Regardless of size, it is imperative for businesses to understand and follow regulations and laws regarding hazardous waste. Failure to do so can lead to costly fines and assessed charges for clean up of contamination tracked back to your company. Following are four hazardous waste mistakes that can lead to fines.
Dumping Waste into The Municipal Sewer System
Pouring things down the sink and into the municipal waste system is one of the most common hazardous waste violations. Some businesses may be unaware that some of their liquid waste is hazardous and cannot go into the sewer system and some take the risk knowing they are violating the law. Regulators report that illegal discharging of waste into the municipal sewer system is the easiest alleged violation for them to investigate; they agree that violators will almost always be found out and fined.
Failure to Always Close Waste Containers
This violation is easy to discover. It is also easy for either regulators or whistleblowers to document with a smartphone or camera. For lids to meet regulations they must be leak proof and vapor tight. When businesses fail to comply, evaporation lowers their volume of waste with potentially hazardous materials becoming air born and contaminating the air. Savvy management has notices posted by waste disposal containers advising employees that lids must always be closed.
Failing to Properly Mark Waste Disposal Containers
Often this is an unintentional error traced to employees who are very busy and overlook the labeling requirements. To combat this, companies should assign one person who places labels on containers before containers receive any waste. To help this individual perform this task, management should make sure to have adequate labeling supplies on hand.
Contacts Are Out-of-date for Emergency Contingency Plan
If you produce hazardous waste than you must have a contingency plan for accidental spills and overflow. Part of that plan is contact information for those who execute the plan but, out-of-date information is a preventable error that can be handled easily by having information updated as employees turnover. Plans should be reviewed on a regular basis including contact information.