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4 Consequences of Incorrect Hazardous Waste Management

Posted on 10/19/2017 by Advanced Bio in Blog

hazardous waste management

Incorrect procedures of hazardous waste management programs are a nightmare for any company to experience. If left unaddressed, the consequences of mishandling hazardous materials, waste transport, and treatment storage and disposal can quickly add up to significant problems for public human health and the environment. Improper handling of hazardous waste material, however, also hits your organization hard in other ways. Read below to learn why incorrect hazardous waste disposal and storage is so important to prevent from cradle to grave.

1. It’s a Huge Cost to Your Company

Non-compliance with hazardous waste disposal can impose serious fines on your company, spike insurance claims, or incur legal costs. It’s also a hefty price on your company’s reputation, which can prove to be more difficult to recover from than the funds alone. The best practice to take is to prevent it from happening in the first place or address the problem as quickly as possible. Cleaning up hazardous waste costs much less in the beginning than dealing with it after it festers.

2. Your Operations Could Be Illegal

Mishandling hazardous material is not only costly, it’s against the law. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires every company with hazardous waste generation to properly handle these materials according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), OSHA regulations, and other federal laws. Not doing so can lead to failed inspections, heavy fines, and facility shutdowns for your company. This type of long-term negligence can even permanently close companies, so it’s critical to take it seriously for the survival of your business.

3. It Throws Your Company’s Internal Correspondences Into Chaos

An often overlooked problem that comes with noncompliance of RCRA hazardous waste is the extra strain it puts on internal staffing, and especially in your health and safety department. Reported issues double the normal workload, create a chaotic environment, and produce a reactive response process rather than a proactive one. These situations are unfortunately the ingredients that produce a stressful work culture that could open the door to lost positions and leave you with further costs, lost time, and negative impressions in your community.

4. Your Employee’s Health and Safety Are At Risk

Last but not least, exposure to hazardous waste is equally harmful to your employees as it is to the public. In many cases, the risks are higher for them because they are the ones who have direct access to it. Mishandling of these substances – even if unintentional – could result in fires, explosions, pathogens, permanent damage, or even death. With this in mind, proper training on staying compliant with hazardous regulatory requirements is critical for the safety and well being of your workforce. It is wise to train them how to communicate the problem in detail and to recognize when cleaning up hazardous materials should be left to a professional who is qualified in cleaning up these special circumstances.

If you realize that there are holes in your treatment storage and disposal program for hazardous waste management, now is the time to take action.