The management of any facility requires a watchful eye to ensure regulations and procedures are followed and the intent of management is met. By conducting audits, companies can be assured that prescribed environmental and safety procedures are properly performed. It is an approach that makes good business sense. The lack of proper oversight can adversely impact not only local communities but also the health and well-being of employees. Regulatory fines, increased costs, a poor reputation, and low employee morale can result.
- Prevention — Trinity can help you evaluate environmental and safety systems to find issues before they become problems. With our extensive auditing resources, skills, and experience, we will help you maintain and improve compliance management systems so your company can achieve economic, employee, and community success.
- Staffing — Increased regulations for monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting make it difficult to ensure proper oversight of operations, especially if an Environmental Health & Safety department is operating with minimal resources. Trinity’s professional staff provides the additional resources needed to perform EHS audits. We provide objective assessments of your compliance status, recommend changes to correct problems, and provide guidance on correcting the system to ensure improved performance in the future.
- The Process Approach — The most effective method of auditing a management system is to employ the Process Approach. It is a key to examining systems such as ISO 14001, RC 14001, OHSAS 18001, and EPA’s Performance Track Program. Following the Process Approach, we analyze the actions that precede each operation and the actions that follow. We determine which inputs are necessary for proper completion and which outputs are necessary for the next step to be successful. Originally applied to quality in manufacturing, the Process Approach is fundamental in evaluating environmental and safety performance.
Examples of Our Work
- Rapid, multi-site deployment - A client company requested Trinity’s support regarding its potential acquisition of assets used to generate electricity and transport and store fuel. Because several of the assets were located in environmentally restrictive locations, the client needed a quantitative valuation of existing and future environmental obligations. Trinity used a rapid due diligence deployment of resources and played a vital role in the client’s overall bid package. To meet the tight time frame, we mobilized multiple teams to perform research, conduct site visits, and assess the environmental obligations.
- Management system selection and implementation - A multi-national building materials company engaged Trinity to assist in the creation, documentation, and implementation of an EHS management system. The project began with an evaluation of various models, including ISO 14001, RC 14001, and OHSAS 18001. After a model was selected, Trinity performed a gap analysis to compare current processes with the selected approach. Then we designed and implemented a pilot site and toolkit that was used for implementation at 50 company sites.
Trinity provides three major kinds of EH&S Auditing:
Regulatory Compliance Auditing
Auditing systems to evaluate compliance with regulations is especially important because of potential liability issues. Trinity develops a protocol for compliance audits and assesses site performance related to EPA and OSHA regulations, including state and local requirements.
Corporate EH&S Audits
Audits are structured to assess a company’s performance against its own internal standards. These audits often exceed regulatory requirements and encompass industry best practices. Trinity can either develop a protocol or use an existing corporate protocol. In addition, audits can be performed by a Trinity team or a team that combines Trinity and client personnel.
Management Systems Assessments
Trinity’s auditing professionals evaluate an organization’s conformance with standards such as ISO 14001, RC 14001, OHSAS 18001, and other EHS management systems. The process includes elements such as the following:
- Gap analysis — A gap analysis compares an organization’s existing system with the requirements of an EHS standard in order to identify areas of nonconformance, or gaps. The work plan that results is a roadmap for implementation.
- Pre-registration readiness audits — A readiness assessment helps assure that all systems are implemented and that there is sufficient evidence available to move forward with certification. This process increases the likelihood of a successful registration experience, potentially reducing total cost. Additionally, Trinity provides a variety of customized services that include training and on-site assistance during the registration audit.
- Internal audits — Trinity can audit internal EHS systems to evaluate performance against standard requirements and corporate objectives. When problems are found, we advise on system improvements and maintenance.
- Enterprise-wide assessments — Trinity supports corporate staff in the unique challenge they face when planning and implementing an enterprise-wide EHS assessment process. This includes developing customized EHS standards, a best-in-class system rollout, communication procedures, and training. We also create implementation toolkits and guidance materials.
During a compliance audit, Trinity reviews all relevant data, including applications, permits, plot plans, construction history, emissions calculations, monitoring information, regulatory reports, process flow diagrams, and operational data. We typically visit the site to ensure that all emissions sources have been identified.
Our next step is to perform a regulatory applicability analysis to identify all federal, state, and local requirements for each emissions source. Based on this information, we determine unit-by-unit compliance and suggest corrective actions, classifying non-compliance findings based on severity and recommending best management practices. This allows our clients to make informed decisions on how to address compliance issues. The result is a complete picture of all regulatory requirements, a plan to attain and maintain compliance, and a basis for establishing an annual compliance audit plan.
Trinity recently conducted a benchmarking study on EH&S auditing practices among industrial companies. More than 100 companies responded from a cross-section of industries. Read the Auditing Benchmarking Report to learn about common auditing practices as well as Trinity's recommended best practices.
For EHS auditing assistance, contact your local Trinity office at (800) 229-6655.