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

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Issue 71 July 2013

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Regulatory Register

Are you in compliance by accident or design?

How do you identify the regulations that apply to your particular activities, across a range of facilities around the world? How do you identify exactly what they require you to do, and how do you know when they change? Are you sure you have identified all of the applicable requirements?

The Compliance Challenge

 One of the most common root-causes of non-compliance is a facility being unaware that a particular regulation is applicable to its activities.

ENHESA's Regulatory Register is a tool designed to give any facility or operational unit direct access to the legislation that affects them, as well as an overview of what it is they are required to do to comply with it.  It was specifically designed to ensure conformity with the requirements of both ISO 1401 and OHSAS 18001, and can be used as a key component of the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 requirement (§4.3.2) to establish and maintain a procedure to identify and have access to the applicable legal and other requirements that are applicable to the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services. To this end it provides an up-to-date registry of the applicable EHS laws and regulations of the countries and regions in which the company operates.

These days there are more things that need to be done and which need to be verified.  An increasing focus on implementation and enforcement means a greater risk of being found to be out of compliance.  Coupled with a trend towards greater transparency and accountability, this requires any company that wishes to be taken seriously to devote sufficient attention to EHS awareness and compliance.

The ENHESA Knowledgebase

The EHS Regulatory Register draws on a robust expert system containing the analysis of thousands of regulatory texts and their impact on business. Our wide range of international coverage allows us to maintain our expert system of EHS regulations and requirements for more than 150 countries, many of which we monitor and update on a daily basis. This provides us with an excellent source of information that the Regulatory Register draws from.

Methodology

The ENHESA EHS Regulatory Register allows users to define the scope to include only those regulations which would be applicable to the facility's operations at a given moment in time.

1. Scoping

Initially, the user goes into the dedicated website and selects the country or region of interest and may also select particular issues of interest, such as waste disposal or chemicals management. This allows the scope to be narrowed down sufficiently to generate a relevant list of tailoring questions.

2. Tailoring

The user is then presented with a selection of questions about the facility's operations which are answered using 'yes', 'no' or 'unsure' checkboxes. Where the user is not certain about a given issue, further information is given in the form of pop-up boxes which elaborate on a given point. An example of this would be a question to determine whether the facility handles hazardous waste, further information would be available to clarify what exactly is considered to be hazardous waste or in what quantities the legislation becomes applicable.

3. List of Applicable Regulations

 Once these have been answered the user is presented with a list of potentially applicable EHS regulations.  In this list a distinction is made between  legislation which is definitely applicable, and that which could potentially be applicable, based on the answers to the questions given in the first step. Where a user did not give a definitive 'yes' or 'no' answer, the relevant legislation will appear as potentially applicable. This allows for more clarity and allows the user to further define the applicability at a later stage.

Each law or regulation that appears in the resultant list then links on to details about the main requirements that arise from it and what has to be done to stay in compliance.

4. Applicable Requirements

Perhaps the most important component of the Regulatory Register, this section allows the user to see a summary of the requirements arising from each piece of legislation. For each entry on the list, the user can see the exact citation, a description of the main content and a summary of the main requirements. The main requirements will explain what has to be done to stay in compliance. It will identify what is being regulated, what the key requirements are, and what it applies to.

5. Original Text of the Legislation

Wherever possible, each entry also provides a link to the original text of the legislation, whether this is publicly available online or it is saved separately in the ENHESA database. This gives the user instant access to the legislation.

Professional Support

If you would rather not have to go through the motions of answering scoping questions or accessing a database, ENHESA Consultants can help you. Where requested to do so, ENHESA can pre-tailor a Regulatory Register to a specific client's needs. In this case we work closely with the client to ensure that we know as much about the client's operations, products and activities as possible to be able to accurately identify all of the applicable requirements. One of our Consultants can also come on site to help you set up the Regulatory Register and integrate with your way of doing business. And of course if you have problems determining whether or not a Regulation is applicable to your operation or to know how to ensure ongoing compliance, you can use the Enhesa Helpline to get support.

Complementary Tools

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To find out more about the EHS Regulatory Register and how it could be of use to your business, please contact us at enhesa@enhesa.com for more information.

  • Enhesa Global Regulatory Register Service (Download pdf)
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