I began interning for Compliance Technologies in the spring of 2020. My time at CTI this summer is coming to an end as the fall semester approaches. Throughout my time working with CTI and its clients, I have learned a lot about the manufacturing industry and the regulatory process. In this blog I will give my top 8 tips that I have learned for navigating the complicated realm of compliance regulations.
8. Go Beyond Regulatory Requirements
Just as you would not want a doctor that passed medical school with the minimum requirements of becoming a doctor, you should not allow your compliance plan to only tackle the minimums. When dealing with the health and safety of your employees and the surrounding environment, exceeding regulation requirements never hurts. While many are afraid their bottom line will not be able to handle extra compliance spending, I can assure you every company I have seen exceed requirements has happier, safer workers, a cleaner work atmosphere, and is overall more successful.
7. Do Not Search for a Scapegoat in Your Compliance Nightmare
So, your company has been found to be in noncompliance, your next step should not be to find someone to blame for this issue. Neither the regulatory agency nor your employees are at fault. Looking to blame someone else for the problems your company is facing will only lead to difficulties in solving those problems. Accepting that you have made a mistake and backtracking to looking for a real solution, instead of shifting blame, is a difficult choice, but one that pays off in the long run.
6. Never Get Sour with Regulating Agencies
Regulators will not disappear. The OEPA, OSHA, and others will not disappear or back down if you begin bad mouthing them or ignoring them. Your dealing with them are all bound by laws and regulations, and so if you stop cooperating, they have ways to punish your business and force your hand. Nobody likes getting a Notice of Violation or being inspected by the OEPA, but the fastest way out of those problems is cooperation. Your consultant should be the one pushing and shoving the regulatory agency to make life easier for you, and from what I have seen, CTI is one of the best at maneuvering the grey area of negotiations with regulating agencies. Cooperating with your consultant and the regulating agency will generally keep you from incurring court visits or additional fines and fees.
5. Know Your Business Inside and Out
Knowing your business is one of the most essential parts of compliance.
Knowing your business is one of the most essential parts of compliance. When you call a consultant, if you are able to state the specific chemicals you use, machinery operated, and concerns you have about safety and health of your workers this makes the getting compliant a breeze. Understanding what substances your company takes in, the processes it follows, and the products it creates, you can help identify sources of potential chemical contamination or points of noncompliance. Knowing your business and staying in touch with all your employees will keep you armed with the information you need to keep everyone and your business safe and healthy.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
Most compliance issues are difficult to handle on your own. Consultants are on your side, and CTI in particular has non-disclosure clauses so that you are comfortable knowing that CTI is on your side. Especially in an industry where so many things can go wrong, coming clean to your consultant can help you alleviate problems down the road.
3. Make Sure Someone in Your Company is Learning a Lot from Your Consultant
You are paying good money for a consultant to do work for your company. Do not let that go to waste. The companies I have seen that are most successful in all areas and certainly in compliance, are companies that ensure one or multiple people are staying up to date and current with the consultant and reading over all the letters and reports the consultant may send over. Furthermore, ask questions to your consultant. Ask politely why one thing is happening the way it is, or why certain rules apply over others. Your consultant can do a better job at helping your company when someone within your company is fully briefed on the situation.
2. Be Proactive
Never wait until the small issue becomes a large issue. Most compliance problems are on the clock and it is only a matter of time before they result in catastrophic injury, accidents, or malfunctions. Dealing with issues as they arise instead of pushing them off for later will save your company time and money while becoming compliant.
1. It Is Never Too Late to Get Compliant/Cooperative
In one of the most unlikely success stories, I saw a company that wanted to drag its feet every step of the way, yet turn into a compliance dream as they began to cooperate and jumped to get things done. Instead of acting rashly or never acting at all, they set up a plan and multiple meetings to get their site moving along. Steps toward remediation and closure that would have taken this site years have now been happening in the span of weeks. While CTI does an amazing job at working with even the most uncooperative business owners, companies that want to solve their problems end up saving time and money.
While these 8 tips are sure to help your business succeed and avoid trouble with regulators, they won’t do much without the right consultants. While I’ve worked at CTI, I’ve seen how much care they take for each client, working efficiently and diligently to deliver the work they need to do. I’ve seen other consultants that drag their feet and suggest more costly solutions, but from what I have seen, Compliance Technologies, Inc is one of the few companies that is fighting on your side to ensure you can get compliant while also ensuring regulators aren’t being too harsh or unreasonable. They remain one of the best consultants I’ve seen and certainly one of the most knowledge about environmental, health, and safety regulations and compliance.