How-to guide for industrial compliance

For European manufacturing companies, compliance is not a choice but an absolute must. Given strict EU regulations, the consequences of non-compliance can be disastrous, ranging from hefty fines to serious reputational damage. This makes compliance a fundamental strategy for companies to avoid operational, legal and financial risks. It is crucial that companies see these rules not just as a burden, but as an essential step toward corporate sustainability and success in a competitive marketplace. At its core, this requires an ongoing effort to evaluate and adapt processes, where full compliance should be seen as a direct investment in the company’s future.

Adhering to all compliance rules is complex. This guide provides you with a clear roadmap to compliance excellence. Get ready to turn compliance from an exercise in box-ticking into a cornerstone of your operational success.

Understanding the basics of compliance

Compliance in the industrial sector is not just about adhering to rules; it’s about safeguarding the future of your business. Here’s a breakdown of why it matters.


  • Operational efficiency
    Compliance strategies streamline processes, reducing waste and enhancing productivity.
  • Safety and well-being
    A commitment to compliance ensures the health and safety of employees, leading to a more motivated workforce.
  • Market credibility
    Demonstrating adherence to regulations enhances your reputation, making your business more attractive to customers and partners.
  • Competitive advantage
    Businesses that go beyond mere compliance can differentiate themselves in the marketplace, offering, and added value to their clients.

Risks and consequences

  • Financial penalties
    Non-compliance can result in significant fines, impacting your bottom line.
  • Operational disruptions
    Failing to comply can lead to shutdowns or production delays, affecting supply chains and profitability.
  • Safety hazards
    Ignoring regulations can endanger the safety and well-being of your employees and the environment.
  • Reputational damage
    The negative publicity from non-compliance incidents can erode customer trust and deter potential partners.

Developing compliance strategies

Navigating the intricate web of regulations is a critical step towards ensuring your industrial activities are not just compliant, but also efficient and competitive. Here’s how to approach it.

Navigating regulations

  • Stay informed
    Keep yourself regularly updated on both domestic and European regulations relevant to your industry. This includes environmental laws, safety standards, and industry-specific guidelines.
  • Assess impact
    Determine how each regulation directly affects your operations. Consider both immediate compliance requirements and potential future adjustments.
  • Seek expertise
    Leverage legal and compliance experts to interpret complex regulations and integrate them into your operational framework.

Creating a compliance plan

  • Risk assessment
    Begin with a thorough risk assessment to identify areas of potential non-compliance and prioritize them based on impact.
  • Set objectives
    Define clear, achievable compliance objectives. This might include meeting specific regulatory standards or achieving industry certifications.
  • Actionable steps
    Break down each objective into actionable steps. Assign responsibilities, set deadlines, and determine necessary resources.
  • Monitoring and review
    Establish a process for regular monitoring of compliance efforts and a review mechanism to adapt to regulatory changes or operational shifts.
  • Employee engagement
    Engage your workforce in the compliance process through training and awareness programs. Ensuring everyone understands their role in maintaining compliance is crucial.

Implementation and monitoring

Once your compliance strategy is in place, the focus shifts to effective implementation and ongoing monitoring. Here’s how to ensure these processes bolster your compliance efforts.


  • Leverage technology
    Utilize compliance management software to streamline processes, manage documentation, and ensure all regulations are continuously met.
  • Training programs
    Implement comprehensive training programs for employees at all levels to ensure they understand compliance requirements and their role in meeting them.
  • Communication plan
    Develop a clear communication plan that keeps all stakeholders informed about compliance policies, procedures, and changes.


  • Regular audits
    Schedule regular internal and external audits to assess compliance status and identify areas for improvement.
  • Feedback loop
    Establish a feedback mechanism that allows employees to report compliance issues or suggest improvements without fear of reprisal.
  • Continuous improvement
    Use the insights gained from audits and employee feedback to refine your compliance strategy, addressing gaps and adapting to new regulations or operational changes.

Best practices and quick tips

Achieving compliance doesn’t have to be a Herculean task. Here are some best practices and quick tips that can lead to significant improvements with minimal hassle:

Simplify documentation
Use clear, straightforward language in all compliance documents and procedures. This ensures they are accessible and understandable to all, regardless of their role.

Stay proactive
Don’t wait for audit findings to take action. Regularly review and update your compliance procedures to stay ahead of potential issues.

Automate where possible
Implement automation in compliance reporting and monitoring where possible. Automation reduces the risk of human error and frees up resources for other critical tasks.

Foster a compliance culture
Encourage an organizational culture that values compliance as a critical component of success. Recognize and reward compliance achievements to reinforce this mindset.

Use checklists
Develop checklists for different compliance areas. They serve as a simple yet effective tool for ensuring no requirement is overlooked.

Regular training
Keep training programs dynamic and up-to-date with the latest regulatory changes. Continuous education is key to maintaining a compliant workforce.

Engage with peers
Join industry groups or forums to share experiences and learn from the compliance challenges and solutions of others in your sector.

Compliance excellence is a continuous process. It requires vigilance, adaptability, and a proactive attitude. The right tools can make a significant difference in easing the compliance load, streamlining processes, and ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

This is where Onyx One comes into play.
Designed with the complexities of industrial compliance in mind, Onyx One offers a comprehensive solution that supports your compliance journey at every step.

“We recommend Onyx One without a doubt! A lot of our house contractors were already working with the system and this convinced us. We are satisfied with the platform and with the cooperation.”

Fons Huybrechts
Operational Prevention Advisor – Bayer Agriculture bv

“Onyx One significantly improved our contractor management. All documents and certificates are now tracked automatically. It is a user-friendly system and they have a strong service desk.”

Diana De Peuter
Finance and IT Manager – Monument Chemical bv

“We have excellent safety training (e-Learning) for the contractors through Onyx One, and the cooperation goes smoothly.”

Luc Dejonghe
HSSE Manager  – Shell Catalysts & Technologies Belgium N.V.