Spring Cleaning Your Environmental Management

Now that it is officially spring, we start thinking about clearing out the old and bringing in the new.  For environmental management, what can you be looking out for?   This blog will discuss 5 areas that you can address to make sure everything is fully compliant going in to Spring and Summer.

1. Documentation Check

You will have an assortment of documents to support your environmental management, including policies and procedures to control your activities and minimise your environmental impacts and environmental records such as waste transfer documentation and inspections.  Now is a great time to review your documents and make sure everything is accurate, that you have included any recent changes to processes and if anything can be done more efficiently.

2. Pollution Prevention Evaluation

You should regularly evaluate your current (and planned) pollution prevention controls to ensure they are effective and working and control all of your pollution risks.  You should determine whether there are any old or new areas that you have missed and if you can improve anything.

3. Drainage Review

Now that the worst of the weather is hopefully over, it is an excellent time to assess your drainage system for any damage, issues or blocks.  They should be surveyed and any problems addressed to make sure your site is protected from flooding and to prevent pollution.  You should also determine if your interceptors have been serviced at the appropriate interval (3, 6 or 12 months depending on your site) and that there are no issues that need to be tackled.

4. Spill Kit Assessment

You should review your spill risk areas and ensure there have been no changes e.g. new spill risk areas, changes to quantities or the types of materials stored in certain areas.  You should then assess the spill kit arrangements, making sure first that there are spill kits in those areas, that they are of the correct type for the risk (oil, chemical or general) and that they are clearly marked and easily accessible.  Each kit should also be checked to ensure it is full, has the correct content and is in good condition, ready to use in the event of a spill.

5. Waste Audit

A waste audit can cover many elements.  You can carry out a documentation audit, checking that your transfer documentation is completed correctly and doing some Duty of Care checks on your waste contractors.  This will include making sure all your contractors have waste carriers licences and environmental permits or licences and checking they are still valid.  You may want to assess your waste procedures in practice, making sure your bins are in good condition, well labelled and used correctly.

Regularly checking your systems, processes and procedures is important in ensuring your keep on top of your environmental management and it is essential to act on any issues or improvements that you identify.  You can check and assess so many things, we’ve just given you some ideas.  What will you be looking into as part of your spring clean?