HGS Engineering is a nationally recognized provider of Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance Audits. A typical audit will review administrative, organizational, and operational activities and balance them against local, state, and federal regulations. The goal of most audits is to identify gaps in compliance before a regulatory agency does and to provide the impacted facility’s environmental department and management with a compliance attainment strategy. Many entities will request annual audits in order to gauge performance and show continuous improvement. We tailor audit strategies to each client’s unique requirement.
Our internal pool of qualified auditors include: CEAs, Global Exemplar Lead Auditors-to ISO 14001 standard, CHMMs, CSPs, CIHs, PEs, and JDs.
Select federal clients include:
- US Army Corps of Engineers
- Marine Corps Reserves
- US Forest Service (Regions 1-3, 6, 8, and 9)
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VISNs 5-7, 10-12, 15-18, and 20-22)
- Department of Labor
- Defense Logistics Agency
In addition to providing audit support in all 50 states, HGS has conducted Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance Audits at facilities and installations across the globe, including Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
Case Study: Auditing at VA Hospitals
Following a record fine from the EPA in 2005, the Department of Veterans Affairs developed an ISO 14001 conformant environmental management system known as the Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) Program. The GEMS Program involved the establishment of a facility specific environmental section at each one of the Veterans Health Administration’s 153 Medical Centers. Integral to the nationwide implementation of the GEMS Program was the development of a Triennial External Environmental Compliance Audit Process utilizing The Environmental Assessment Manual (TEAM) Guide Protocols. The VA engaged in consultation with the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Construction and Engineering Research Lab (CERL) and developed an agency-specific supplement to the Team Guide for use on the External Audits. Administration of the audit process was delegated to each of the twenty-one (21) pre-established geographical networks (Veterans Integrated Service Networks-VISNs) with oversight provided by VA Central Office.
HGS Engineering has supported the Department of Veterans Affairs GEMS Program and the associated audit process from its inception. Of the total 600 system audits conducted since the audit process’s creation in 2006, HGS Engineering has conducted 215. This represents a slightly more than 1/3rd of all VA audits, more than any other VA service provider. Through this depth of experience, HGS has been able to evaluate trends and assist VA Central Office forecast future compliance challenges. As an example, HGS, after evaluating recent EPA Consent Orders at other healthcare systems, was able to craft procedural guidance for the proper handling of waste polymerase chain reaction cartridges generated in Microbiology (a dual waste with NaOH and Pathological components).