A global food service and commercial laundry organization with a history of aggressive acquisitions was experiencing a high incident rate due to injuries, illnesses and fatalities within newly acquired commercial laundry facilities. The organization recognized a lack of understanding of EHS practices and regulatory compliance within their expanding commercial laundry business and sought to gain an understanding in order to address and reduce the high incident rate. The organization determined that enhanced EHS audits would serve as the tool in which to gain this understanding.
Antea Group was retained to support EHS audits because of our ability to leverage a very experienced team of senior audit practitioners that could not only assess compliance and programmatic gaps, but also assess behavioral factors and educate the client’s employees during the process.
Auditors were deployed to evaluate the five commercial laundry facilities exhibiting the highest incident rates within the commercial laundry business. The facilities were located across the United States, but a single point of contact for audit program management was used to ensure uniform auditor performance and deliverables. The client’s employees at each location were assessed for behavioral factors and educated on the implementation of EHS programs, the intent of the regulations, and best management practices employed by the industry to achieve both program and regulatory intent.
Antea Group compiled reports that included findings, regulatory references, and recommendations. In addition, trend analyses were performed in order to identify EHS practices and compliance issues that trended across the locations.
The trend analyses revealed several focal points for immediate improvement and included the following areas: Confined Spaces; Hazardous Materials Planning; Control of Hazardous Energy; and Work at Elevated Heights and Fall Protection. The client was able to achieve the desired level of understanding necessary to identify regulatory gaps, make programmatic improvements, and develop and implement corrective action plans.
The educational element prepared the employees at each location for deployment of the corrective action plans. Antea Group assisted the client in a top-down evaluation of their programs as they related to the trends observed in the audit results. The evaluation revealed the need to change departmental functions at the corporate level--the changes would address the manner in which programs were communicated and trained within the organization. The organization acknowledged and embraced the need to address these changes and did so quickly in order to effect immediate improvement.