I attended one of our very own RCRA hazardous waste trainings today. RCRA training is necessary to your success at your job if you’re dealing with the waste your company generates. RCRA is not just another set of regulations to make your job more difficult and complex. It has an interesting and important history and function within your organization. Not sure what I mean? Here are the top 5 reasons you want to get RCRA trained.
Environmental, Health & Safety Blog
So you’re looking to minimize your waste...Maybe it’s to cut down spending. Maybe to save employees time & confusion.Read More
Whether you’re a large or small quantity generator of hazardous waste, you have a lot to think about regarding managing your hazardous waste in a safe and compliant way. In 2012 there was $16 million dollars worth of property damage due to hazardous waste incidents. Of those incidents, only 6% were blamed on natural causes. This means that of all accidents, 94% were preventable. Following hazardous waste regulations is one way to avoid hazardous waste related accidents.
When working with radiation, diminishing exposure should be the top priority. Ionizing radiation can have serious health effects at high doses which can compromise safety. In this webinar radiation safety expert, Tony Gemmellaro, shares best practices for proving your facility is safe, compliant and inspection-ready.Read More
Tags: radiation safety
Many people have heard the cliché, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” Unfortunately, many don’t realize operating under this principle is more likely to get you and your company into trouble than out of it. This article includes four common violations that demonstrate just this. Keep reading for best practices to avoid them.
For more information on essential components of a wastewater system register for our upcoming webinar here.Read More
Underground storage tanks (USTs) can pose a serious hazard to the environment if contents leak into the soil, compromising groundwater. Our in-house expert, Kevin Coulon, recently presented a webinar on inspection procedures and the decision-making process to determine what to do with your gas, diesel or oil underground storage tank. Here are his answers to your top three burning questions.Read More
Should you hire a contractor or full-time employee or shoulder the work on your own? This is a common question in the EH&S world and one that has sparked many debates. With many years’ experience in the EH&S industry, I have experience with all three situations. While there are benefits to all three, many employees don’t realize that one solution would not only lighten the workload but also help them achieve their career goals. Here’s how hiring a contractor can help you get promoted.Read More
There are many benefits of bringing in an outside contractor for help with spills both big and small. Hazmat contractors are highly trained in the evaluation of physical and chemical hazardous of spills and are always armed with the appropriate meters and monitors to ensure respiratory safety of themselves and their employees.
Once they determine the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed, they will be familiar with specific cleaning supplies and materials needed for an individual chemical. They can also demo parts of a room, while in the appropriate PPE, when building structures have been impacted. Perhaps one of the most useful things about a hazmat contractor is the ability to give you peace of mind that the spill is actually clean. Mercury, for instance, forms a colorless and odorless vapor that can linger at high concentrations if the initial spill isn’t cleaned properly. Using a mercury vapor monitor, a hazmat contractor can track down hotspots and clean until the vapor is below recommended and regulatory limits ensuring that your staff is safe to continue work in the area. If necessary, most hazmat contractors will have environmental engineers or chemical hygienists that can write a report detailing the spill, cleanup efforts, and clearance readings to submit to insurance companies and building landlords.
Building off the last post on who should evacuate during a spill, another common question is “Who is responsible for cleaning up the spill?” OSHA states in CFR 1910.120 that a spill becomes an emergency response when it is likely to result in an uncontrolled release of hazardous substance and/or poses a potential safety or health hazard to the responder. This is a fairly broad definition, but it generally boils down to what you and the responder feels comfortable with.
If a lab employee spills a very small quantity of a fairly benign substance, then they are probably capable of cleaning it. However, if that small quantity is highly toxic or is impacting a floor drain that leads to city sewer, it has become an emergency that requires OSHA trained personnel to evaluate and clean. A useful tool that many institutions have put into place is a “cut off” volume for any and all low-risk substances to delineate between “incidental” and “emergent” spills.
For instance if your “cut off” volume is 4 liters and a researcher drops a half full 4 liter bottle of buffer, they can clean it up. On the other hand, if the same bottle contains ethanol, which poses a significant fire risk, it’s time to evacuate your employee and call in a hazmat-trained spill team. It’s important to note that it’s perfectly acceptable and fairly common to prescribe your “cut off” volume at 0, meaning any spill of any volume requires a trained hazmat team to evaluate and clean regardless of the associate hazards.
Tags: emergency response