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What are the purposes of an occupational EHS program, and why/how often will a business or facility need an assessment?
Occupational and Environmental, Health and Safety (OEHS) is an important component of all businesses, from small mom & pops with a handful of employees to large and complex, multi-state/international corporations with vast workforces. All employers have a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace with programs and systems in place to protect employees from a vast range of workplace hazards. Companies and businesses who adopt, promote, and seek to regularly improve their active Occupational and Environmental, Health and Safety programs and management systems are rewarded with a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce with less turnover, lower administrative and operating costs; that are less likely to incur costly injuries on the job that can lead to regulatory citations and expensive lawsuits.
Ensuring OSHA Regulatory Compliance
Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety programs and management systems must include, at a minimum, regulatory based programs and employee training required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state agencies such as CALOSHA, and union, industry or other non-regulatory best management practices. OSHA required programs include, but are not limited to, Hazard Communications, Emergency Action and Fire Prevention, Personal Protective Equipment, Electrical Safety, and Record Keeping. Depending on the nature of the business and the types of hazards that may be present, additional more complex and rigorous health and safety programs may be desired, required, or recommended including Confined Spaces, Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Respiratory Protection, Laboratory Chemical Hygiene and Laboratory Safety, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Hazwoper), to name some of the typical.
For any business, small or large, maintaining federal, state and local OEHS regulatory compliance management can be a confusing and daunting task with many requirements and regulations. Non-compliance with regulators can lead to thousands of dollars in fines and civil penalties, increased insurance premiums and liability, bodily injuries or fatalities of employees, risk of lawsuits, and potential failure of a business.
Due to the complexities of establishing and maintaining OEHS programs, some business stake-holders may wish to take a “head in the sand” approach until they are forced to deal with regulatory non-compliance due to a focused event, such as an insurance audit, a serious workplace injury, or regulatory visit from OSHA. This type of approach to EHS regulatory compliance management may result in harm to a business, a brand and most importantly to a workforce. Being proactive regarding your OEHS program compliance management is the prudent and best approach.
Our Occupational & Environmental Health and Safety Services
RHP’s Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), health scientists, and Certified Safety Professionals (CSP) are trained in and experienced with identifying and mitigating the complex nature of hazards within a wide range of industries, including construction, chemical manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, R&D, and cannabis to name a few. RHP professionals can guide you through the complexities of regulations and help navigate your company in the process of identifying and evaluating the regulations that apply to your company’s specific operations, rank any regulatory compliance gaps and develop a schedule and roadmap to fill the gaps, and to work as a partner to keep your business in regulatory compliance with established, company specific plans that are practical, organic and sustainable, to meet your maintenance needs now and as your company may evolve and change over time.
- OEHS Auditing – RHP provides comprehensive health and safety audits of facilities and OEHS programs, both initial and maintenance audits. These audits are designed to identify and rank hazards and risk that arise in a workplace; and to identify any current or potential regulatory compliance gaps within your physical workplace setting, or within existing OEHS programs.
- OEHS Program Development – RHP provides OEHS program development and assistance with program implementation and maintenance whether you are newly established business, new to an industry or have evolving needs.
- OEHS Employee Training – RHP provides company specific OEHS program employee training, that we can do both in-person at your site or a designated location and/or virtual.
- OEHS Hazard Assessments – RHP provides workplace hazard assessments, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Respiratory Protection, and Occupational Exposure Assessments for existing conditions or anticipated workplace changes.
- Occupational Exposure Assessments – RHP provides both qualitative and quantitative occupational exposure assessments of chemical, physical, and biological hazards at your workplace that may put your employees at risk of exposure. Assessments involve observing specific tasks and standard operating procedures (SOPs), reviewing specific Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for chemical information, measuring exposure concentrations of chemicals and noise, and comparing exposures to applicable occupational exposure limits.
- Noise Assessments – RHP provides both stationary screening and personal employee noise assessments to help determine and document areas or specific equipment use emitting noise levels of concern that may require hearing protection or an employee’s inclusion in an OSHA required hearing conservation program. RHP can help mitigate high noise levels by offering engineering control solutions that can lower noise levels below the regulatory levels requiring a hearing conservation program.
- Respiratory Protection and PPE – RHP provides respiratory protection and PPE Assessment services for you and your employees, including program development and implementation, respirator and PPE selection, employee training, and qualitative and quantitative respirator fit testing.
- Chemical and Hazardous Materials Assessments – RHP provides regulatory compliance assessments of your company’s use off or storage of chemical or hazardous materials, including chemical identification and inventory, SDS reviews, review of chemical usage, storage, and disposal. RHP provides individualized solutions where regulatory compliance gaps may be observed.
- EHS Support Staffing – RHP offers onsite general or specific OEHS support staffing that can be customized to meets your company’s needs on a temporary, project basis, or ongoing support.
Our Environmental Health and Safety Assessment Process
RHP’s health scientists, Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) and Certified Safety Professionals (CSP) will first meet with your company’s management and decision makers to identify the specific processes and concerns of your business. Then RHP professionals will perform a health and safety assessment site visit, or if desired and warranted, a full audit, to observe and determine workplace hazards risks and regulatory compliance gaps in your facility and/or in your written OEHS programs.
Based upon the results of the assessment/audit, RHP will provide a reporting of the prioritized findings based upon hazard and risk severity ranking. RHP will work with your company representative, management, union representative, and floor leaders to develop a plan to mitigate risks and compliance gaps. This may include drafting new or supplementing existing written OEHS programs, support the implementation of updates, and provide exposure assessments, respiratory or PPE assessments, employee training, and maintenance systems on your OEHS programs with an eye on your and your industry’s future regulatory compliance management needs.
Who We Serve
RHP’s health scientists, Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) and Certified Safety Professionals (CSP) understand the complex nature of hazards within a wide range of occupational settings. RHP professionals have provided OEHS solutions and guidance for industries including:
- Manufacturing Facilities – RHP works with industrial and commercial clients in the automotive, chemical, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, food production, cannabis, metal fabrication and processing industries to perform health and safety assessments and audits, hazard and PPE assessments, exposure assessments of chemicals and noise, accident and incident investigations, and chemical and hazardous materials assessments.
- Educational Institutions – RHP works with educational institutions from pre-k, primary education, and secondary schools of higher education to provide health and safety assessments of indoor air quality, ventilation, infectious disease, and asbestos and lead consulting services.
- Government Facilities – RHP works in governmental facilities, including military bases and other governmental administrative facilities to provide health and safety assessments of indoor air quality, ventilation, infectious disease, and asbestos and lead consulting services.
- Construction Sites –RHP works with clients at construction sites, including residential, commercial, and industrial construction of buildings and facilities, large high rises, and hazardous material cleanup sites, to provide health and safety assessments, periodic site audits, exposure assessments, asbestos and lead consulting services, and general onsite EHS support.