Quality, Environment, Safety and Health Compliance
There are many aspects to managing Quality, Environmental, Safety and Health in any business, many of which centre on fulfilling legal requirements. If you are a small-business owner, or a director in a larger business, you must know what is required of you and make sure your business complies.
A few pointers are in the list below, but managing compliance is a deep, technical area and you should seek professional help if you do not have adequate training & competence.
Understand your legal duties: The first step is to ensure you understand your legal duties. This will include understanding risk, ensuring documentation is adequate, appointing competent people, keeping a legal register etc.
Ensure you resource compliance properly: Ensuring your business is compliant should not be seen as an opportunity to run as lean as possible. Make sure you have the requisite skills, knowledge, resource and competence to be compliant AND deliver value.
Use a risk-based approach: I have seen many times where leaders use emotion or visibility of issues to focus their attention. Both of these can help guide you but you should use risk assessment to understand what priority to place on issues.
Involve employees: as well as being a legal requirement, involving employees in compliance activities will help reach better outcomes whilst ensuring employees are consulted with. More often than not, a larger group of people involved in the work will produce better ideas and, once involved, the level of buy-in from employees will be increased.
Know your limitations with regards to specialist topics: You could spend lots of time trying to build your own knowledge but it is usually quicker, simpler (and less costly if you get it wrong) to find a competent professional outside of the business to undertake specialist work for you.
Look for value in certifications: many companies see certifications such as ISO, BRC, SMETA, as ways to engage with more customers. In reality, the frameworks required by these certifications give huge benefits to businesses when embraced by senior leaders so get to know the standards and look for how your business can gain value from them.
Get Involved: the foundation for all change is having senior leader commitment. Show employees how important it is to you, take an interest and make sure you set the tone within your organisation.
There is so much value (and possibly fun?) involved in improving compliance in your business. If you feel like there is too much to understand, get in touch and I will be able to give you a few pointers within my network for professionals that will help take the headache out of compliance for you.