It’s a fair question. Recently it was posed to me by a very capable senior EHS director for a medium sized condiments producer.
To which I responded, “Okay. First tell me how many people populate your plant’s payroll department?” He smiled because I think he knew where I was going. Jeff is just old enough to remember when most operations employed clerks whose jobs were to calculate the hours worked by employees, all the various taxes and payroll deductions.
Then along came ADP and PayChex and within a few years, BOOM! Life became much easier for plant controllers, accountants and bookkeepers. Payroll was outsourced to a company who could do faster and more accurately.
I don’t think anyone would argue that payroll isn’t an important function in any business. But while it’s “important”, it isn’t “core” to the business. It doesn’t directly add value to the goods or services produced.
So, why then put additional pressure on personnel trained to manage regulatory issues by asking them to do things that they aren’t trained to do?
Asking EHS to locate and manage markets for recyclables is asking them to take on a selling role. It’s not what they’re trained for and, in most cases, just not how they’re wired. Imagine turning Regulatory/EHS over to the Sales Department?
Making life easier for your staff (to effectively do their jobs) and more efficient for your business (to increase profitability) is what good management is all about.