Few companies look forward to external audits or a visit from the regulatory authorities. Will there be issues of non-compliance? Will enforcement be required, or penalties assigned? The goal of regulatory check-ups and audits is not to find issues, but to ensure adherence to applicable requirements, such as permit conditions. Environmental health and safety (EHS) permits include any permits, licenses, consents, certificates, or other authorizations required by EHS Law for the operation of a company or facility.1 The first thing an inspector from an EHS authority will request is documentation (i.e., applicable EHS permits, records, and incident registers) to determine whether the permit conditions are followed.
Managing EHS Permits Using Software
It is not easy to navigate federal, state, and local EHS regulations, especially with limited resources. EHS permit management software is an affordable and easy solution to keep up with ever-changing regulations and ensure companies are on the right track. This software uses digital solutions to assist companies with regulatory compliance, industry health, environmental safety, and risk management. EHS software collects and stores copious amounts of real-time data, auto-generates reports, and streamlines document management.
The use of comprehensive software, like SafetyStratus, facilitates productivity and efficiency in many areas, including permit creation and management. Permit Management Software is designed to organize, track, and report on all permits and related data. Relevant data details permit conditions and obligations, required activities, and renewal dates.
Benefits of Using EHS Software for Permit Management
Utilizing EHS Permit Management Software benefits the following areas:
EHS software makes it easier than ever for companies to be compliant. The software can be used to schedule compliance activities well in advance and ensure all permit requirements are addressed. This can be done through permit management features, as well as a compliance calendar for tracking audits.
Transparency is vitally important to an organization’s EHS record of accomplishment. Not only do EHS software systems allow for improved transparency to stakeholders, but they increase the visibility of real-time data. This software provides insight into company-wide performance regarding permit compliance and can target areas for improvement. Additionally, EHS software records key metrics in a more integrated and accessible manner.
EHS teams and managers are often wrapped up in administrative tasks. When using EHS permit management software, tasks related to permits and regulatory requirements can be automated, eliminating many time-consuming administrative duties. Certificates can be tracked, and necessary conditions more readily assigned to appropriate employees. This software also allows companies to preemptively coordinate permit renewals and keep a more concise record of expiration dates.
4. Progress Measurability
Usually, progress in safety and environmental performance can only be determined when reports are generated. A tool of EHS permit management software called key performance indicators (KPIs) shortcuts this process by compiling data on how the organization is doing with all permit-related tasks. The software showcases data to help users pinpoint where work is required and identify potential risks.
EHS software can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, making it easy for top-level management to communicate with employees at any time. Supervisors and employees can capture and track compliance data remotely and upload it to a central database. Dashboards display data to managers using graphics and visuals, making it easier to understand and create a plan of action.
EHS software provides an easy-to-use centralized database that allows companies to track and manage various regulatory permits and licenses necessary for lawful operation. EHS permit management software streamlines the process of organizing vital information, benefitting the entire review and approval process. Utilizing this software, permit expiration dates are easily identified, allowing early permit renewal application, boosting the efficiency of production and workflows. Additionally, the physical location of the permit can be quickly pinpointed, and essential documentation and communication history can be digitized, assisting in communicating within the company as well as to regulatory authorities.
The SafetyStratus Research Advisory Group (RAG) brings together thought leaders from the global environmental, health, and safety community to promote best practices and provide key insights in the profession and the industries they serve. The Research Advisory Group also advocates, where practical, the intersection of and advances with the use of technology, such as the SafetyStratus enterprise EHS software platform. Group membership consists of representatives from across varied disciplines and market sectors as well as select members of the SafetyStratus team.
The primary objectives of the SafetyStratus RAG partnership are to:
- Build a strategic partnership between EHS practitioners and the SafetyStratus team.
- Provide engaging and practical content to the global EHS community.
- Provide discipline and market feedback specific to SafetyStratus products and services.
While the objectives of the RAG are varied, the primary public-facing outcome will be available through engaging and practical content found on the SafetyStratus resource pages. Various articles, papers, and other valuable resources will be produced and shared as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate a robust community. Ultimately, the SafetyStratus RAG will expand to have a broader reach and provide opportunities for more inclusion by all interested EHS professionals in a collaborative community environment.