Friday, 23 of March of 2018

Environmental Safety

Environmental issues are very complex. There are many conflicting opinions about the degree and even the existence of any damage being done to the environment. As we reflect on environmental safety we need to recognize the inter-relationship among all living and non-living things in the world. Measuring the impact our activities have on the environment should not be limited to any one aspect of the ecological system. But, we should extend our scope to include the broadest range of environmental systems.


There is a tendency to distance ourselves and the consequences environmental deterioration have on our lives. We seldom reflect on the long term dangers which may likely happen and the effects they would have on our lives. Sometimes we are slow to include ourselves into the environmental issues. We measure the effects of dangerous substances have on water, land, air, plants, animals, birds and fishes but fail to extend the research to include human beings. Some of the effects are sometimes insignificant while others can result in serious discomfort and sometimes illnesses and death. Occupational diseases can be viewed as direct consequences from contaminating the environment.


Many take the view that our lifestyle cannot be reverted to a time with out pollution. Work and manufacturing as we know them today will not exist. As a result attempts have been made to establish limits for any unwanted releases in the environment. More and more we are using environmentally friendly products. Environmentally sustainable technologies are being developed with a view of reducing the damage done to the earth’s ecological systems.


We cannot take it for granted that the environment is capable to rejuvenate itself and it is fine to continue destroying it without any serious consequences. Some have described the earth as a living organism similar to our body. Our body maintains a constant temperature. An increase in the  body’s temperature by a few degrees can lead to serious illnesses and death. Similarly an increase in the overall global temperature by a few degrees can lead to the destruction of many life forms and serious disaster. Care must be taken to establish a balance in the environment. We are part of the environment and by destroying it we will be destroying ourselves.


The awareness of environmental deterioration has reached its all time high. Cities, Municipalities and the Province are taking stronger measures in controlling un-necessary hazardous releases in the environment. Increased convictions and fines are getting the attention of business managers and individuals. Hazardous waste legislation in Ontario requires a comprehensive approach in the disposal of industrial waste. Domestic hazardous waste collections are available in many communities. Environmental sustainable business practices can be achieved when we all play our part to achieve a balance without further deterioration.



Environmental Preservation

Reduction, reuse and recycle are the main artillery against the battle of environmental degradation. Recycling is now being established in large institutions, high rise residential buildings and industrial complexes. The main focus is to achieve social responsibility for the preservation of the environment.


The ministry of the Environment and Energy (MOEE) enforces the legislation and regulations regarding waste disposal. It is an offense to store, process, dispose or transport waste in Ontario unless the generator has obtained a generator registration documents issued by the MOEE.


Hazardous Waste

Definition (Hazardous Waste)
Hazardous waste is defined as a waste that meets one of the following:
It is listed as a Hazardous Waste in Schedule 1 of Regulation 347.
It is listed as an acute Hazardous Waste Chemical or Hazardous Waste Chemical
in Schedule 2(A) or 2(B) of Regulation 347.
It contains severely toxic contaminants listed in schedule 3 of Regulation 347 at a
Concentration greater than 1 ppm.
It exceeds the criteria assigned to the characteristics of Ignitability, Corrosivity or  Reactivity or is identified as being Pathological or a PCB waste in Regulation 347.
It produces a leachate with contaminant concentrations greater than 100 times the  concentration listed in schedule 4 of Regulation 347.


Waste Registration and Disposal

The MOEE has recommended a three-step registration process for waste disposal.


STEP 1.          How to determine if registration is required

This step includes;

Waste identification and exemptions

Completing a registration report


STEP 2.          Completing and filing the registration form

This step includes;

Generator identification

Waste identification

Waste management

Filing reports


STEP 3.          Follow up on reports

This step includes;


Manifest requirements


Information available to the public


Waste Classification

Waste is classified in the Canadian Standard Industrial Classification Code. These are divided into many groups. Elevating Devices installation and maintenance trades produce waste in at least two (2) classifications;

1.         Manufacturing industries and

2.          Construction industries.


Some of the waste generated in the petrochemical industry are, but not limited to the following;

Waste oil/ sludge  (petroleum based)
Waste crankcase oil and lubricants
Emulsified oils – cutting oils, machine oils
Oily water
Construction waste
Wrecking and demolition waste
Sheet metal waste
Electrical component waste

(For a detailed list of the waste produced in the workplace consult the waste classification under the Ministry of the Environment and Energy)



Proper Storage:


Any container used to store potentially harmful liquids, such as waste oils, needs a system for secondary spill containment. Secondary spill containment systems usually incorporate secondary containment tanks that provide additional capacity for the storage of any liquids that may leak due to structural failure, overfilling, or improper draining of the primary tank