December marks a special time of the year. The turn into 2012 is the critical moment to assess the happenings and changes that took place throughout the year, and Enhesa has seen its fair share of them. It’s becoming a very commonplace trend, but every year more and more EHS regulations are adopted worldwide. The counter for this year stands at 2902 regulations, or 240 per month. If one assumes that each regulation normally contains more than a dozen requirements, you end up with more than 30,000 requirements introduced or modified in 2011.
Looking back on 2011
So what else did 2011 bring us in relation to environmental, health and safety issues? Unfortunately, in the earlier half of the year an earthquake struck Japan, followed by a disaster with the nuclear power plants, which triggered many regulators and companies alike to review their emergency response plans and disaster recovery procedures. The 4th revision of the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was released in July, and is slowly spreading globally. Even the US-OSHA is about to issue its Final Rule, implementing it in the US. As usual, the global harmonization comes with many country-specific deviations. Fortunately, Enhesa’s GHS service keeps track of these idiosyncrasies. Recently, Enhesa added a new report on the obstacles to the use of the latest version of GHS.
286 regulatory and policy developments in 2011 had to do with enforcement. It is clear that the growing volume of EHS requirements serves no purpose if the regulator cannot make sure people comply. At the beginning of 2011, the European Union Industrial Emissions Directive entered into force. It forces many European Union Member States to step up their inspection programs. The week before, the Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law had to be implemented across Europe. It is part of a global trend to put corporate managers in the spotlight of enforcement action. The UK focus on Director Responsibility is a clear example of this.
Are you confident that you are in compliance with all these requirements? When we asked the question in one of our EHS manager surveys, the vast majority answered NO. The regulatory complexity is challenging and without the appropriate tools, it is almost “Mission Impossible.” At Enhesa, we are constantly working with our customers to improve existing tools and to develop new ones. During 2011, more than 10,000 EHS managers worldwide made use of our services. Making compliance easier is our core expertise. The success of our recent webinars, especially our latest on Six-Steps-To-Compliance, illustrated this again.
For the past ten years we have seen consistent double digit growth, which proves that we are on the right track to making things easier for you. Enhesa’s growth also means that we have had the capability of expanding our services and products. US State Audit Protocols are one example of a great success. They allow you to see at-a-glance where States are more stringent than federal requirements, and what those additional requirements are on top of the Federal requirements.
The Enhesa Compliance Manager is another novel tool that combines the different Enhesa services into a single application with corporate and facility dashboards, allowing anyone involved to see what is required and what is being done about it. The Compliance Manager intends to be the overall “full package” of solutions.
In addition to new tools, we further facilitated integration of our content into more sophisticated EHS Management System applications as well as Enterprise Resource Platforms. Bringing the regulatory requirements in plain English to those who need to know about it is one of the key elements of being able to ensure ongoing compliance.
We wish all of our colleagues, clients and readers prosperity in the new year and look forward to working with you in 2012 to make your compliance challenge manageable and stress-free.
Seasons’ Greetings from Enhesa,
– Thierry Dumortier, Enhesa Director