Understanding, experience and technology for success
Companies regulated by the EPA, OSHA,EEA, OHSAS 18001, Cal OSHA, SOR/86-304, Safe Work Australia, EIA and other federal and local agencies and mandates have to comply with various Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) requirements. That means that they need to have sufficient controls and measures in place to demonstrate safe, environmentally friendly, and sustainable operations. Companies that do not do so, face the risk of severe regulatory penalties and substantial reputational damage.
At MetricStream we challenge ourselves and our customers to build safer working environments and more sustainable businesses through a scalable, flexible, and integrated EHS solution. Embedded with powerful technology and content, the MetricStream EHS solution is being rapidly adopted by leading organizations across industries to drive business value by consolidating, streamlining, and providing real-time visibility into enterprise-wide EHS processes.
According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics…
A total of 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2011.
These injuries were caused in varying measures by:
The2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion which killed 11 men, injured 17 others, and resulted in one of the most devastating environmental disasters, raised an important question – do organizations have strong enough EHS procedures, controls, and systems to prevent similar hazards from occurring?
Every business today has a legal and compliance responsibility to protect the environment, and ensure the health and safety of employees. Fulfilling this responsibility is just as important as achieving any other strategic objective.
Most organizations envision creating sustainable businesses that consistently follow good EHS practices – be it reducing carbon emissions, properly disposing hazardous waste, or ensuring that employees are adequately protected against hazardous materials or equipment. However, achieving these goals can be quite challenging especially as organizations grow larger and more globalized. How does one ensure, for instance, that employees in a supplier's factory located halfway across the globe have a safe workplace environment?
Answers to these questions don't come easy. But negligence can result in severe consequences ranging from high regulatory penalties, to prison sentences, to the shutting down of a business.
It is therefore in every organization's best interests to implement a sound EHS program with comprehensive policies, robust controls, regular audits, and a proactive approach to identifying and resolving gaps and issues. With the help of an integrated and advanced technology framework, these processes can be simplified and strengthened to improve the performance of the EHS program.
The Importance of Enterprise-wide Involvement in EHS
Many organizations have a separate EHS department. However, EHS management is not an isolated responsibility. Each department has a role to play, and must collaborate with others to make EHS an integral part of operations and business strategy.
What Is Driving the Development of EHS Programs?
Guidelines and Directives
Monitoring compliance with EHS regulations: Organizations are growing larger and more globalized with a vast chain of suppliers who, in turn, have their own suppliers. In this complex business environment it becomes increasingly difficult to manage, and monitor EHS practices. Sometimes, a safety incident or environmental hazard may be traced back to a supplier. But almost always, the organization who hired the supplier is held responsible, and stands to lose the most.
Reducing reputational risk: In today's fiercely competitive and highly connected world, brand and reputation mean everything. Organizations that do not demonstrate a strong commitment to employee safety and environmental sustainability can easily lose the hard-earned trust of investors, customers, and stakeholders.
Coping with a changing regulatory environment: Every few months, regulators such as the EPA change or update their regulatory requirements. Organizations that are already struggling to comply with the hundreds of existing regulations from various federal, state, and local agencies, find it extremely difficult to keep track of changes.
Managing industry dynamics: Across industries, organizations are in a state of flux due to fast moving product lifecycles, changing suppliers, demand variations, and other such factors. Managing such changes is hard enough. But managing EHS across these changes is even harder. For instance, when product specifications change, an organization has to ensure that the raw materials are sourced from a proper supplier, that they are not harmful to employees working on them, and that they comply with various EHS regulations. Performing these activities every time a product specification changes is not only time consuming, but also complex and resource-intensive.
Maintaining sustainability: It's one thing to want to go green. But implementing and sustaining a green strategy is another matter. There is no standard EHS methodology that all organizations can follow. So how do you reduce your carbon footprint? How do you ensure that your controls are effective enough to mitigate the risk of employees handling hazardous material?
An Integrated and Extensible Solution
A robust technology framework can greatly enhance EHS management by automating cumbersome and resource-intensive activities, improving visibility, and simplifying end-to-end processes.
While choosing an EHS solution, it is important to keep the following criteria in mind:
Each organization answers these questions differently depending on its size, location, industry, type of business (B2B or B2C), and other factors. For instance, an organization located in the U.S. would be more concerned about regulatory pressures than an organization in Asia.
Ultimately, an organization must choose a technology solution or framework that is in line with its objectives, vision, and operating environment. An increasing number of organizations across industries are going a step further, and choosing solutions that can help them bring together all their EHS processes, systems, and entities (including suppliers) under one common umbrella. Not only does this integrated approach improve visibility into EHS processes, but it also enables greater coordination and information-sharing across departments, functions, business units, and the extended supply chain. The result is a more cohesive, collaborative, and efficient EHS program that enables organizations to effectively realize their objectives.
MetricStream EHS Solution
MetricStream EHS Solution provides a comprehensive framework to consolidate, strengthen, and streamline end-to-end EHS processes – right from permit lifecycle management, to health and safety audits, to compliance with environmental regulations, to incident and CAPA management.
Built on a robust GRC platform, the Web-based solution extends across the enterprise, acting as a centralized point of reference for all EHS initiatives across departments, business units, and suppliers in multiple different global locations. The underlying platform provides the flexibility to be configured to each organization's unique needs, and seamlessly adapt to its growing requirements.
The solution is both independent and interdependent on other business and functional areas. It acts as a single EHS management framework that simultaneously integrates with other organizational systems, departments, and processes to ensure a truly cohesive approach to EHS. For instance, it aligns with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and supply chain social compliance initiatives and systems to monitor adherence to labor laws and OSHA regulations. It also integrates with Quality Management Systems (QMS) to converge QMS and EHS.
In essence, the MetricStream solution facilitates complete and closed-loop management of the EHS program, radically reducing the risk of health and safety incidents, and strengthening compliance with environmental regulations and labor laws.
MetricStream EHS Solution Map
The MetricStream solution provides a centralized inventory to efficiently collect and manage data on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, waste management, and air and water quality. The solution also streamlines the implementation, monitoring, and auditing of controls to ensure compliance with various environmental standards such as ISO 14064-1 and CRC.
Through powerful automated workflows, the solution accelerates reporting for various legal, regulatory, and internal environmental requirements and policies. In addition, it integrates with MetricStream risk management functionalities to facilitate environmental risk assessments, highlight high-risk areas, and enable real-time risk and control monitoring, thereby minimizing the risks of non-compliance with environmental regulations.
a. Carbon and Energy Management
The MetricStream solution enables organizations to:
b. Air and Water Quality
The MetricStream solution helps customers stay compliant with key air and water quality regulations such as CWA, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations, the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Shore Protection Act (SPA), and CAA.
The solution enhances compliance by helping organizations:
c. Waste Management and Recycling
The MetricStream solution enables organizations to implement hazardous waste management programs in compliance with RCRA. It offers advanced capabilities to establish and manage:
d. Regulatory Compliance
With the MetricStream solution, organizations are able to strengthen compliance with ISO 14001, CSR policies, CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, WRI reporting, GRI, and other regulations and standards.
The solution helps:
e. Environment Policies and Code of Conduct
The MetricStream solution provides a flexible framework to streamline the creation and management of environmental policies and procedures, as well as codes of conduct. The solution also helps these rules and policies to be effectively communicated across the enterprise.
Powerful tools support policy documentation, change management, awareness, training management, and accountability. They also enable environmental policy compliance to be monitored and documented through periodic audits, surveys, and self-assessments. Any non-conformance that arises can be proactively identified and remediated in a timely manner.
The solution uniquely combines software and content, with embedded best practices templates, access to training content from an expert community, and integration of business processes with regulatory notifications and industry alerts.
2. Health and Safety Management
Using the MetricStream solution, organizations can simplify and enhance compliance with various regulations surrounding employee respiratory test exams, the use of hazardous materials, and workplace injuries and illnesses. The solution tracks medical exams, and archives all medical records along with each employee's history and profile in a single, searchable database with secure, role-based access.
The solution also maintains Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to track organizational exposure to and characteristics of chemicals and hazardous materials. Compliance reports required by the EPA and local agencies can be quickly and easily generated in standardized templates through automated, electronic functionalities. In greater detail, below are some of the key health and safety management capabilities of the MetricStream solution:
a. Health and Safety Record Management
MetricStream's Web-based solution enables organizations to adopt an electronic and automated approach to storing and managing employees' health and safety records across the enterprise. Advanced collaboration and workflow tools can be used to access, create, modify, review, and approve these records globally. A powerful analytics and reporting capability with graphical dashboards enable each record to be tracked from origin to obsolescence.
The solution also integrates with other systems to track employee medical checks conducted by company doctors, nurses, off-site physicians or medical clinics. All medical records can be safely maintained in the solution, along with the medical history or profile of each employee.
Using the MetricStream solution, organizations can:
Using its document management tools, the MetricStream solution helps in preparing MSDSs, and tracking chemical and hazardous materials. Compliance reports required by the EPA and local agencies can be generated and submitted electronically. The solution also provides vital information about the exposure and specific characteristics of the chemicals in a product or mixture.
Specific capabilities of the solution include:
c. Facility and Equipment Management
The MetricStream solution enables organizations to effectively manage equipment maintenance, repair, and calibration. The solution can be closely integrated with the enterprise quality management system, thus driving a closed-loop continuous improvement process. Powerful analytics and reporting tools with powerful dashboards help in tracking equipment related metrics, giving managers complete real-time visibility into the quality system.
The solution helps organizations:
d. Regulatory Management
With new compliance norms on workplace safety (e.g. OSHA 28 CFR and OHSAS 18001), traditional plant-level safety management systems are being replaced with enterprise-wide systems. The MetricStream solution is one such system that enables customers across the enterprise to simplify and sustain compliance with health and safety regulations.
e. Health and Safety Code of Conduct
The MetricStream's solution streamlines the management, tracking, and communication of all documents and activities associated with environmental, quality, and safety policies. It maintains policies and all related data in a centralized online location that can be conveniently accessed. It also sends automated email notifications to policy reviewers and approvers, and generates and distributes real-time reports with the click of a mouse.
3. Permit Management
The MetricStream solution enables a systematic and efficient approach to permit management processes, including right from permit filing, permit tracking, and permit maintenance. The solution maintains a structured inventory of all permits required, and automatically triggers alerts when a permit is about to expire. These timely alerts help in avoiding serious non-compliance issues.
Below are the areas that the solution covers:
a. Permit Filing
The solution helps capture relevant regulatory data / feeds from external sources regarding permits. Predefined permit templates provide tools to fill and validate key fields and requirements such as permit date, duration, and category. These templates can be stored in the solution's central library, pulled up, configured, reused, and printed. An in-built electronic interface assists users in submitting permits online as well.
b. Permit Tracking
An inventory of permits required for regular business can be easily maintained in the solution. A comprehensive view of all permits for a project/ location is available in the form of real-time dashboards with drill-down capabilities. The solution can trigger alerts when a permit is about to expire or expired. It also provides timely alerts to help in avoiding serious non-compliance issues.
c. Permit Maintenance
Real-time dashboard and scorecards provide complete and real-time information on permits, compliance performance, and other related data. Automatic archiving and document tracking tools enable compliance monitoring in line with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 requirements, and help ensure 100% audit readiness.
MetricStream EHS Solution Framework
The MetricStream solution is designed to manage a wide range of audit-related activities, data, and processes in a single, comprehensive framework. It also helps assess the overall effectiveness of EHS controls.
Several kinds of audits can be managed by the solution, including:
Using the solution, organizations can manage the internal/external EHS audit team, establish audit programs, and hire and train the appropriate audit personnel. They can also check and confirm that the staff should have the necessary skills and expertise to identify inherent risks.Incident Management and Remediation
Once issues are identified and documented, a systematic process of investigation and remediation is triggered by the underlying workflow engine. Automatic alerts and notifications are triggered to the appropriate personnel with investigation and remediation task assignments.
The exception cases remain open till the action plan is carried out, and the results are verified for effectiveness. Managers can easily track the status of issues as they automatically move from one stage to the next, based on the organization's compliance management procedures.
The MetricStream solution allows users to attach EHS documents to any input form, template, or field. In addition, it provides a comprehensive, Web-based content/ document management system to store and organize EHS documents. Integrated tools can be used to access, create, modify, review, and approve these documents anywhere across the organization's global operations. Analytics, flexible reporting capabilities, and dashboards help track each document throughout its lifecycle, offering complete visibility into the system.
The MetricStream solution enables effective management of the overall EHS training process by maintaining course offerings and course descriptions, helping schedule classes, providing tools for feedback on instructors and course material effectiveness, archiving training records, and facilitating a gap analysis to ensure regulatory compliance. Analytics, reports, and graphical dashboards help monitor training programs and effectiveness.
The solution brings together a comprehensive repository of EHS and other compliance courses and a framework for simplified training delivery and tracking. It helps ensure that EHS training requirements are met from a compliance standpoint. It also provides employees easy access to a variety of training programs delivered by expert trainers and compliance specialists from around the world.
The MetricStream solution streamlines the EHS risk assessment process, while risk heat maps help prioritize risk-response initiatives, so that managers can make informed strategic decisions. The solution also provides content such as embedded best practices to help define the scope of risk management processes and sub-processes, and guide the development of control and test libraries.
The solution addresses the following EHS risk management areas:
Using the solution, organizations can proactively identify and document key EHS risks for all important processes. A centralized, configurable risk register (library) helps create and maintain all risk information, including risk description, ownership, definition, impact, source, line of defense, likelihood, frequency of review, and Key Risk Indicators (KRIs).
Using the solution, organizations can clearly establish and maintain user-defined risk classifications, and accordingly assign risk scores. This information will be used in EHS reporting, as well as KRI analyses. In-built capabilities help in tracking risk metrics and thresholds, with automated notifications indicating when thresholds are breached.
Reports and Dashboards
MetricStream GRC Platform has a built-in reporting engine with powerful reports and executive dashboards. These tools provide EHS data analytics and business intelligence in real time. Unique drill-down capabilities allow users to click on a report or dashboard, and easily view the underlying data at very fine levels of detail.
In addition to using the standard reports available in the MetricStream solution, end-users can build custom EHS reports (without any programming) using the simple Reports Wizard. Some of the reports that can be generated from the solution include OSHA Forms 300/300A, OSHA Form 301, UK Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), Canadian injury reports, ISO 14064 emission report, CRC energy efficiency report, and RCRA waste reports.
The solution provides the ability to summarize several reports into one page for easy understanding. These reports can be exported to other systems in different files formats, and can easily printed as and when required.
Alerts and Notification
MetricStream Platform extensively utilizes email as a mechanism for delivering event-based notifications, alerts, and escalations. The system-generated emails include a link that brings the user directly to the application form that the user needs to work on. Flexible rules for escalations and notifications can be configured using a combination of thresholds such as negative trends, due dates, time limits, etc.
Benefits of Leveraging MetricStream EHS Solution