It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week, which means the end of the year will be here before we know it! The end of the year presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on accomplishments achieved in your EHS program throughout the year and set goals for the coming year. If you have one more safety committee meeting scheduled for 2018, consider focusing on all of the improvements made throughout the year. Ensure all of the annual meetings required by regulations have either taken place or are on the calendar.
Something as basic as annual revisions to safety manuals is a task that is often overlooked. For employers engaged in laboratory use of hazardous chemicals, 29 CFR 1910.1450(e)(4) requires an annual review and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. 29 CFR 1910.1030(c)(1)(iv) requires that Exposure Control Plans for facilities working with human source material or other potentially infectious material be reviewed and updated at least annually. For facilities licensed to work with radioactive material, 105 CMR 120.210(C) requires an annual review of your radiation protection program content and implementation.
In addition to conducting annual reviews, the beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to ensure that a regulatory compliance calendar is established for ongoing compliance throughout the year. If you are looking for ways to make your EHS program more resilient, consider implementing quarterly lab walk-throughs, which fosters interactions between researchers and EHS staff, or consider increasing the frequency of conducing job safety analyses on the hazardous processes at your facility.
Don’t let the end of the year come and go before you blink!