How To Safely Deal With Hazardous Materials At Your Job Site

By on November 21, 2012

Every business owner has to think about their company’s environmental risk and liability.  In the United States we have agencies that monitor the impact any corporation or group is having on the environment and they pass regulations and standards that are meant to guide businesses toward more ecofriendly choices to protect the air, water, and soil from contamination.  Every industry has some level of environmental risks, but those who work as building or other construction site contractors are at high risk when it comes to accidents that can have a negative impact on the environment around their sites.  Anyone who works in these industries knows that they are required to contain and properly dispose of waste they create and also have a through plan to stop any breech in containment if an accident should occur.  These plans are often called BMPs for short.  BMP stands for best management practice. These plans are submitted whenever a company is trying to obtain a permit for their job.  These are some examples of what type of information in included in a BMP and some of the ways you can maintain the safety and closely follow regulations at any job site.

To help you formulate your BMP you will need to look at three major factors when dealing with job site waste, contain, control, and capture.  If your plan includes through details for each of these important steps, you can rest assure that you are meeting all the safety guidelines and should be able to obtain your permits.

The first of the three Cs, contain, deals with how you store hazardous materials on your site as well as how they are handled by your employees.  Materials on a job site can quickly become hazardous if they are not contained until they are used properly during your job.  Keeping your materials sheltered to avoid damage during rain or stormy conditions is imperative if you want to avoid an accidental leak that could quickly lead to ground water contamination.  When you begin to plan your job and discover the various types of waste you will need to store, invest in proper containment storage that is approved for the type of waste you will have.  It is always unacceptable to store hazardous waste in an outdated or unapproved container.  Doing this could result in a toxic waste leak at your site.

You also need to be prepared to capture any hazardous materials that do accidentally get spilled at your site.  Even an accident as simple as a spilled bucket of paint can be harmful, if it is not properly cleaned up in a timely manner.  Spill kits should always be available to employees anytime you are working with chemicals.  It is never acceptable to wash oil, paint, cleaning supplies, or other chemicals off of your work site with a hose.  Doing this allows the chemicals to mix with water and quickly be absorbed into the ground where they can make their way into nearby ground water.

Finally, control, controlling the chemicals on your site and having a plan to deal with them is the responsibility of the company.  That means you need to have a thorough training program for all your employees that will educate them about all aspects of your plan.  Make sure you are communicating to your employees all of the information about where to store chemicals and what to do with the waste once the job is complete.

Find out more about Contractors Pollution Liability and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you.

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