What the Haz?

What the Haz?

A Deeper Dive Into the “Haz” Words in OSHA, EPA and DOT and Where They Can Crossover

Every once in a while, we will get a call from someone looking for “Hazmat” training.   To you, the word hazmat may mean one thing, but we guarantee to someone else it probably means something completely different.

iSi’s mission is to help companies navigate compliance with EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations.  Once you start familiarizing yourself with those regulations, you will find that the definition of hazmat can be different for different agencies and different situations.   You will also see that there are a number of words that include “haz” that can creep into the picture and be used interchangeably.  An even deeper dive will show that each agency will either make up their own definition or borrow from one another.

Each Agency Has Its Own Focus

Regulations and their definitions are typically written in the perspective of the focus of the agency.  Each agency has its own role to play in the workplace and how they use their haz words will often be reflective of that.

  • OSHA – OSHA’s focus is safe and healthful working conditions for workers
  • EPA – EPA’s focus is on human health and the condition of the environment
  • DOT – DOT’s focus is on the safe, efficient, sustainable and equitable movement of people and goods

Once you know the perspective for each, that will help you be able to better understand regulations when they crossover or refer to one another.


Hazmat is a shortened version of “hazardous materials.”  Each agency refers to hazardous materials a little differently.

In OSHA, the term hazmat can refer to hazardous materials or hazmat teams.  OSHA says a hazardous material is something that can be a health hazard or a physical hazard.  However, a hazmat team is an organized group of employees who perform work to handle and control spills or leaks of hazardous substances.  Individually trained members of the hazmat team are called hazardous materials technicians.  Later we’ll look at the OSHA HAZWOPER standard where many of these definitions are found.

To DOT, hazmat means “a substance or material capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce…”  It also can include hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials, materials listed in the Hazardous Materials Table, and materials meeting their criteria for hazard classes and divisions. The term Hazmat employee in the regulations are those persons who package or prepare, physically transport, load, unload, design or makes packages for, fills out paperwork for or ensures the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

To EPA, a hazardous material is any item or chemical which can cause harm to people, plants, or animals when released by spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment.

From the definitions, you can see that OSHA was focused on people, DOT was focused on transportation and EPA was focused on the environment.


Another shortened haz word is HazCom.  This is short for the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.  This standard is all about hazardous chemicals, that is, any chemicals that are a physical or health hazard. The HazCom Standard deals with Safety Data Sheets (SDS), labeling, markings, training and more.

EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, or EPCRA, regulations refer to OSHA’s hazardous chemicals when it comes to which chemicals apply to the EPCRA regulation.  Those which fall under the HazCom standard and have SDSs associated with them are included in EPCRA reporting requirements.  Some companies also refer to HazCom training by the term Employee Right to Know training.

Hazardous Waste

Another haz is hazardous waste. The term hazardous waste comes from EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations.  There’s a lengthy determination process one must go through to even determine if something can be defined to be a hazardous waste.  You’ll see all of those criteria and the roadmap in the definition of hazardous waste at 40 CFR 261.2.

EPA’s website says, “Simply defined, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.”

Hazardous waste must be discarded and must be a solid waste.  To be a solid waste, it must be a material that has been abandoned, recycled, is inherently waste-like or is a military munition.

Once you determine that it’s discarded and a solid waste, there are another set of questions to ask to make the determination if a waste is hazardous or not.  This process is quite important and is required to be completed and documented for each of your wastes.

OSHA mentions hazardous waste in their HAZWOPER standard, calling hazardous waste anything that’s found to be a hazardous waste by the EPA definition or anything that DOT calls a hazardous waste in their definition.

In DOT regulations, DOT says hazardous waste is defined under EPA’s definition and that to ship hazardous waste a hazardous waste manifest is required.  Hazardous waste is a hazardous material that is regulated for transportation. So when a vendor comes to pick up your hazardous waste, your company is the one technically shipping it and are therefore subject to all of the DOT hazmat regulations the same as if you were shipping any other hazardous material.

Hazardous Substances

All 3 agencies use the term hazardous substance.

In EPA, a hazardous substance is “Any substance, other than oil, which, when discharged in any quantities into waters of the U.S., presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, shorelines and beaches (Section 311 of the Clean Water Act); identified by EPA as the pollutants listed under 40 CFR Part 116.”  Hazardous substances are referred to in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, aka Superfund), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the RCRA hazardous waste regulations, and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

OSHA makes it easy.  They say a hazardous substance is whatever EPA CERCLA says it is, whatever DOT says are hazardous materials, whatever EPA says a hazardous waste is, or any other biological or disease-causing agent that could lead to things like death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions or physical deformations in such persons or their offspring.

DOT says a hazardous substance is a hazardous material when that material is listed in their Appendix A and when its single package exceeds the reportable quantity listed in the Appendix. They also have other considerations if it’s a mixture or solution or a radionuclide.


And finally, there’s HAZWOPER.  Although it’s one of our more popularly discussed haz words, we left this for the end because this regulation actually uses all of the haz words in one place and seems to be one standard that incorporates so many different requirements from all 3 agencies within it.

HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.  HAZWOPER is found in the 1910 General Industry Standards under Subpart H, Hazardous Materials.  An identical copy can be found under a different subpart in the 1926 Construction Standards.

There are 3 main pieces or goals to HAZWOPER:

  1. Rules for conducting cleanup operations at sites determined to be EPA RCRA hazardous waste cleanup sites, cleanup operations at sites contaminated by hazardous substances on uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that EPA or another government agency have required to be cleaned up, or conducting voluntary cleanups at those same types of uncontrolled waste sites;
  2. Operations at treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSD) regulated by EPA RCRA; and,
  3. Emergency response to releases of hazardous substances at any facility, any location.

Being an OSHA regulation, HAZWOPER is all about protecting the worker and the public during the cleanup, so all the guidance centers around preparing for and safely cleaning up hazardous substances.

The regulation mentions the term Hazmat teams in relation to those responding to the emergency responses found in part 3 of the standard.

HAZWOPER says any materials cleaned up and containerized into drums must meet appropriate regulatory requirements for DOT transportation, RCRA hazardous waste and OSHA safety regulations.  Waste must be transported per DOT regulations while self-contained breathing apparatuses used by workers to protect themselves during work are to comply with DOT standards.

The DOT’s Emergency Response Guidebook is mentioned and often consulted for emergency response information and guidance.

If a company has prepared a contingency plan per EPA requirements and that plan includes emergency response information, the company can use that contingency plan as part of its emergency response plan so that efforts are not duplicated.

On the EPA side, because OSHA regulations don’t apply to local and state governments, EPA has adopted the HAZWOPER standard into 40 CFR 311 to apply to those local and state governments and any of those not covered by a state OSHA-approved plan.

Also in EPA, emergency spills trigger a whole host of reporting requirements as well as emergency response plans and training to protect the environment from hazardous waste spills, oil spills, pipeline leaks and chemical releases to water, air or land.


This is not an exhaustive list of haz references or examples where all 3 agencies cross over, but hopefully it gave you an idea of how these terms and the rules related to them can be so different in some cases, but so intertwined in others.  The haz words used can differ depending on the situation.

So, if you call us asking for hazmat training, you’re likely to get a lot of questions from us about your end goal.

What haz words have you come across?  What examples did we miss?  We’ll be posting this on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram pages.  We’d love to hear from you!  

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CSB Issues Safety Alert Regarding Emergency Pressure Relief Systems

CSB Issues Safety Alert Regarding Emergency Pressure Relief Systems

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has issued a safety alert regarding emergency pressure relief systems as the agency is continuing to see them playing their part in major chemical incidents.

Who is the CSB?

The CSB is an independent federal agency who investigates the root causes of chemical incidents at industrial sites such as chemical plants, refineries, and manufacturing facilities.  They are not a regulatory agency, but their teams of investigators make recommendations to OSHA and EPA, industry groups and the facilities they investigate.

In addition to investigation reports and root cause analyses, CSB issues safety videos on both their website and YouTube that summarize the important findings from their investigations in order to help prevent similar accidents from reoccurring.

Emergency Pressure Relief System Issues

In its investigations, CSB is continuing to find issues with the safety of emergency pressure relief systems.  In several of their investigations these systems were found to be discharging toxic or flammable materials to areas which were not safe for workers or the public.

Emergency pressure relief systems are devices installed on storage tanks, silos, vessels and processing plant equipment to help relieve the excessive pressure caused by fire, process failure, equipment failure or some other change in condition. The pressure relief device is supposed to prevent the equipment it’s installed on from rupturing or exploding.

One of the most well-known accidents involving an emergency pressure relief system was the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India in the 1980s.  A runaway reaction generated high pressure conditions in a storage tank and a methyl isocyanate cloud escaped from the pressure relief system, killing 3,800 people, and injuring or creating long-term illnesses for tens of thousands.

Three Key CSB Suggestions

CSB recommends that rather than discharge into the air or back into the plant, emergency relief systems should discharge to a flare or a scrubber system.

CSB offers three key lessons from its findings:

  1. Follow Existing Good Practice Guidance

Use API 521, Pressure-relieving and Depressuring Systems as a standard guidance. CSB says this document “…addresses many concerns about releasing flammable vapors directly into the atmosphere and generally requires using inherently safer alternatives for toxic release scenarios or when the potential exists for a flammable vapor cloud.”

CSB also recommends documents published by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) called Guidelines for Pressure-relief and Effluent Handling Systems and Safe Design and Operation of Process Vents and Emission Control Systems as well as viewing American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) presentations and courses on Venting and Emergency Relief.

  1. Evaluate Whether the Atmosphere is the Appropriate Discharge Location or if There May Be Safer Alternatives

CSB typically recommends flaring is safer than atmospheric vent stacks when venting flammable vapor into the atmosphere.  Something like flammable hydrocarbons can cause a fire or a vapor cloud explosion when they are vented into the atmosphere.  CSB recognizes flaring is safer, but does allow for venting into the atmosphere in special cases, especially when that venting will not put workers or the public at risk.

  1. Ensure Hazardous Chemicals Vented Into the Atmosphere Discharge to a Safe Location

Where are the discharge points on your emergency pressure relief systems?  Are they at areas where they can harm workers within its proximity at ground level or on walkways or platforms?   Are they near building intakes?  If your company is subject to Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements, CSB says the required periodic reviews would be a good time to evaluate these issues as well as other audits or incident investigations.

Read the Report

Find CSB’s report, along with four case studies and their resulting recommendations at https://www.csb.gov/assets/1/6/csb_eprs_alert.pdf.

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OSHA Memo to Affect Way Agency Issues Certain Penalties, With Potential for Significant Increases

OSHA Memo to Affect Way Agency Issues Certain Penalties, With Potential for Significant Increases

OSHA’s Director of Enforcement and Director of Construction have joined together to issue two memos to its Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees to alert them on how to interpret penalties in certain cases.

Instance-by-Instance Citations

First, the memo “Application of Instance-by-Instance Penalty Adjustments” adds more circumstances in which these types of penalties can be charged.  Instance-by-Instance penalties are fines for every single instance that the violation occurs, such as penalties by machine, by entry, by location, or by employee.

The memo says that high-gravity serious violations of the following standards can now be subject to Instance-by-Instance penalties:

  • Fall Protection
  • Trenching
  • Machine Guarding
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Permit-Required Confined Spaces
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Other-than-serious violations of the recordkeeping standard

Only those standards that have text which allows for violations of individualized duties rather than general course of conduct can be used to find incident-by-incident penalties.  For example, if machines are missing guards or if employees do not put lockout/tagout devices on each energy isolating device, you could be fined per instance because they are needed on each machine.

Memo guidance says discretion can be used for Instance-by-Instance penalties when penalty adjustments don’t advance the deterrent goal.  The following factors are to be considered:

  • Willful, repeat, or failure to abate violations within the past five years where that classification is current;
  • Failure to report a fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;
  • The proposed citations are related to a fatality/catastrophe; or
  • The proposed recordkeeping citations are related to injury or illness(es) that occurred as a result of a serious hazard.

Penalty evidence and justification must be documented and the Regional Office of the Solicitor must be consulted before these will be issued.

Grouping Penalties

Next, the memo “Exercising Discretion When Not to Group Violations” reminds Regional Administrators and Area Directors that they have the discretion to NOT group violations together in instances where it could help create a deterrent.  Grouping is allowed when:

  • Two or more serious or other-than-serious violations are so closely related they constitute a single hazardous condition (then they are grouped based on the most serious item);
  • Two or more violations are found which, if considered individually, represent other-than-serious violations but together could create a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm (then the violations are grouped as a serious violation); and,
  • When several other-than-serious violations are found (then they are grouped to create a high gravity other-than serious violation).

The memo is reminding that violations don’t have to be grouped if it doesn’t elevate the gravity/classification of the citation when the evidence could allow for multiple citations.  That is, if OSHA can find evidence that the violations could have different abatement methods, if each one could have resulted in death or serious harm, or if each violation condition could expose workers to different hazards, then they can charge each violation separately without grouping them.

In addition, guidance in the OSHA Field Operations Manual says violations are not to be grouped when:

  • Violations are found in separate inspections on more than one day;
  • The same violations are found at multiple sites, but at different locations. If your company is inspected at different branches/locations/sites and you violate the same standard at each place, then you are fined separately at each place;
  • Separate sections of the General Duty Clause are violated. Separate sections of the General Duty Clause cannot be grouped together, but a General Duty Clause section can be grouped with a related regulation; and,
  • Violations are so egregious that they trigger OSHA’s Instance-by-Instance Penalties.

OSHA Fines Increased

Dollar amounts on OSHA fines also were increased at the beginning of the year.  The maximum penalty amounts in 2023 are $15,625 per violation for serious, other-than-serious, posting requirement, and failure to abate violations, and $156,259 per violation for willful and repeat violations. This is an increase in 7.5%, which is the biggest year to year increase since 2016.

Do You Know Where You Stand?

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Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Organizations that handle highly hazardous chemicals must have a comprehensive safety management program to ensure their employees, contractors, and members of the public are protected from potentially catastrophic incidents.

Organizations should regularly audit their operations to identify any potential gaps or areas of improvement in their safety management program.

What does PSM stand for?

PSM stands for Process Safety Management.

The Process Safety Management system should include policies and procedures for identifying, evaluating, controlling, and monitoring all risks associated with working with these materials.

It should also include training on safe work practices as well as emergency preparedness and response plans to ensure that personnel are adequately trained and equipped to handle emergencies and unexpected releases with hazards involved.

What is a PSM audit?

A PSM audit assists companies in determining whether they are doing what is required for compliance against OSHA’s PSM mandate.

An audit of Process Safety Management compliance is an important and necessary step for companies to ensure they are meeting OSHA’s regulations and guidelines.

These audits help identify any gaps in PSM implementation or areas where further training may be needed, enabling organizations to take corrective action quickly.

How often is a PSM audit required?

Recommended, once every three years.

The process safety management audit must include an audit of the PSM program that covers all components, including management commitment and employee participation, process safety information, process hazard analysis, operating procedures, training programs, contractor selection/management, pre-startup safety review procedures, mechanical integrity of equipment associated with the process systems being used by the company and incident investigation.

What is the OSHA standard for PSM?

OSHA developed the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (issued in 1992) designed to prevent catastrophic events, such as explosions and releases of toxic substances, from occurring by requiring employers to identify and assess the risks associated with the hazardous materials and processes.

Employers must also develop safe operating procedures for activities that involve these chemicals or processes, as well as provide training for employees on proper use of equipment and safe work practices. In addition, employers must implement an emergency response plan and monitor the safety system to ensure that it remains effective.

The Osha’s process safety management applies to processes involving threshold quantities of flammable liquids and gasses (10,000 lbs) as well as 137 listed highly hazardous chemicals. It also covers the manufacturing of explosives. Osha PSM requirements and safety programs help maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

Occupational safety, emergency procedures and emergency planning are just a few ways Osha is assisting companies protect the safety and health of their employees.

What are 4 areas that a compliance audit examines?

The 4 areas compliance audits examine are compliance preparations, security policies and procedures, user access controls, and risk management procedures.

An effective audit is essential to any organization’s success. It helps ensure that the organization adheres to all applicable regulations and best practices, protects its assets, reduces risk, and maintains the trust of its stakeholders.

The audit should assess an organization’s compliance standards, policies and procedures, access controls, security measures, written procedures, user activity monitoring systems, and incident response plans.

It should also identify any areas where the organization may be failing to meet its obligations, and provide recommendations for improvement. A successful audit will enable an enterprise to better protect itself against legal, financial, and reputational risks.

Additionally, a thorough audit can help ensure that the organization remains compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What are the 14 Process Safety Management (PSM) elements?

  1. Process Safety Information
  2. Process Hazard Analysis
  3. Operating Procedures & Safety Procedures
  4. Hot Work Permits
  5. Emergency Preparedness & Emergency Shutdown Systems
  6. Mechanical Integrity
  7. Pre-startup Safety management
  8. Training Management
  9. Change Management
  10. Incident Investigation
  11. Contractors
  12. Compliance Audits and Compliance evaluations
  13. Employee Involvement and Employee Safety
  14. Trade Secrets

Companies can use these 14 elements to determine and analyze data in near real-time to automatically identify potential hazards before they become a problem.

This allows them to quickly respond and address problems before any harm is done, mitigating the risk of a catastrophic event.

In addition, automation can be used to streamline process safety operations, providing more accurate and timely data to improve decision-making.

How Can We Help? Ask a Question or Request Info or Pricing

Do you need an idea of where you stand with EPA or OSHA regulations?  Do you need full-time or temporary personnel to manage the day-to-day compliance tasks?  Would your employees benefit from onsite environmental training?  Our team of environmental consultants, safety consultants and industrial hygienists would love to help. Call (316) 264-7050 today!

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SMETA Audits

SMETA Audits

SMETA AUDIT: What you need to know

What is a Smeta audit?

SMETA or Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit is the leading global ethical audit and assurance methodology that helps companies to assess their suppliers’ performance against a set of criteria.

It covers labor, health & safety, environmental and ethics standards which are all important for responsible business practices. SMETA audits provide companies with an objective evaluation of supplier operations and highlight any areas for improvement. This helps

What are the 4 pillars of Smeta audit?

  1. Labor Standards

  2. Health and Safety

  3. Business Ethics

  4. Environmental Assessment

The 4-pillar SMETA audit, developed by the Sedex organization, is a globally accepted audit system used to assess a company’s ethical and sustainability practices. It requires organizations to adopt business practices beyond traditional labor standards in order to ensure that their operations are socially responsible.

The two mandatory pillars of the audit are Labor Standards and Health & Safety. Two additional pillars – Business Ethics and Environment – were introduced to further strengthen the social responsibility aspect of the audit.

Business Ethics encompasses areas such as anti-corruption, bribery, data protection, human trafficking prevention, gifts & entertainment and whistleblowing policy. These measures protect companies against unethical practices which can have serious reputational consequences for an organization if left unchecked. Ethical trading initiative and responsible business practice for all company’s is a necessity.

The Environmental pillar focuses on environmental management, renewable energy, efficient use of resources and waste minimization. Companies must demonstrate that they are taking all possible steps to minimize their impact on the environment and meet the expectations of society such as implementing sustainable business practices.

The 4-pillar SMETA audit is an effective way for companies to review their current practices around labor standards, health & safety, business ethics and environment. It provides a comprehensive view into a company’s social responsibility policies ensuring that operations are ethical, responsible and sustainable in the long run.

By completing this audit successfully, organizations can ensure that their products or services adhere to high levels of quality while also meeting sustainability benchmarks. This helps them build trust with partners, customers and other stakeholders while demonstrating corporate social responsibility.

How long is a Smeta audit valid for?

The SMETA audit report is a valuable tool for businesses to assess their ethical practices and ensure that their performance meets the highest standards. However, the validity of the audit report can vary depending on what timeframe the client decides upon.

Most clients opt for an annual audit cycle and set one year as the period of validity for the SMETA audit report.

How do I get a SMETA audit?

If you’re looking to complete a SMETA audit, the first step is registering and having an active account on the Sedex platform. With the right membership, your business can easily access the resources needed to successfully complete a SMETA audit.

What is the difference between Smeta audits and Sedex?

  1. Sedex is the name of the organization

  2. SMETA is the name of an audit methodology

Sedex’s SMETA audit methodology is widely regarded as the gold standard in ethical supply chain auditing. It is used by Sedex members and their suppliers to help them identify areas for improvement and ensure compliance with local laws, global standards, and corporate responsibility policies.

The audit consists of four sections (Labour Standards; Health & Safety; Environment; Business Ethics) that together provide a comprehensive view of supplier operations. Through SMETA audits, companies can identify and address potential risks in their supply chainsa as well as global supply chains quickly and efficiently.

By addressing any issues they find in their audits, companies can demonstrate commitment to responsible sourcing practices and mitigate business risk.

SMETA audits are conducted on-site by experienced auditors who assess the performance of suppliers in each of the four sections. During the audit, auditors review documents, interview staff, conduct physical inspections, and observe work practices to provide a comprehensive view of supplier operations. After the audit is complete, Sedex will provide a report that summarizes the findings and recommendations for improvement.

Who can conduct Smeta audit?

A SMETA audit will be conducted by an independent third-party auditor. The auditor will analyze the company’s management systems and practices, to ensure that they adhere to the ETI Base Code and local laws. The auditors will review internal policies, management processes, employee training records, and other documents related to labor rights and standards.

In addition, the auditor will observe activities in the workplace such as working hours, working conditions, fire safety regulations, payment of wages, etc., in order to identify any areas of potential non-compliance with ethical trading standards.

After the audit is complete, a report is generated which includes an assessment of compliance with ETI Base Code requirements. Companies who have passed an independent third-party audit typically can demonstrate that their workforce is protected under international labor rights and standards. This provides a degree of assurance to customers and other stakeholders that the company is committed to ethical trading practices.

The audit process helps companies identify areas for improvement, as well as provides an opportunity to address any malpractices that may exist in their supply chain as well as the global supply chain. It also ensures that companies are held accountable for their labor and work standards, helping them build trust with stakeholders and create a positive public image for the business. Furthermore, the successful completion of a audit can open up new opportunities for companies looking to do business abroad by demonstrating compliance with international labor rights and standards.


SMETA audits, developed by Sedex Global, have become one of the most widely accepted ethical audit methods in the world. It is a comprehensive auditing system that provides an internationally recognized standard for assessing working practices within your supply chain. SMETA is based on four pillars: labor standards (including human rights), health and safety, environment, and business ethics.

The aim of this audit is to ensure compliance with any applicable laws and regulations as well as industry-accepted best practice standards including those related to CSR performance and sustainability initiatives. The audit helps you identify any potential risks or areas where improvement can be made in order to meet these standards and stay compliant with laws or regulations.

How Can We Help? Ask a Question or Request Info or Pricing

Do you need an idea of where you stand with EPA or OSHA regulations?  Do you need full-time or temporary personnel to manage the day-to-day compliance tasks?  Would your employees benefit from onsite environmental training?  Our team of environmental consultants, safety consultants and industrial hygienists would love to help. Call (316) 264-7050 today!

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Waste Disposal Facility Audit Checklist

Waste Disposal Facility Audit Checklist

What is a waste audit?

There are two types of audits: manual and automated.

A waste audit can be conducted in a variety of ways, depending on the organization and its goals. Generally, there are two types of audits: manual and automated. Manual waste audits involve sorting through garbage bags or dumpsters to determine what is being thrown away. Automated audits use sensors or other technology to track the types and quantities of waste that an organization produces.

The resulting data from waste audits can be used to develop a better understanding of the organization’s waste stream and how it can be improved. The data can also help organizations make informed decisions about their purchasing practices, lead to more efficient processes and identify cost-saving opportunities.

How do you plan a waste audit in an organization?

A waste audit is an analysis of a company’s waste stream where you inspect waste management and then implement waste management protocols. It gives insight into the types and amounts of materials that are being sent to landfill and helps inform strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle more effectively.

What are the steps involved in a waste audit?

To plan a successful waste audit in an organization, there are several steps that should be added to your waste audit checklist:

1. Select your team and plan a date for the waste audit.
2. Gather your equipment.
3. Go through the garbage!
4. Calculate your diversion rate.
5. Communicate your results.

What is included in a waste audit?

Waste audits are useful for many reasons. They can provide facility managers and other stakeholders with important insights into the effectiveness of their current waste management practices and how they might be improved.

Waste audits can also help identify areas where more resources should be devoted to better manage waste, or where additional training or education is needed. By understanding the composition and volume of the waste generated, organizations can better understand how to reduce, reuse and recycle more efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, detailed audits can provide information about potential safety and health hazards within a facility’s regular waste stream.

What are the 7 principles of solid waste management?

The following are the seven principles that will effectively explain solid waste management:

  • Rethink
  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse & recycle
  • Repurpose
  • Repair
  • Compost
  • Conclusion

Solid Waste Management is an important tool to reducing our environmental impact. By adding the 7 principles to the solid waste management checklist, we can begin to make a positive difference in the amount of waste generated and disposed of into the environment.

Rethinking how we purchase and use products, refusing those items that are not necessary, reducing the total amount of waste going into the environment, reusing and recycling items that can be either repurposed or repaired, and composting rather than throwing organic waste away are all effective methods of reducing our environmental impact without creating more waste.

By making small changes in our everyday lives, we can have a large impact on the amount of waste going into the environment. The way households and company disposes of waste will significantly aid in the improvement of the communities we live in as well as limit unnecessary waste in landfills.

What are the four criteria that the EPA uses to classify hazardous waste?

EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) identify four hazardous waste characteristic properties: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity (see 40 CFR 261.21- 261.24).

As part of EPA compliance, company key members, facilities teams, and site management should identify, collect, and document all hazardous waste that is in their facility. Regular site visits and inspections helps determine is the hazardous waste management protocols are properly enforced and in good condition.

Steps following an waste disposal facility audit:

1. Determine whether the waste containers size and pickup frequency still match your needs. If your trash output changed, a different size or number of pickups could cost you less money.
2. Add recycling service to your plan. If you don’t have recycling bins as part of your waste removal plan, consider add it.
3. Set a goal for increasing your recycled waste rate.
4. Create recycling guidelines for meeting that goal and share them with your staff.
5. Set a goal for reducing the amount of waste in your largest categories.
6. Determine the steps to meet that goal and let your staff know. Implementation is key.
7. Identify any items you can reuse. For example, can you repair or recycle your electronics instead of purchasing new ones? Can you repurpose any of your packaging materials?
8. Decide on a timeline for meeting your recycling and reduction goals. One or two years usually makes sense. Plan to conduct another waste audit at that time to see if you met your goals.

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Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Why is warehouse safety important?

Warehouse managers have a difficult job. Not only do they need to keep their facility running smoothly, they need to ensure the safety of their workers, and facilitate warehouse operations.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouse managers face a number of potential hazards in their workplace, including unsafe use of a forklift, improper stacking, and unsatisfactory fire safety provisions. These line items plus many more will be included in an osha inspection.

How to use a warehouse safety checklist?

Maintaining compliance with industry safety standards is critical for any business, but can be especially difficult for small businesses. One way to ensure compliance especially before a company is required to do a formal safety audit is to use safety inspection checklists that are compliant with OSHA standards. iSi offers a checklist free of charge to help companies start their compliance journey.

Additionally, using pre-written checklists can help reduce the amount of time spent on safety inspections, allowing business owners to focus on their core operations. Finding a warehouse safety checklist is the first step to this process.

What should be checked during warehouse safety inspections?


In any warehouse, forklift accidents are a major concern that can facilitate numerous hazards. Forklift operators need to be properly trained and aware of potential safety risks, especially while loading docks. In order to avoid injuries, it is important to maintain haulage equipment, make sure it is in good working order, never exceed 5 mph outside or in a warehouse, examine the area before driving a forklift, and perform regular checks on all equipment.

Docks and Dock doors

Injuries can occur when warehouse employees are struck by items or equipment falling from the dock or while loading dock doors, when the forklift runs off the dock, or when employees engage in “dock jumping.” It is important for the safety of workers to drive slowly, never go in reverse, and wear a hard hat. Ladders and stairs should meet OSHA’s guidelines, and “dock jumping” should be prohibited.

Material Storage

A good item to examine on the warehouse safety checklist is material storage. Warehouses are often dangerous places to work, as the slightest mistake can lead to a worker being injured. In order to keep workers safe, it is important that warehouses implement safety measures to prevent falls and other injuries from occurring. One such way to prevent falls and protect employees is by positioning items evenly throughout the warehouse and on storage racks.

This means that when workers walk through the warehouse, they will not have to navigate around large piles of boxes or other items. This is important for the safety of the workers. Placing heavier loads in lower distances will also help to keep workers safe, as it will be easier for them to maintain their balance when carrying heavy objects. Implementing these simple safety measures can help keep your workers safe and injury-free.

Charging Station

In the warehouse, one of the most important safety steps you can take is to identify hazards and know how to prevent them. According to OSHA, there are a number of things that you can add to your warehouse safety inspection checklist to maintain warehouse safety, including banning smoking and open flames, keeping an adequate inventory of fire extinguishers, and properly positioning forklifts before charging.


In order to be compliant with local, state, and federal regulations, it is important for warehouses to have safety data sheets (SDSs) on hand. SDSs are documents that contain all the relevant information about hazardous materials and chemicals, including its hazards, proper storage and handling, first-aid and firefighting measures, toxicological information, and more.

For warehouses that store hazardous chemicals, it is especially important to be up to date with all regulations. This is because hazardous materials and chemicals can pose a danger to employees if not handled properly. In order to prevent accidents, employees will need regular training and management should preform regular inspections.

Warehouses should make sure they have up-to-date SDSs for all of their chemicals. Having these documents on hand will help ensure a safe work environment and the warehouse is in good standing with all regulations.

Person lifting or handling

For employees who are performing regular lifting and handling of heavy objects, quick is not safe. Most cases of back pain are caused by strain or injury to the muscles, ligaments, or discs in the back. The good news is that these injuries can often be prevented by using proper lifting techniques as well as storing heavy or cumbersome items preoprly on storage racks.

Security System

As technology advances, more and more businesses are turning to warehouse security systems to protect their investments. With the installation of alarms and surveillance cameras near all access points, business owners can rest easy knowing that their facilities are under 24/7 monitoring. While there are many companies that offer these services, it is important to do your research before selecting a provider.

One of the first things you will want to consider when hiring a security company is their experience in servicing storage areas and other sensitive locations. It is also important to look at the quality of their equipment. In addition, the company should offer cloud storage so that you can access videos from anywhere at any time.

Finally, be sure to ask about the company’s customer service policies. You should expect 24/7 support in case of an emergency.


Most people know that fences provide a layer of security by keeping unauthorized individuals out of a designated area. What many people don’t realize, however, is that fences also need to be routinely inspected in order to ensure they are still structurally sound and haven’t been compromised. Just as you would perform maintenance on your car or home, it’s important to inspect your fence on a regular basis and identify safety hazards to prevent any unwanted access or damage from happening.


Employees that can identify when something doesn’t seem right can be your best protection against potential security breakdowns. This should be a part of your hazard communication. Security breaches can happen anywhere, at any time, so it’s important to have a plan in place for how to handle them. That means having employees who are alert and paying attention to their surroundings, and who know what to do if something seems suspicious.

What are the most common warehouse safety hazards?

Fire Safety

A warehouse is a large, open space where goods are stored and processed. Because of the nature of their work, warehouses pose a unique fire risk. In order to ensure that your warehouse is as safe as possible in the event of a fire, it is important to take some precautions.

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your warehouse is well-marked with clear exit signs and that there are adequate fire extinguishers available. You should also store flammable materials in a safe place and make sure that wires are properly insulated. Having proper emergency exits, fire exits, and fire alarms can and will save lives as well as products.


It’s no secret that safety is of utmost importance in the workplace. Every employee should be aware of the proper safety protocols to follow in case of an emergency. In addition, it’s important to take measures to ensure the safety of employees while they are working.

This may include using safety railings, harnesses, and other protective devices. It’s also beneficial to cordon off uneven or damaged areas while repairs are being made.

Heavy machinery

Heavy equipment is often essential to completing construction or other tasks. However, working with this equipment can be dangerous if not done properly. It is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you when using heavy equipment. All vehicles

Some tips to keep in mind are: being aware of your surroundings, safely entering and exiting equipment, sustaining communication with other workers, using appropriate spotter signals, creating buffer zones, and workers knowing when to stop so that they are not in a dangerous situation.

Trip hazards

It’s no secret that the warehouse industry is a dangerous one. Every year, workers in a warehouse are injured and killed on the job because of common hazards. In an effort to reduce these numbers, it’s important for employers to be aware of the most common warehouse safety hazards and take steps to correct them.

One of the most common types of accidents in a warehouse is a slip or trip. This can be caused by many things, such as poor lighting, loose materials on the floor, spills, or uneven flooring.

To avoid these accidents, it’s important for employers to take steps to improve visibility and make sure that all surfaces are even and free of hazards. Implementing hazard signs and caution tape can also help increase awareness among workers.


What are overexertion injuries? For example, injuries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects all fall under the category of overexertion.

To help prevent overexertion-related accidents, your workers must receive proper safety training. In particular, learning how to lift and carry objects without injury is a vital part of warehouse worker training.

Carrying heavy items improperly can result in a number of different types of injuries: back strains and sprains, hernias, neck strains and sprains, shoulder strains and sprains. Injuries like these can keep your workers off the job for weeks or even months at a time. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your workers know how to safely lift and carry boxes and other items in the warehouse setting.

Falling objects

Working in a warehouse almost guarantees that some materials will be stacked on racks above everyone’s heads. Hard hats, hard hats, hard hats… is the number one thing every person should be wearing to prevent injury. Therefore, it’s possible for items to fall from those racks and cause injuries or get lost in the flue space. In order to prevent these things from happening, a safety protocol should be put into place.

That protocol should include the use of a safety harness, regular inspections of the racks, and employee training on how to properly stack materials.

Lack of Awareness

The biggest hazard in warehouse safety is lack of awareness. When you go through your warehouse safety checklists make sure your warehouse workers, co-workers, and managers are practicing situational awareness.

To help maintain this level of awareness, your team should know all current regulations and latest regulations as well as provide effective training to all workers. When you provide training make sure to include hazard communication with warehouse workers and take preventive measures to keep everyone safe.

If an incident arises, take immediate corrective actions and safety procedures, create reports of the incident and leave the warehouse in good condition.

How do warehouse inspections work?

Warehouse safety inspections, also known as warehouse audits, are an important part of maintaining a safe and efficient working environment in a warehouse setting for warehouse staff. By following a set of documented processes, employers can ensure employee safety, protect inventory from theft or damage, and optimize workflows and procedures. A warehouse safety checklist can help to guide warehouse workers through the necessary steps to complete an effective inspection. Inspections is a warehousing industry standard.


Having a warehouse is an important part of any business, and it’s essential to make sure they are functioning properly. A warehouse inspection checklist can help you do just that.

A good inspection checklist will cover all the key areas of a warehouse, from the inventory to the security systems. It should also be customized to your specific needs, so that you can be sure nothing is missed.

A well-executed warehouse inspection can help you identify any potential problems before they become serious issues. It can also help you ensure that your warehouse is running as efficiently as possible, which can save you time and money in the long run.

Where Do You Go From Here?

iSi can help you get a baseline on your environmental compliance responsibilities and help you prioritize the ones which are most critical to be taken care of.  Request a quote for an environmental audit today!  Need more information about these issues?  Contact us at (888) 264-7050 or email us!

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

PPE is essential in protecting workers from potential harm and is mandatory in many industries. Employers must provide PPE to all their employees free of charge if they are likely to be exposed to hazards during work. The different types of PPE used depend on the risk assessment carried out by the employer, which will determine the level of protection needed for each individual employee.

Common examples of PPE include safety helmets, gloves, safety goggles, ear defenders and respirators. In some cases, employers may also need to provide fire retardant clothing or specialist footwear such as steel toe capped boots.

It is important that employers follow guidelines set out by regulatory bodies when providing PPE, as failure to do so could result in serious injury or even death. It is also important that employees use the PPE provided correctly and understand the associated risks of not doing so.

What different industries require PPE?


The most common type of PPE used by truck drivers are:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Steel toe boots
  • High visibility clothing

It is important to be aware of any hazardous materials that you may come into contact with while making a delivery and to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate PPE. In some cases, full-body suits may be necessary to protect against hazardous materials.


  • Face shields/Face mask
  • Respiratory protective equipment
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • Gloves
  • Aprons/Overalls

PPE should always be used where there is a risk of exposure or contamination of corrosive liquids. It is important to ensure that PPE is appropriate for the task, fits properly, and is maintained in good condition. To determine appropriate types of PPE, it may be necessary to have a qualified person assess the nature and extent of potential hazards.


  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Hairnets

PPE is an essential part of any restaurant, cafe, or bar staff’s uniform and should be worn at all times while on the job. Employees who don’t wear the right PPE can easily get injured from sharp knives or hot dishes, increasing both their risk of harm and the potential liability of their employer.


  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Eye protection
  • Disposable N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shield

PPE for healthcare workers is essential for occupational safety. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends gloves, gowns, eye protection, and face shields/masks as the basic requirements for any and all healthcare workers.

Wearing PPE such as basic respiratory protection, protective clothing, a surgical mask, protective eyewear, and lab coats, when worn correctly, can significantly help prevent workplace hazards and biological hazards, thus helping protect workers and health workers.

Oil and Gas

  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Hand/Foot protection
  • Flame-resistant clothing
  • Gas detection monitors

Essential PPE for oil and gas workers significally reduce employee exposure to physical hazards present as well as notify them on things they cannot see.


  • Peripheral safety goggles
  • Cut-resistant gloves

Peripheral eye protection is especially important in the Automotive Industry, as liquids like fuel and oil can drip down the face, and working in dusty environments with fiberglass, or metal fragments can work their way around non-sealed safety glasses.

Sealed glasses and goggles provide the best protection against such hazards while allowing unrestricted vision to perform service tasks. Motor vehicle technicians and mechanics should always wear proper eye protection whenever doing repairs, as the risks of serious injury or permanent vision damage are simply too great to ignore.

It is also important for anyone working in an automotive environment to get regular vision exams to ensure that any issues can be caught and treated early. Cut-resistant gloves will help prevent skin damage and skin hazards.


  • Protective gloves
  • Hearing protection to prevent occupational hearing loss
  • Full face shields when cutting, grinding, or chipping
  • Goggles for chemical splashes
  • Proper respiratory equipment and protection
  • Fall protection equipment when working above 6 feet

In addition to these PPE requirements, all construction site employees must be aware of the site-specific health hazards associated with working on a construction or renovation site. Employees should know what types of hazardous substances are present and how they can protect themselves.

Appropriate PPE such as respirators, gloves, boots, and chemical protective clothing may need to be worn depending on the particular job site. Make sure that you understand all safety procedures before beginning work and follow them at all times.

It is the responsibility of each employee to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from any potential harm.

Finally, make sure that you report any unsafe conditions or practices immediately to your supervisor or the project manager in charge of the site. Safety first – always!


  • Gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Goggles
  • Full-body suits
  • Face shields

When working in a manufacturing facility, it is important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself and protect employees around you.

This includes gloves, protective hearing gear, hard hats, goggles, respirators, and full-body suits. Wearing PPE can help protect you from various hazards in the workplace. Some facilities may require using a self contained breathing apparatus or powered air purifying respirators as well as other equipment designed for a specific purpose.

What are some examples of PPE?

Masks and Respiratory Protective Equipment

When choosing a respirator, it’s important to understand the differences between APRs and ASRs. Air-purifying respirators (APRs) filter out contaminants from the air that is breathed through them. These types of respirators are most effective when used in environments with low levels of contamination, since they are unable to protect against high concentrations of airborne contaminants. Some examples are:

Protection for the Face and Eyes

Eye and face protection is important in any workplace setting to not only protect against eye injuries, but also for ensuring optimal employee productivity. Depending on the work environment and tasks that need to be completed, there are four primary types of eyewear available to help minimize risk.

General safety goggles are designed with side shields that provide a greater area of coverage, and some models may even include a wraparound frame. They are suitable for most workplace conditions, including those with light debris or dust particles in the air. Another example of safety goggles is laser safety goggles.

Head and Shoe Protection

Wearing a hard hat with a chin strap is the best way to ensure that an employee’s head remains protected when working in hazardous situations. The chin strap will keep the hat secured and prevent it from falling off in case of a fall or other accident. Hard hats must also be inspected regularly for any cracks, dents, scratches, punctures or other signs of damage.

Damaged hard hats must be replaced immediately to ensure an employee’s safety. Employees should also check the fit of their helmet before beginning work. A well-fitting hard hat will provide maximum protection and comfort for employees working in hazardous conditions. Safety equipment can only help you if you use it properly.


Different types of gloves include: Leather, Canvas or Metal Mesh Gloves, Fabric and Coated Fabric Gloves, Chemical- and Liquid-Resistant Gloves, and Insulating Rubber Gloves. Gloves are used in many different scenarios and provide protection against anything from infectious materials, contaminated body fluids, bloodborne pathogens, and bacterial contaminants, to physical hazards such as cuts and abrasions.

What is required for OSHA standards for PPE?

Employers should assess the workplace to determine if PPE is necessary. If it is, employers should provide employees with appropriate protective equipment and ensure its use. Employers must also make sure that the protective equipment is well-maintained and kept clean.

Additionally, employers must train employees on how to properly wear and care for their eye and face protection in order to ensure its effectiveness. Employees should also be informed about potential hazards in their work environment, as well as any limitations of the protective equipment they are using.

If an employee needs prescription lenses while wearing safety glasses, employers may have additional requirements to meet OSHA standards. It is important to note that non-prescription safety glasses do not provide adequate protection against hazardous materials.

Employers should ensure that employees who require prescription lenses have access to appropriate protective equipment and can safely perform their job duties without endangering themselves or others.

If an employer has determined that protection is necessary, they must also provide employees with a copy of OSHA’s standard 1910.133 which outlines the requirements for protection in the workplace.

This document contains detailed information on types of hazards, selection criteria, performance requirements, instructions for use and care, as well as other helpful information employers need to know when providing appropriate face protection to their employees. The World Health Organization and OSHA reiterate that employees must wear PPE and proper equipment in order to protect them properly.

Why do you and your employees need PPE?

  1. Liability

  2. Long-term issues

  3. Keep what you got!

  4. Increase quality work environments


When it comes to workplace safety, personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential piece of the puzzle. PPE protects workers against hazards in the environment that could cause physical harm or injury. Industries such as manufacturing and mining are particularly hazardous, and effective use of PPE can help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.

To ensure maximum protection, it is important that workers always wear the correct type of PPE for the job they are doing. This could include safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats and other items that are designed to protect against specific hazards.

How Can We Help? Ask a Question or Request Info or Pricing

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Laboratory Safety Checklist

Laboratory Safety Checklist

What You Need To Know:

What is a safety audit checklist?

A safety audit checklist is a document used by companies to ensure their workspaces are compliant with industry health and safety standards.

The purpose of a safety audit checklist is twofold: first, to ensure that all areas of potential danger have been identified and addressed; and second, to provide a record of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury.

Many companies use safety audit checklists as part of their regular safety program, while others only implement them in response to an incident.

What should be included in a lab safety checklist?

Lab safety is of utmost importance in any laboratory setting. A lab safety checklist helps to identify and minimize chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present in a laboratory facility.

It helps ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental standards to prevent overexposure to hazardous chemicals, injuries and respiratory-related illnesses or fatalities.

What are the 5 major areas of lab safety?


Laboratory accidents are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. In severe cases, nerves and tendons may be severed.

Often, these injuries occur as a result of attempting to force a cork or rubber stopper into a piece of glass tubing, thermometer or distilling flask thus the result can be broken glass.

To prevent this accident from occurring, workers should make a proper-sized hole, lubricate the cork or stopper, and use gentle pressure with rotation on the glass portion along with any removal of broken glass after an incident.

Toxic fumes:

Chemical fumes can be extremely dangerous, and it is important to take the necessary precautions when working with them especially while working inside. Fumes can cause serious health problems if they are inhaled, so it is important to make sure there is proper ventilation in the lab and to maintain a safe distance when pouring chemicals. Fumes can also be an environmental health issue.

Skin Absorption of Chemicals:

It is important to be aware of the physical injuries that can occur in the laboratory. Chemicals can cause burns, and even if they are not corrosive, exposure can cause allergic reactions or other problems if absorbed by the skin. This can cause acute or immediate effect on the person.

Remember that gloves may be permeable to certain chemical reagents – even without visible deterioration – so trade out any gloves that have come into contact with such chemicals for a new pair immediately. Never touch your face or eyes until your hands are clean of all chemicals or solvents.

Explosions and fires:

In a lab, it is important to be aware of the dangers of flammable liquids. Vapors can travel long distances and may ignite if they reach a flame or spark. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure each individual in the laboratory knows its exact location to prevent fires from spreading.

The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), like a flame-resistant (FR) lab coat, should also be worn.

Chemical or thermal burns:

Chemicals are an important part of laboratory work. They can be used to create reactions or to purify substances. However, they also can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Burns, chemical spills, and unsafe laboratory conditions are all potential hazards and you should immediately report any incident with you chemical or thermal burns.

It is therefore important to exercise caution when working with chemicals and to always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

What are the major overlooked lab safety issues and hazards?

Ergonomic safety:

Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are a serious problem in the workplace, and they can be caused by many different things.

One of the most common causes is repetitive awkward postures, which can occur when employees are not properly trained on ergonomics safety. This type of injury can lead to discomfort and loss of productivity, and it is important for employers to take steps to prevent them.

Laboratory waste disposal:

One of the most important aspects of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is properly managing hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these materials can have serious consequences for both employees and the environment.

Pathogenic diseases and chemical reactions are just two examples of the many dangers posed by hazardous waste if it is not handled correctly. By implementing a comprehensive waste management program, employers can mitigate many of these risks.

Dress code safety:

Proper dress codes can be overlooked when trying to protect students and protect employees. In order to maintain a safe laboratory environment, adding the dress code to the daily lab checklist is a must.

Employees must ensure all safety equipment including goggles, face shields, safety gloves, body, and respiratory protection are in good condition before entering the laboratory.

Proper labels:

Labels are an important part of, not only general safety but also laboratory safety. Putting a proper label on gas cylinders or any substance that is harmful will ensure compliance and meet laboratory standards which will eliminate lab risks.

Record of an incident:

Another overlooked issue that should be on the lab maintenance checklist is proper record-keeping. You should be keeping records of the following: Damaged equipment, equipment malfunction, toxic contamination, radioactive materials leaked, chemical exposures, chemical spills, laboratory cleanliness, maintenance of labs, and any other issues along with the person responsible.


Laboratory safety, chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, and general safety begin with a proper checklist. Starting with regular self inspections can help tremendously but don’t shy away from outside help if you feel you need it. Safety officers and safety consultants can help you with basic requirements for you laboratories, maintain laboratory health, help you achieve a good inspection checklist, cultivate emergency procedures, and ultimately prevent laboratory risks to help you avoid unwanted legal action again your company. Following tips safety consultants provide is paramount. Maintaining a lab, keep it in peak condition, and keeping employees safe is always the utmost priority.

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Contact us!

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6 Key Steps of an Effective Incident Investigation Process

6 Key Steps of an Effective Incident Investigation Process

Why Conduct Incident Investigations?

When investigating a worksite incident, it is essential to record all findings accurately and thoroughly. This includes documenting the accident scene, identifying any possible witnesses, and interviewing involved parties to verify facts. All of these steps will help employers and workers understand what happened and identify potential hazards in order to prevent future incidents from occurring.

Who should do the investigating?

It is equally important to involve managers and employees in the incident investigation. Managers can provide oversight of the process, as well as draw on their experience to identify potential contributing factors from when the incident occurred. Employees also bring valuable insight – for instance, workers may be able to identify specific unsafe practices or conditions that led up to the incident.

Six steps for successful incident investigation:

The 7 steps of investigation includes:


Once the area is safe, first aid and medical care has been given for the people involved and the scene has been preserved, a thorough investigation will begin. Evidence will be collected from multiple sources which may include CCTV tapes, photographs of the scene or other physical evidence such as samples. This evidence must be carefully documented and stored securely in accordance to local laws and regulations.


It is important to develop a clear plan for investigating any incident. The plan should consider the resources required, who will be involved, and how long it is expected to take. Depending on the severity or complexity of the incident, an investigation team may be necessary in order to ensure that all aspects of the case are thoroughly examined.

An accident investigation is important for any workplace incident, not only for human error but for equipment and management systems errors as well. With a proper investigation, a safety committee will need to involved or established as well as a single investigator.


The investigation of any incident requires a thorough analysis of all available information. This might include interviewing witnesses or victims and an injured worker, reviewing documents related to the event, examining equipment or machinery that was involved in the incident and studying the incident scene.

The data collected from these sources can provide invaluable insights into what happened during the incident and help investigators determine the cause. To collect data, comb over every sequence of events and gather information regarding human errors as well as equipment errors. Weather conditions should be documented as well along with safety problems, property damage, serious injury, witness statements, near misses, work environment, other incidents, and other relevant information that will be helpful to the investigation team.


The root cause of an incident is typically the result of multiple failures, decisions, and processes that have been allowed to exist in an organization’s environment. To properly recognize the root cause requires a thorough investigation into the systemic factors at play.

The direct causes are more obvious, but it’s important not to overlook their connections to underlying influences. By looking closely at both direct and underlying causes, it becomes possible to identify where improvement can be made and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. In order to understand the data, you’ll need to review records such as inspection reports as well as review all injuries recorded, the me


Root cause analysis also helps organizations to recognize any potential areas for improvement, ensuring that similar incidents do not happen again in the future. By understanding and addressing the root causes of an incident, organizations can gain greater visibility into their processes and ensure long-term success.

Additionally, significant cost savings can be achieved through effective root cause analysis as it provides a valuable opportunity to review existing processes and address any deficiencies before they become costly later on. Ultimately, when used correctly, root cause analysis can help an organization get ahead of problems before they occur and reduce risks associated with them and other hazards.

Corrective actions might include personal protective equipment changes or updates due to equipment failure. Doing a ‘quick fix’ would be an example of what not to do as a corrective action. Cutting corners can cause repeat incidents and come with serious consequences.


Once the investigation is concluded and all outstanding issues are closed out, it is important to communicate the findings so that lessons can be shared. In order to do this, organizations should use formal incident investigation reports, alerts, presentations and meeting topics.

Regular safety inspections, regular maintenance, implement corrective actions and a safety program, being sure to follow up with organizational requirements on safety and training both management and employees on safety in incidents are crucial when reporting and maintaining reporting.

Why look for the root cause?

Root Cause Analysis can be used to help organizations recognize and rectify the underlying causes of problems they may be facing. The first step in this process is to identify the negative events that are occurring and determine if any patterns or trends exist among them.

What are the steps involved in investigating an incident?

  • Secure the area
  • Plan the investigation
  • Collect all information
  • Analyze collected data
  • Find the root cause
  • Execute corrective actions
  • Document and share the results

What should I know when making the analysis and recommendations?

If your analysis is just another step of managing incidents. Be sure to allocate the appropriate resources and time to complete a full analysis in these situations:

  • When issues occur or can be expected to occur more than once
  • When an outage has or can affect many users
  • When the system isn’t functioning as designed

What is OSHA Process Safety Management Management of Change?

MOC’s (Management of Change) establish and implement written procedures to manage changes made to process chemicals, technology, equipment, procedures and facilities. OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard requires companies to perform MOC’s when changes are made that could affect how safely a process runs.

This procedure should outline all points involved in making changes to the process, such as reviewing safety concerns, assessing risks, identifying potential hazards, selecting appropriate control measures, monitoring results, and updating records.

Which are the three types of MOC?

The three most common types of MOC are administrative, organizational, and technical.

What are the steps of MOC process?

8 Steps to a MOC Process

  1. Identify Proposed Changes.
  2. Risk Assessment.
  3. Determine if Hazards/Risks Can Be Controlled.
  4. Evaluate Making a Change.
  5. Implement Change If Safe.
  6. Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)
  7. Train Workers on Change.
  8. Execute and Monitor Change.



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