Environmental Health & Safety Staffing for your Business

by | Jan 7, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Running a business can be stressful

Hiring personnel, training employees, keeping records, and maintaining regulatory compliance in addition to keeping customers happy, takes time and labor. This is particularly daunting in the current pandemic environment, where employee protections are an even greater concern. What about the continuous improvement projects that were planned for the year? Program updates and enhancements, or training sessions that you wanted employees to attend? No one could have anticipated such a colossal interruption to life and business as we know it, and most employers are not willing to put such things on hold.

Even with a dedicated Safety Manager, or an associate who has responsibility for safety as an ancillary duty, it is easy for a business to become overwhelmed by day-to-day issues. This can cause all those well-intentioned plans to be pushed back until another year or more has gone by. How can you as an employer ensure that your programs, policies, site inspections, and trainings remain up to date? After all, you do not want to find that a required training has not been performed, or a program due for updating has not been touched.

If you have dedicated staff, check in with your Safety Manager to see if he or she would benefit from some support. This is particularly helpful when the Safety Manager is working on specific updates, such as machine specific lockout procedures, which take time to redevelop, but can also be beneficial for more effective overall management of the safety program. It makes the process more efficient when specific tasks may be assigned to an individual, instead of the Safety Manager attempting to juggle multiple plates.

Where can this support be obtained?

In some instances, members of the facility Safety Committee or knowledgeable associates can be tapped to provide assistance. These individuals can absorb some tasks, such as gathering information and photos, generating work orders and following up, performing site audits, or providing training to new hires so that the Safety Manager may work more effectively. In other cases, a student intern may be beneficial if the tasks he/she is assigned are not overly technical.

If the needs of the organization are such that high-level assistance is needed, support can be obtained through EHS staffing services. These organizations have staff with the necessary knowledge to ensure that employers are up to date on OSHA 300 Log requirements, trainings that are required, and are capable of ensuring program elements and supporting documentation are up to date. These organizations can provide peace of mind for employers and provide a valuable resource when additional support is desired.

How can you determine what type of assistance is best for your operation?

First, evaluate what your internal capabilities are. Do you have employees with enhanced knowledge who are capable of supporting program goals? If so, leverage those capabilities to your advantage, and assign specific duties to those associates. The Safety Manager or other management official should coordinate those efforts and lead the team. The benefit to an employer, other than no additional cost, is that associates who take on these responsibilities are more invested in the success of the program.

If you do not have associates who can provide support, determine if your needs may be addressed using a student intern. Interns are typically limited in availability to the summer months and are often best suited to written program updates and other organizational duties that do not require profound knowledge of OSHA standards or safety systems. The skills of student interns can vary, and it may be possible to task an intern with more advanced needs if they demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary. The benefit in this case is that you may find that the intern is a good fit for your organization and is someone you would like to hire once they have completed their degree program.

Let The Professionals Help Your Business

If your needs require someone with OSHA experience, who can interpret the OSHA standards, is capable of providing required training, and who has advanced knowledge of safety and health management systems, then an EHS staffing services professional is best. These individuals can be used to assist operations whose Safety Managers need support, who have staffing vacancies, or who need assistance intermittently and do not typically require a full-time safety person.

Using the resources that are available to you to continuously improve your safety program not only provides peace of mind, but it also demonstrates to your employees that your company is a good place to work. Not sure what option you should choose, or looking for more guidance? Please reach out to one of our safety professionals at SCT for assistance.