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| Hazardous Wastes in the Work Environment Essay

A hazardous waste refers to any liquid, gaseous or solid waste material posing hazards that are substantial to the environment more so to human health. Usually, chemical containers containing these substances are labeled.

There are severe penalties imposed on the shipment of hazardous waste or materials. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) collects penalties for the violation of regulations on hazardous materials. However, most companies do not realize that they are subject to the jurisdiction of FAA. Also, the companies lack proper hazard waste transportation procedures that conform to HRM. Thus, the materials helps an employee in the work environment to understand better the incidents upon which FAA imposes a fine of $50k and above hence prevent the violations.

Hazard communication at the work place ensures that employees and employers have knowledge about hazards and hence they develop a sense of individual protection. Many serious ailments can be caused by the exposure to certain chemicals. The chemicals may also be hazardous to safety as they can cause explosion and fires. Thus, distributors and manufacturers of the chemicals are required to provide information on the hazard to employers upon evaluation of the products. The employer then communicates the hazards to the employees.

HAZMAT commonly refers to Hazardous Material also known as dangerous goods. 29 CFR 1910.1200 defines HAZMAT as any chemical or item that cause health or physical hazard and an environmental hazard or a public risk on transportation. Dangerous goods also can include chemical or items which are noticed or reported as inventories as per the Hazardous Chemical Reporting requirements. It is thus a requirement that a Material Safety Data Sheets should be provided by the manufacturers upon shipment. MSDS master files should also be maintained properly.

Exponential benefits concerning costs can be yielded when logistic approach is adopted. The benefits can also include elimination or reduction of hazardous material. Strategic and holistic levels of waste reduction together with management of life cycle limit liability of an organization and reduce costs. Thus, the two are very important in the work environment that is liability and cost reduction.

The 49 CFR pars 100-180 are rules and regulation concerning transportation of Haz Mat. However, the parts do not contain the compliance placarded loads’ interstate carrier motors. In general, when at work, an employee should consider depth handling of these materials especially during transportation. Security incidents results from intentional acts. This is the main difference between security and safety. Therefore, while at work, it is important to consider the safety implication during transportation of hazardous wastes when making decisions on security.

The first defense line that ensures that hazardous materials are not released before, during and after transportation is proper packaging and protection. This is a primary requirement for all hazardous materials (US Department of Labor). The specific levels packaging performance of these materials is based on primarily the nature and hazard level that a particular material possess. The design for packing and protection should ensure that no material content is released during transportation under normal conditions. Combined packaging should be cautioned and adequately secured. Reactive materials should be packed separately with other materials to avoid reaction.

Hazardous wastes are usually improperly treated, transported or stored, disposed off or managed otherwise. Problems in hazardous wastes have been experienced by many industries around the world. Poor waste management necessitates high cost of cleaning operations. There are internationally set technical and scientific terms defined especially in the transport work environment (US Department of Labor). This will prevent hazardous problems in future via reduction of source (hazardous waste elimination at source), treatment, recycling, and proper ways of disposal.

In the work environment, it is a requirement that managers spearhead other employees in hazardous waste management so as to minimize environmental effect. In this way, sustainable development will be promoted. The life-cycle management is the key responsibility and it all involves the application of three R’s (reuse, recycle and reduce) at every phase of the cycle.

In conclusion, the materials in the course are very vital as they will assist in minimizing resources, limited use of hazard substances, and proper disposal of the wastes and procurement of greener products in the work environment.

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