Hazardous materials represent those types of materials that pose a substantial amount of danger to environment or human health due to their chemical and physical properties. The materials which have been designated to status of hazardous materials are as follows explosives, flammable gases / liquids / solids, oxidizing and radioactive materials, and some corrosive materials. Business plans that are related to hazardous material waste management require some guidelines / steps according to the IFC’s Environmental and Social Review. 1.
Screening: The first step to be included within a business plan is to SCREEN the type and amount of the material. It also includes procedures to identify the guidelines which are applicable. These guidelines are used to determine the class, division, description and the threshold amounts of these hazardous materials which depend upon the relevant activity that is involved within the industry at one time. This step will automatically determine the level of detail that will be required by the next step. Using the values that are identified, a table needs to be made which identifies the following-
• Quantity used per month • Characteristics that make the material hazardous • Hazard level (low to high) • Threshold quantity 2. Management Plan: There are three main components to a management plan. They are management actions, safety measures, urgent situation preparedness and an effective response plan. The activities that are should be associated with these components are described below- 2. 1 Management actions – when ever there is a use of a hazardous material in any operation within an industry, the safety, health of the workers should be the first priority of the management.
The workers should be provided with the suitable protection equipments, urgent shower washing systems, proper ventilation systems, and timely medical examinations. Also the work pace environment and air should be regularly monitored to check the presence of hazardous gases. At the same time, it is also the responsibility of the management to ensure training facilities for the workers with regard to identification of hazard, safe working procedures, material handling guidelines and emergency procedures.
Apart from these issues, the monitoring of records, and monitoring of data includes the timely marking of hazards, their location and nature, duration to which the employees are exposed to the hazards in any form, emission data, sampling data records and accident reports. 2. 2 Safety Measures – the aim of these measures is to develop a safe working environment for the workers, and carry out procedures that will work to prevent the accidents.
The management, who is looking after the plan, must keep in mind the safety issues while designing, constructing, and operation facilities of the plant and these should be in full co-ordinance with the local authority building codes and regulations. Also the safety measures include the elimination or substitution of hazardous materials wherever possible. The transportation of the hazardous materials, should fall in compliance of the rues and regulations laid down by the local authorities.
The transportation of these hazardous materials, their nature, packaging, storage, handling, labeling, disposal and adequate vehicle use is involved to ensure complete safety issues. Also the route to be used in transportation and loading / unloading procedures should be taken care of. There are some set rules that permit the disposal arrangements of the hazardous materials. If in case, the industrial disposal options are not available, other appropriate environmental friendly alternatives for handling and disposal should be considered.
3. Urgent situation preparedness and Response Planning – It is important to note that without the existence of an appropriate and effectual emergency control centre, occurrence management and the incorporation of all of the urgent situation services will be not possible and very difficult to achieve. The various emergency squad associations have always preferred the use of an off site emergency control centre rather than an on-site emergency control centre approach. This approach has also been favored by the COMAH Regulations.
There are a number of incidents that occurred till date related to hazardous material risks and have clearly verified that an on site emergency site can easily get damaged. As a rule, the plants should have both on- site and off-site emergency control centers, both of which must reflect the exclusive circumstances that exist at the site, and the skills, knowledge and experience in these types of situations. The next step is to make certain that the correct resources that are needed for the situation like material leakage, explosion and fire are ready at a moment’s notice.
By mistake, most of the expert committee takes this as having the right equipment available. Although, this aspect is important, but more vital is the availability of an efficient set of services and equipments that are needed within minutes of the incident. Also the he emergency team should be at all times ready with the back up resources which should be at all times ready for the emergency. In addition, these back up resources should be at all times reviewed for regular tests and proper functioning. 4.
Community Involvement and Awareness – When hazardous materials are in use, in the industry, it is very important to inform and educate the people, who can be potentially affected by the use. Community involvement and awareness plans can include providing the community with general information about the hazard, its side effects and timely safety arrangement that should be adopted in times of danger. These hazardous management plans are implemented step by step by the industrial plants dealing in hazardous chemicals and other materials.
1. United Nations. Transport of Dangerous Goods – Model Regulations, 11th Revised Edition. Geneva 1999. 2. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Guiding Principles for Chemical Accident Prevention, Preparedness and Response. 1988-89. 3. US Department of Transport. Hazmats Regulations (Title 49 CFR Parts 100-185). October 1, 1998 and amendments through June 30, 2000. 4. US Environmental Protection Agency. Protection of Environment (Title 40 CFR Parts 300-399 and 700 to 789). July 1, 1996.