For most companies, ensuring the safety of their employees and the community in which they work is a top priority. However, complying with a complex web of government regulations and minimizing workplace risks and threats to air, water, land, and waste is an increasingly difficult labyrinth to navigate. Failure to navigate the maze properly can result in hefty fines and fees for your business and can endanger the environmental safety of the community.
The earliest environmental safety measures were taken based on pure common sense: dumping waste downstream from a community’s water source, protecting naturally occurring windbreaks to reduce erosion, taking care to extinguish campfires, etc. Today, both state andfederal regulations ensure that all possible measures are taken to protect the environment as companies develop and grow. Annual reports are due and inspections and compliance audits are to be expected.
For many business owners, complying with these regulations and submitting proper documentation can be a daunting task. Environmental consulting services are often contracted to aid in filing annual reports and save business owners and clerks from the headache of unfamiliar paperwork.
More importantly however, environmental consulting services are called upon to aid in minimizing risks to the environment posed by business growth. Whether a company is building an annex to an existing site or starting from scratch or laying pipeline onshore or offshore, a series of environmental concerns arise. Many regulations exist to protect natural ecosystems and human communities of which a typical business owner would be unware which in turn can result in substantial fines.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), for example, fines businesses up to $7,000 for violations of code made in ignorance. For willful violations or repeated violations by error, penalties can reach $70,000. Some of these may incur a great enough level of harm to the environment to justify the ceasing of operations until the problem is rectified. Repairing damaged equipment, putting safety measures in place, or training employees in new safety processes can pose additional unexpected hits to operating costs.
Like all aspects of business, it is most effective to plan ahead and anticipate risks. Violations of OSHA regulations as well as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and state regulations are discovered by random inspections. For many businesses owners,environmental consulting services can serve as a first line of defense for both the environment they operate in and their business itself. Consulting services minimize environmental hazards because experts know the regulations, spot violations, and guide businesses in the planning and execution of risk management.
Additional environmental consulting services that can save businesses time and money concern chemical handling and emissions. Experts can complete or update chemical inventories with ease to ensure that they comply with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) requirements. For industrial sites with emissions, experts can aid in filling out permit application forms to ensure compliance with clean air acts.