Three Critical Components Of A New Hazardous Waste Management Plan

Posted on: 14 March 2016

Proper handling of hazardous waste materials isn't just a critical safety component, it's also a requirement when it comes to county, state and federal governing agencies. Failure to follow through in this area correctly doesn't just put the safety of the community at risk, it can also lead to costly fines and penalties. If you're a new business owner looking to design a hazardous waste management plan, there are a number of areas you need to cover.

Storage Materials

Having the appropriate type of hazardous waste storage materials is the most important step. Without the right storage containers, your efforts will be less than efficient. First, ensure the container is sealable in order to reduce the risk of any potentially dangerous materials leaking out.

It's also important to ensure the container material is designed to withstand prolonged contact with the waste source. For example, some chemicals can actually break down plastic, so it wouldn't be smart to choose a plastic container in this case. It's best to work with an environmental expert to make sure you are choosing correctly.

Storage Area

Carving out an appropriate area to house the storage containers is also important. The first rule is to ensure the designated spot is in an area that is not easily accessible to the general public. Close proximity to high-traffic areas increases the risk of contamination should an accident occur.

It's also helpful to choose an area with adequate ventilation, in a climate controlled environment, as poor air quality and extreme temperatures can sometimes have an adverse effect. Lastly, it's a good idea to choose an area that isn't exposed to inclement weather. For example, if the containers are stored in a high-wind area, they could potentially be knocked over.

Team Training

As part of your hazardous waste management plan, you can have the proper type of storage materials and the ideal storage location, but if your team isn't trained, all your efforts are basically useless. A trained team of employees will play the most critical role in the efficiency of your management plan.

Your team members should be trained on the proper usage of the storage containers, such as how to seal them; the condition the storage area should be left in, such as the correct air temperature setting; and most importantly, what to do in the event of an emergency, such as a spill.

An efficient hazardous waste material plan requires a multi-dimensional approach. Make sure you are also relying on the expertise of an environmental professional for the best outcome.