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Site Colonoscopy

When last did you conduct one?

     

Without exception, all companies have the capital E for environment in their SHE abbreviation for their safety efforts, but are they serious about the E? The E sounds good in the safety policy and looks smart on the wall, but when last did you conduct a plant colonoscopy? How frequently do you go to the backend of your process, there where the waste and effluent spew out? Normally only the janitors, cleaners and contract waste removal companies see that part of your operation. We are good at shifting the burden of looking after the environment onto someone else – let them deal with our ‘nasties’ and we merely pay the price.

Conducting a plant colonoscopy means starting at the back and looking at what and how much waste and effluent, including gaseous effluent, we generate and, particularly, at how safe and clean these handling facilities are. Often they are a real mess, because these facilities are seen as a necessary evil that we do not want to waste our money on. A colonoscopy also means flushing out the whole system by taking a good look at drains, bunds, drip trays, drain valves and pumps, filters, bins and silos. Are these fit for purpose in effectively catching or separating the waste and effluent? Look for spillages and leakages and track where these are routed to.

Do you accept waste and effluent as part of the process? How much effort is put into reducing off-cuts, run-offs and spillages, or at least collecting and reusing them in the process? We allow people to use the hose pipe to wash stuff down the drains. Do you recycle materials outside your own process? Collecting and recycling paper, plastics, glass, metal and oil is a simple matter of attitude and some bins and containers, often provided by the recycling companies.

We are all responsible for protecting the environment, not only at work, but at home as well. If you mess, you clean up. We should all re-duce, re-use, re-cycle and prevent waste and effluent in the first place.

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