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Disposing of Hazardous Waste at Work – Understanding the Dangers

Hazardous waste is any waste that can be harmful or dangerous to your health or the environment. It can be present in many industries or facilities, and it’s essential to handle it correctly. As a business owner, you should instill the necessary regulations and rules focused on the proper methods of waste disposal.

Some common hazardous waste materials can include asbestos, oils, batteries, pesticides, solvents and other chemicals. Incorrect handling of these substances is a danger to humans, plants and more. For this reason, businesses have to comply with the set laws by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dangers

Any mishandling or unlawful disposal of hazardous waste is a significant risk to the people and the surrounding environment. Workers may unknowingly ingest, inhale or dermally expose themselves to these materials, leading to substantial harm. You may also face some of the following problems:

  • Waste may corrode pipes or block drains, which may bring up issues at water treatment plants
  • Waste may enter waterways and threaten wildlife 
  • Strong chemicals can quickly leach into groundwater, affecting plants, soil, and water bodies 
  • Other chemicals may spill, thereby causing fires
  • Garbage collection workers may be harmed if these substances come into contact with their skin

How To Dispose of Hazardous Waste at Work

As the owner of a commercial enterprise that produces hazardous waste, you must oversee correct and safe waste disposal. It’s essential to do the necessary evaluations to know the harmful substances produced in your company. Therein, make sure you take all the steps required to prevent employees and the environment from harmful exposure.

Start by correctly storing hazardous waste while waiting for suitable disposal methods. For instance, if you use plastic bags, take them to collection bins for recycling. Old electrical boards or spent batteries should also be recycled instead of taking up workspace.

Remember to correctly label the wastes by referring to the waste hierarchy to take all the necessary measures. You can also offer training to workers for them to identify different waste types. Additionally, define the materials and have a Material Safety Data Sheet reference. It gives vital information like how a user should protect themselves against any product’s harmful effects. Implementing other waste disposal practices should also be a habit to maintain a safe working environment.

Note that waste is inevitable at any workplace; thus, you can opt for external collection services. Ensure that you hire licensed collection services that take the right measures during transportation, collection, treatment and disposal.

Filing for Hazardous Waste Exposure

Workers have a right to a safe and risk-free environment. Hence, handling and storing hazardous waste should be done according to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations. If a business lacks the ability to undertake all the set measures, they may have to compensate a worker who gets injured or harmed as a result.

In case of exposure to hazardous material, report to the employer immediately to get the necessary paperwork. You can then get a lawyer to show you how to properly file a worker’s compensation claim. An experienced attorney will work on the case to show that your employer neglected their responsibility to protect you. A lawyer can also check against the OSHA rules in a particular state to see the permissible exposure limits that safeguard workers.

Hazardous wastes can result in adverse health effects to any employee due to poor disposal. Employers are, therefore, required to adhere to all government laws to protect their staff. In the case of work-related harm, a professional attorney can show you how to properly file a worker’s compensation claim.