Hazardous Waste in the Workplace

One of the more serious conditions that business owners face is the presence of hazardous waste in the workplace. If hazardous waste is present, employers must have it removed in a prompt, safe manner which limits exposure to employees. Most businesses have a system in place that processes the removal of hazardous waste. However, there may be circumstances in which some waste is unaccounted for or is present but not readily detected.

Discovery of Hazardous Waste

A business can find itself with hazardous waste on their property for a variety of reasons. One of the more common is when a business purchases the property without the full knowledge of what might be present. Another is older waste that was stored and either forgotten or overlooked when new procedures were introduced. In either situation, the waste can go unaddressed for years.

Whatever the case, it pays for any business that might not have full records of the previous ownership or might have overlooked hazardous waste that was stored on the site to do a full investigation to see if it is present. If hazardous waste is discovered, the company can properly dispose of it with professional assistance.

Worker’s Rights & OSHA

Under OSHA, employees have rights when it comes to the presence of hazardous waste on the property. OSHA oversees all businesses that have hazardous waste present, so there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. Because employees have a right to a safe workplace, the removal of the hazardous waste becomes paramount. There are three steps required by OSHA: identification, information and removal.

Identification: The first step is the proper identification of the waste material and whether it qualifies as hazardous under OSHA rules. Once that is determined, the waste must be removed according to schedule.

Information: Workers do have rights when it comes to keeping their workplace safe, which means that they can file a complaint with OSHA if there is hazardous waste present that is not scheduled for removal and it presents a danger to the employees. Compliance with all rules and regulations concerning hazardous waste must be observed.

Removal: At this point, the hazardous waste must be removed from the property according to OSHA rules. Plus, any complaints that your employees have filed with OSHA regarding the presence of the hazardous waste must be addressed as well. Once it is removed the area where it was kept will be inspected to ensure that any residue is cleaned up so that it does not present a danger.

Once all hazardous waste has been dealt with accordingly, practices should be put into place to ensure that waste oversite does not happen again.

If you think you may have hazardous waste in the workplace, call the professionals as Brickley Environmental. They can provide the services you need to inspect, evaluate, and remove the waste from your property in a prompt, professional manner.