Hazardous Waste Management – how to identify them and dispose them?

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As a part of our Environment Health & Safety (EHS) initiatives, we shall discuss about Hazardous Waste Management.

What is Hazardous Waste? 

Hazardous wastes are items with properties that make it potentially dangerous or harmful to human health or the environment. Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known or tested to exhibit one or more of the following hazardous traits:

  1. Flammable: Ignitable wastes can create fires under certain conditions, undergo spontaneous combustion.
  2. Toxic: Toxic wastes are harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed. When toxic wastes are disposed, the toxic constituents may leach from the waste and pollute ground water.
  3. Corrosive: Corrosive wastes are materials, including solids, that are acids or bases, or that produce acidic or alkaline solutions. A liquid waste may also be corrosive if it is able to corrode metal containers, such as storage tanks, drums, and barrels.
  4. Oxidizing: Reactive wastes are unstable under normal conditions. They can cause explosions or release toxic fumes, gases, or vapors when heated, compressed, or mixed with water.

How is hazardous waste generated?

Hazardous waste can be generated from:

  1. Daily maintenance and housekeeping operations, such as empty chemical/paint containers, used oil, oil filters, empty oil barrels and oil soaked rags from diesel generator; and
  2. Regular inventory related processes from HazMat Room, FRACS, IB, OB and C-Returns – Product/ASIN – gases, flammable solids, oxidizing agents etc.).

All hazardous waste must be stored in a dedicated area which should contain:

  1. Flame proof Cabinet  for storing the flammables
  2. Spill Containment Pallets
  3. Containers ( Totes, barrels, drums)
  4. Spill kit
  5. First aid kit
  6. Eye Wash station
  7. Fire Extinguisher
  8. Communication Device
  9. Emergency Contact Details

How to handle Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous waste should be handled with caution; associates should use PPE like safety gloves, safety goggles while handling these wastes.

What is the method for labelling & packaging for Disposal:

The waste can be stored only for 90 days (as per hazardous waste management handling rules 2016) which should be disposed by the selected vendor.

The generator should provide the vendor with seven copies of manifest as a part of record keeping for the movement of the waste. Also TREM card should be provided, as a part of emergency response plan for the driver.

Now let us understand the basic instructions for managing hazardous waste:

1. Always use PPE’s while handling Hazardous Waste

2. Only Authorized personnel are allowed entry

3. Store the hazardous waste only in designated space and as per the compatibility matrix

4. Always seal the hazardous waste properly

5. Use of spill kit in case of minor leak

Emergency Situations:

In case of an emergency situation like:

Fire:

1. Immediately contact the ERT

2. Extinguish the fire only if you are trained to do so.

Spill:

  1. Refer the MSDS of the chemical which is spilled on the floor.
  2. Wear Rubber Gloves and safety goggles.
  3. Stop the flow of the spilled chemical by using roll (Only if spill is spreading).
  4. Spread the observant material on the spilled chemical area
  5. Remove all the remaining spilled chemical by scrubbing by the observant
  6. Collect all the chemical socked waste into the plastic bag for the disposal.

In case of major spill please contact the emergency contact person.

Managing hazardous waste is an important housekeeping activity which helps our surroundings to keep clean as well as follow the basic hygiene procedure to keep away from any toward accidents. This practice promotes basic Environment, Health and Safety initiatives.

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