Consequences of Mismanaging Hazardous Waste for Businesses

Consequences of Mismanaging Hazardous Waste for Businesses
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    When starting a business, creating a waste management plan is likely the last thing on your mind.

    However, designing hazardous waste handling procedures isn’t just a recommendation—it’s mandatory.


This is especially true for industries that regularly produce dangerous materials, like medical facilities and manufacturing plants. Your company can avoid hazardous waste violations by working with a specialized service or hiring an in-house safety manager.

Businesses that fail to do either of these things don’t understand the consequences of mismanaging hazardous waste. If you don’t take waste management seriously, you can look forward to these ramifications.

Unsafe Working Conditions

Hazardous waste has its name for a reason; employees handling these harmful substances are at risk for serious injuries and health conditions. Medical facilities have the added risk of putting their patients in danger.

Your staff members must undergo extensive training to handle hazardous waste correctly. Be sure to provide plenty of personal protective equipment (PPE) to guard people against fumes and corrosive materials. Design and maintain a safe hazardous waste storage site to keep the rest of your business free from harm.

Federal Law Violations

Did you know the government has laws in place to regulate commercial hazardous waste? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to dictate who, when, and how businesses should handle their toxic substances. Failure to adhere to these rules often results in hefty fines.

The EPA isn’t the only federal agency that can punish companies for breaking hazardous waste laws. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines that protect employees from harm. If your facility fails hazardous waste inspections, you could spend a lot of money on legal fees and fines.

Additional Expenses

Governmental fines aren’t the only financial consequences of mismanaging hazardous waste that businesses need to worry about. Having a poor waste management plan leads to additional expenses. Once you receive your punishment, you’ll have to spend tons of money correcting your mistakes.

If an employee sustains an injury while handling hazardous materials, you’ll have to pay worker’s compensation. Additionally, improperly stored toxic waste usually damages other parts of your facility. It’s much cheaper to invest in a solid plan from the get-go than attempt to cut corners and pay for it later.

Environmental Damage

It’s no secret that hazardous waste harms the environment; that’s why the EPA takes its regulations so seriously. If your business’s toxic materials escape into the surrounding community, you could be responsible for extensive environmental damage.

Proper waste disposal is key to avoiding harming the earth. You don’t want to send hazardous waste to landfills, where it can leak into groundwater and release harmful fumes as it breaks down. You should also avoid incinerating waste without speaking to a professional first.

Poor Brand Image

The court of public option is ruthless. Businesses that mismanage their hazardous waste often hurt their brand image beyond repair. Since sustainability is a societal priority, people take their money to companies that align with their eco-conscious values.

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If you want to succeed in your industry, caring about your company’s waste is essential. Take the time to design a comprehensive waste management plan; your work will pay for itself in business longevity.

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