How to Reduce an Organization’s Environmental Risk of Chemical Pollution
Unfortunately, even minor incidents of chemical pollution can have a long-lasting impact on the environment. In some cases, these scenarios can be particularly destructive (as we’ve seen with the infamous BP oil spill).
Fortunately, there are steps that your organization can take to mitigate the environmental risk of chemical pollution.
Let’s dive in.
Consider Your Equipment
Unless you have taken measures to minimize the environmental impact your business has, there is a strong chance that the equipment you use is leaving more of a carbon footprint than it should. Additionally, this does not solely apply to larger facilities or those that utilize heavy machinery.
In fact, even smaller companies have plenty of steps they can take in order to minimize their chemical pollution.
If your company produces hazardous waste as a result of its production process, it’s worth taking a look at your equipment. There may be viable alternatives that you can use that have been proven to create less of an impact in terms of pollution.
Many organizations also implement some form of recycling when it comes to hazardous waste, allowing them to reuse certain materials without creating additional waste products.
Provide Additional Training
Providing employees with additional training can go a long way when it comes to reducing the amount of chemical pollution an organization produces. This is due to the fact that substandard techniques regarding chemical transportation, use, etc. could result in far more hazardous waste than necessary.
Instead, it’s highly recommended that you implement comprehensive training in order to ensure that your employees are up to speed.
It’s also a good idea to make adjustments to your protocol if you find that your results do not substantially improve. Implementing this level of training also comes with an added benefit — you will be able to avoid complications associated with an inspection made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In general, organizations that neglect to implement measures regarding hazardous chemical waste are at risk of breaching other regulations. In many cases, this can result in your auditor imposing fines, fees, and other penalties on your company.
Depending on the scenario, the consequences that result from OSHA penalties could be notably crippling for your business. Additionally, there’s a chance that you may garner a significant amount of negative press about the incident, something that puts your organization’s reputation at risk.
Use Natural Materials When Possible
As you might expect, using natural material whenever you can is a highly effective way to minimize chemical pollution. Unfortunately, not every organization has this opportunity.
Those that can, however, will find that they are able to achieve results of a similar quality even after changes have been made. For instance, let’s assume that your business makes extensive use of chemical fertilizers.
It’s possible for you to substitute a portion of your chemical fertilizer for manure and compost, allowing you to mitigate your environmental impact. For organizations that cannot actively prioritize using natural materials, it’s worth keeping an eye out for opportunities in the future.
As research in your industry progresses, you may find that the use of natural materials becomes a suitable alternative.
Properly Manage Your Chemicals
Properly managing your chemicals is an obligation that simply can’t be ignored. In many cases, you will need to follow specific instructions regarding how you store and utilize certain substances.
To elaborate, it’s not uncommon for two types of chemicals to be incompatible with each other. This means that they should never be stored or used within the same area, as this carries the risk of serious consequences.
It’s also essential that you take steps in order to eliminate the possibility of contamination. Even a minor incident could cause hazardous chemicals that your company uses to contaminate other substances.
In the right scenario, this could easily delay production, cause significant financial loss, etc. As you can tell, the volatile nature of working with chemicals can easily have an adverse effect on the natural environment.
The same can be said about properly disposing of chemicals, something that your business must prioritize when it comes to minimizing or eliminating chemical pollution.
Maintain Accurate Safety Data Sheets
Properly managing the chemicals that you keep that your company isn’t enough. You’ll also need to maintain accurate safety data sheets.
Safety data sheets are comprehensive documents that detail a large number of attributes about a particular substance. For example, this document will outline the risks of short-term and long-term exposure, cautionary measures your employees must take, and the recommended usage amounts.
So, it should come as no surprise that a business without detailed safety data sheets can easily pollute the environment with the chemicals it uses. Additionally, you could also encounter issues with OSHA if you don’t implement this type of documentation correctly.
To better manage your safety data sheets, it’s highly recommended that you consider using professional software. Some of the most notable features include the ability to quickly search through entire databases and the opportunity to access this data remotely.
So, it will become exceedingly easy for you to store and handle this information.
Managing Environmental Risk Can Seem Difficult
However, the above info will ensure that you handle this responsibility appropriately. From here, you will have no issue properly managing your organization’s environmental risk of chemical pollution.
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