Choose the Correct Environmental Clean-Up Specialists
By having a workforce which is highly-trained in environmental safety matters and holding qualifications like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate or similar, a company's aim is to minimise the chances of an incident or accident occurring which can cause damage to the environment. Despite this, no amount of environmental training, health and safety courses, planning or safety controls will be able in all practicality to reduce the probability of such an incident occurring down to zero percent. This means that despite best efforts, unfortunately accidents can and do happen.
Avoiding the Rush to Clean-up Substances Straight Away
When such situations happen, we have already seen in the article Avoiding the Temptation to Clean Up Environmental Hazards as Soon as Possible that companies need to avoid putting their employees in danger, or the employees themselves taking action of their own volition, by trying to clean-up or remedy an incident which has taken place and has/is causing damage to the surrounding habitat. Coming into contact with hazardous substances can cause a lot of damage to the human body, which is why it is so important to wait for the environmental clean-up specialists to arrive who can competently perform an assessment of the risks and can undertake the clean-up in a safe manner.
The Benefits of Calling-in an Environmental Clean-up Specialist
These environmental clean-up specialists will not only be suitably trained and highly knowledgeable regarding the substances in question and the associated dangers which the substance can cause to the human body and to plant and animal life, but will also be able to conduct the clean-up without endangering any more people or causing further devastation to the environment. This makes choosing the correct environmental specialists for the task of paramount importance, not only to rectify the existing situation, but to actually not make it even worse than it already is.
Choose a Suitable Environmental Clean-up Specialist
To choose the correct environmental clean-up specialists it will be necessary to take into consideration the points mentioned above. There is a real danger that an already hazardous and damaging state of affairs can be made even more catastrophic to health and habitat if the clean-up is performed incorrectly. Therefore those who are brought in to carry it out need to be suitably trained themselves in the risks and dangers from the substance(s) in question. Just as a deficiency in knowledge on the part of workers who have not received suitable health and safety training can put them at risk, a lack of knowledge amongst the clean-up personnel regarding the dangers to health from the substances being encountered can place them at risk, or contribute to them taking an action which causes further harm to the surrounding environment. These secondary consequences are easily forgotten about and overlooked when trying to deal with the original incident, for example tackling a fire with water which then washes pollution into groundwater and surrounding watercourses.
Tackling an environmental accident will nearly always require the clean-up personnel to wear protective clothing and use specialist tools or equipment. Therefore those who are called in to clean-up a situation need to have such clothing and equipment, in addition to it being in good condition and suitable for purpose, so that they can carry out the task without harm coming to themselves.
Health and Safety can be the Responsibility of All
Whilst it will be the responsibility of the clean-up company to ensure that their employees have the proper training, equipment and protective equipment to carry out the task, the company which has caused the incident can also play a part by conducting research to ensure that the company chosen to carry out the clean-up are professional and can competently perform the action. Otherwise, not only can the situation cause harm to the health and safety of people, but can also make it worse for the environment through contributing further to the problem and causing additional hazards and dangers.