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PDC 8 - Business Value of EHS Audits – Building​​ an Efficient and Effective Process for Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Assessment​ Track

Intermediate | Credits: 8 CM Credit Hours 

Sunday, October 29 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Limit 40


Effective EHS auditing programs can create many benefits to IH professionals and IH programs. Audits have long been recognized as an effective tool in an EHS management system, providing a valuable perspective on performance.  Government regulations (i.e., OSHA PSM and EPA RMP) require them and consensus standards (i.e., ANSI Z10 and ISO 90001) recommend them.  Training courses are available from many sources to prepare EHS professionals to conduct audits, but oftentimes are missing critical building blocks of a successful EHS auditing program.  

Participants will discover best practices and the key factors for building an EHS auditing program that is effective and efficient for any company, regardless of the size or structure.  Methods for prioritizing audit findings based on risk across all types of findings will be reviewed.  A fun and engaging workshop called the “Risk Assessment Dice Game” will give participants valuable tools for teaching non-EHS professionals to better understand the “hierarchy of controls.”

This interactive course welcomes participants from all levels of experience, from developing to mature programs, illustrating how EHS auditing can significantly enhance programs and professional development.  Hands-on workshops will help participants find ways to strengthen their programs and build internal and external networks for continuous improvement.

*Registration includes boxed lunch.


Participants should have a working knowledge of EHS management systems and auditing processes.

Course Outline

Value of Audit Programs

  • Compliance/Risk Management/Continuous Improvement
    • Effective Part of an Internal Controls System
    • Identify On-Going and Future Risk
    • Engage Employees at All Levels in EHS Operations
  • Direct and Indirect Benefits (Finding Problems, Training EHS Professionals)
  • Management Support and Accountability
  • Workshop 1 – Best Practices for Industrial Hygiene Professional Development

Audit Models

  • Internal/External Audits
  • Cost/Benefit of Each 

Workshop 1 – Best Practices for Industrial Hygiene Professional Development

Audit Foundations

  • EHS Management System
  • Communication/Education
  • Self-Assessments / Audit Criteria
  • Coaching/Feedback

Workshop 2 – “Risk Assessment Dice Game for Auditors”

Auditor Development

  • Recruitment/Training/Certification

Workshop 3 – Best Practices for Auditing Systems and Reporting

Audit Program Governance

  • Steering Com​mittees / Executive Oversight

Course Wrap-up

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Present a business case to top management for implementing an EHS Auditing Program.
  • Design a foundational or enhance an existing auditing program.
  • Utilize methods for prioritizing audit findings based on risk.
  • Implement a process for training and certifying internal auditors.
  • Understand how to evaluate system and reporting needs given their organization.
  • Implement a plan for management governance and oversight.​

Transfer of Knowledge

Instructors will evaluate participants’ understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Workshops
  • Interactive games


Name and Bio

Laura Wash, CIH, CSP, Wash Associates, LLC, St. Paul, MN.

Laura Wash is currently a Principal Consultant in Wash Associates, LLC. Laura has over 20 years of EHS auditing experience and was formerly EHS Auditing Manager at 3M Company in St. Paul, MN. She has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering from West Virginia University and is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional. Laura has been a past volunteer for the AIHA Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems working group and led the review team for the risk assessment section of OHSAS 18002, “Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Guidelines for the Implementation of OHSAS 18001.” She currently provides consultation services to clients to develop and enhance EHS auditing programs including standard procedures, training and auditor certification.​

Perry Logan, PhD, CIH, Senior Manager, Corporate Ergonomics and IH, Global EHS Team Leader, 3M, St. Paul, MN.

Perry is currently senior manager, 3M Corporate Industrial Hygiene. His previous experience includes industrial hygiene at complex chemical facilities, EHS consulting, hazardous waste management / operations, and emergency response. He helped integrate industrial hygiene into safety, environmental, business systems and programs through implementation of 3M’s comprehensive exposure assessment and management program (Control Banding). Perry has made numerous technical presentations on comprehensive exposure assessment, use of mathematical exposure models, surface and air sampling system technologies, and FTIR for industrial hygiene. He is a past instructor for many professional development courses. Perry is a past chair of the AIHA® Exposure Assessment Strategies Committee and the Gas and Vapor Detection Systems Committee. He earned a BS in chemical engineering, an MS in industrial hygiene and a PhD in environmental and occupational health from the University of Minnesota.