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4 Tips to Jumpstart Your EHS Department for the New Year

As we kick off another year, you might be thinking about ways to make your team more productive and efficient. The good news is there are some simple steps you can take at the beginning of the year to set your team up for success. In this article, we offer four tips to jumpstart your EHS department for the new year: 

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1. Get ready for new regulations

A new year brings new compliance obligations in many states and jurisdictions. If you’re not careful, it can be easy to miss important changes that will affect your company. Now is a good time to get up to speed on regulatory changes that are happening in the next several months. 

You might also spend some time updating your calendar with new reporting dates to make sure you don’t overlook any critical deadlines. A centralized compliance calendar, found in EHS/ESG software, will help you keep track of all your regulatory requirements, as well as any necessary data and documentation to support them. 

2.  Plan out your training calendar

While you’re looking at your calendar, it's a good idea to start thinking about which conferences you want to attend in the coming year so you can buy your tickets and plan your travel. (We’ve rounded up a list of over 90 ESG & EHS conferences for you to consider — organized by category to help you plan your year.)

You might also want to start mapping out your training calendar for the upcoming year. This includes required training like OSHA HAZWOPER and emergency action plans, as well as any additional training opportunities that can help promote a safe and compliant workplace. Getting a jumpstart on these items now will give your team adequate time to update your training materials, schedule instructors, or register for outside training courses before they fill up. 

3. Declutter your files

Most of us have a lot of paper files just sitting around on our desks or in filing cabinets. Not only are these a nuisance when you’re trying to get work done, they are also prone to theft, loss, or damage in the event of a fire or flood. (The same goes for digital files that are saved to your desktop or hard drive.)

Before you jump into your work for the upcoming year, make some time to go through your files and scan, shred, or archive anything you don’t need to keep. Then, consider implementing a cloud-based document management system to keep things from getting out of hand in the future.

4. Streamline your workflows

With your files organized, it’s time to take a closer look at your current processes and make sure they’re as efficient as possible. Start by breaking down tasks you perform on a regular basis — inspections, permit renewals, reporting — into smaller subtasks. If you are tasked with inspecting a facility, for example, you might have subtasks for conducting the inspection, reviewing the data, implementing corrective actions, and following up on your findings.  

Then, look for opportunities to automate subtasks in your workflow using EHS/ESG management software. Automation allows you to define rules or conditions to trigger an action without manual input. For instance, you can set up a rule to automatically send a follow up email about a task that is due soon, or to create recurring tasks in your calendar for items that repeat weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

You can even take things a step further and automate the entire workflow to create a consistent, standardized process across multiple employees or locations. For example, you can automatically assign an inspection using a standardized form, generate findings, and trigger corrective actions. That way, everyone in your company follows the same process no matter where they work. 

Start the year on the right foot

Taking the time to reflect on your current processes and plan for the year ahead will help set your team up for success. For more information on how we can help you efficiently meet your goals, watch a demo of Perillon’s comprehensive EHS software. 

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