesa's free bi-monthly news publication, which offers the headings of new regulations worldwide and related articles by Enhesa's EHS Consultants.

The Enhesa Flash allows you to test your knowledge and to see whether you are on top of all new regulatory developments. more information

Latest Issue:

Issue 71 July 2013

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Helpline Support Services

Where can you get quick answers to specific questions about regulations and programmes that impact your business activities, both at home and overseas?

  As an EHS manager in an expanding international company, you know that laws and regulations are constantly changing, and, even more to the point, your own company and its markets are constantly changing, making it imperative that you have access to quick answers to specific questions about laws, regulations, threshold limit values, restricted materials and substances, minimum safety standards, etc.

More often than not, you need the information yesterday, and simply don’t have the time to scour files for approved consultants, put out an RFP, wait for the responses and then select the bidder that has the best price and whose approach comes closest to meeting their needs.  To get a simple answer to a simple question (and let’s be fair, sometimes more complex answers to questions about very complicated policy or regulatory matters) takes an inordinate amount of time and usually requires one to buy a lot of excess baggage.

Tailor-made solutions

 Enhesa knows that our clients are looking for are consultants they can trust to move quickly and efficiently to get concise answers to specific questions, to advise as quickly as possible on the real complexity of the situation the questions deal with, propose efficient ways of getting the needed answers, and let them decide whether and how to proceed.

Enhesa can quickly mobilise and deploy the necessary resources to respond rapidly to most questions concerning EHS policies and requirements.  The Enhesa Helpline support was conceived to strengthen corporate EHS departments, allowing them full access to the EHS regulatory resources at Enhesa.

At Enhesa, no question involving local or international EHS law, policy or regulation is too big or too small.  Enhesa’s Helpline Support Service was originally conceived to provide an additional level of support to clients receiving our regular monitoring reports, but it soon became obvious that many other clients sometimes only needed a quick answer to a specific question. Many clients give us a blanket authorisation to expend per question up to a maximum number of hours of professional effort and reasonable expenses to quickly research and return with the answers they need.  If a question turns out to be much more complex than they or we anticipated, we are responsible for letting them know this within the allotted timeframe and the client decides whether or how to proceed.

Experience

Enhesa's Helpline responds to clients who have a need for services tailored to their activities, markets, products and services. They include specialty chemical manufacturers, computer and IT manufacturers, telecommunications equipment manufacturers, automotive and aerospace companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, food and beverage producers, medical equipment manufacturers, toy manufacturers, and others.

Sample questions

Here are some sample questions that we have helped our clients with through the Helpline service:
  • Clarification of the definition of waste (and therefore the requirement for a license to transport waste) for a glass manufacturer needing to transport discarded glass back to the supplier for recycling;
  • Clarification of the documents and authorisations needed to ship graphite electrodes from the US to Malaysia, China and India;
  • Snapshot review to identify current and pending restrictions on the use of cadmium in manufacturing processes and products in the European Union and the United States;
  • Clarified requirements for registration of client product with Dutch environmental authorities and provision of data necessary for permitting wastewater discharges, to facilitate negotiations for sale of product to Dutch end-user;
  • Obtained and summarised in English latest workplace threshold limit values for dangerous substances and occupational exposures in China;
  • Provided a snapshot review of environmental requirements impacting industrial operations in Colombia;
  • Identified all substances and materials of concern that are banned or restricted under EU legislation for electronic product manufacturer;
  • Identified and obtained copies of all requirements regulating hazardous materials transport in six Asian countries;
  • Analyzed the requirements applicable to the shipment of discarded transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from Mexico to the Netherlands for recovery;
  • Outlined which chemical restrictions faced by a manufacturer of printed circuit boards are regulatory and which are driven by major customer environmental policies (and how to comply).
  • Cost-effective services

     Our experience is that the vast majority of these kind of questions require no more than 2-4 hours' effort, and many such questions can be answered immediately, with no real expenditure of professional effort.  And if we can answer such questions right over the phone or via a return email, and it costs us nothing, then we don’t bill.  Frequently, a client is looking for a copy of a law or regulation, and we either have it in our extensive library, or we can get it with no real effort.  Again, as long as it doesn’t require more than a few minutes’ effort and no cost, we don’t bill.  On the other hand, we sometimes do field questions or situations that we know up front are more complex than our clients realise.  In such cases, we advise them of the complexity of the issue and the effort required to get the answers they’re looking for and let them decide how they want to proceed. Most often, we will propose a phased approach, understanding that it might not require all steps to arrive at the needed solution.

    In some cases, having expended most or all of the allocated time, we come back to our clients with what we think are only partial answers and suggest ways to proceed further, only to discover that we have in fact found already addressed their concerns.  In any case, we never bill our clients for more than eight hours professional effort for any assignment without their agreement in advance to commit more time and resources to the matter. 

    Using the Helpline

    The Helpline is available to all ENHESA clients.   If you are not a client but would still like to make use of the Helpline please contact us at enhesa@enhesa.com or at +32(0) 2 775 9797 (Brussels) or at +1 202 552 1090 (Washington).