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In 1976, The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was established to set up a framework for proper management of hazardous waste. Simply defined, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids, gases, and sludge.

1. Is the material in question a solid waste? The EPA defines “solid waste” as any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater plant, water treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.

2. Is the material excluded from the definition of solid waste or hazardous waste? Several materials are excluded from the definition of solid waste. You can see a list of exclusions on the EPA website.

3. Is the waste listed or characteristic hazardous waste? A waste is determined to be a hazardous waste if it is specifically listed on one of four lists (the F, K, P and U lists) found in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) in section 261. The F-list, found at 40 CFR section 261.31, identifies wastes from common manufacturing and industrial processes as hazardous. The K-list identifies hazardous wastes from specific sectors of industry and manufacturing and are considered source-specific wastes. The P and U lists designate as hazardous waste pure and commercial grade formulations of certain unused chemicals that are being disposed.

4. Characteristic wastes are those that are either ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic based on EPA standards.

5. Is the waste delisted? The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides a process to remove, or “delist,” a waste generated at a facility from the list of hazardous wastes.

Safeway Industrial has over (24) years in the hazardous waste management arena, is a permitted hazardous waste transporter and assists our clients in staying compliant with applicable local, state and federal regulations. If you have questions regarding your wastes, let Safeway commit their knowledge and experience to your company. Call us at (256) 492-3704 or click here to contact us through our website.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency website

Most of us have enjoyed the rest and relaxation that comes with summer vacations. We have hauled the family to the shore or the mountains, feasted on delicious food and basked in the temporary luxury of not working. But, now it is the beginning of October, the kids are back in school and we are back at work facing the fall and winter shut-downs which are part of our industry.

As Safeway customers know, October through December are crazy-busy months for us as we adjust our schedule to accommodate the cleaning projects they require during holiday shutdowns.

Whether you plan to have the plant floors steam cleaned, the rafters vacuumed or your process tanks entered and cleaned … now is the time to schedule your company’s fall and winter cleaning projects to assure you get the dates you need! We believe preplanning is paramount to assuring a successful approach and outcome to any project. Our twenty-four years in business is testimony to the pride we take in performing professionally and efficiently.

Call Safeway today at 256-492-3704 to discuss how we can manage your company’s industrial cleaning needs.

If you offer for transportation a hazardous material (HazMat) on a shipping paper, bill of lading or hazardous waste manifest (required for both small and large quantity generations of hazardous waste), you must provide an emergency response telephone number for use in the event of an emergency. It appears many shippers/offerors are unaware of their responsibility regarding this matter and rely on the carrier or designated facility to provide the information required by 49 CFR 172.604.

The purpose of the emergency response telephone number is to be a helpful source of information to emergency responders in the event of a HazMat Incident. Therefore the number must be:

  • Monitored at all times the hazardous material is in transportation, and;
  • Is the number for a person knowledgeable of the HazMat being shipped and has comprehensive emergency response information for the material (Emergency Response Information Provider or ERI Provider) , or,;
  • Or has immediate access to a person with such knowledge and information. Telephone numbers that require a call back such as an answering service, answering machine, or beeper will not suffice.

It is important that the emergency response telephone number is clearly visible in the event of an emergency, therefore the number must be written on the shipping paper as follows:

  • Immediately following the description of the hazardous material when a different number applies to each hazardous material (Section 9A on the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest), or;
  • Entered once on the shipping paper by using a larger or differently colored font, highlighting or otherwise setting the number apart. This option can only be used if the number applies to each hazardous material on the shipping paper. Section 3 of the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest may be used to fulfill this requirement.

Unfortunately, some shippers and carriers were using the phone numbers of ERI Providers that they had not registered with to provide such service and in an emergency first responders were not able to obtain vital and necessary information from the ERI Provider. For this reason, effective October 1, 2010, some form of identification of the person who has registered with the ERI Provider must be included on the shipping paper. Identification can be a name, contract number or other unique identifier of the ERI Provider for the registrant and it must be near the emergency contact number unless it appears elsewhere on the shipping paper in a prominent, readily identifiable and clearly visible manner. NOTE: The name of the ERI Provider is not required to appear on the shipping document, just their phone number with the identifier given to the registrant.

If the person offering the hazardous material for shipment is also the ERI Provider, their name or some other acceptable means of identification must appear prominently and clearly on the shipping paper. For the uniform hazardous waste manifest, this is accomplished by proper completion of Section 5. If using a third party, it is the responsibility of the person registered with the ERI Provider to ensure they have the current information on the material before it is offered for shipment. This is especially important for hazardous waste shipments as the wastes may be different for each pickup.

49 CFR 172.604(b) can be difficult to understand but the intent is clear. Some information linking the ERI Provider to the person offering the hazardous material for shipment must be clearly visible on the shipping document for the emergency responders to find.

Prior to your next shipment, ensure that you are in compliance by accurately providing this information to your transporter. Significant penalties will be assessed if the emergency response telephone number for shipment of your hazardous material is discovered to be incorrect or incomplete during an emergency or HazMat Incident. You must also ensure proper training of your HazMat employees and the employees of large quantity generators of hazardous waste who handle the waste, prepare it for shipment, or sign the waste manifest.

Because Safeway Industrial Services primarily transports hazardous waste materials, we have concentrated on this portion of the regulations. Other regulations apply to various hazardous materials not considered wastes and for ERI Provider numbers outside the U.S. Please refer to 49 CFR 172.604 for additional information.

For professional hazardous waste transport and other environmental service, please visit Safeway’s website at or call 256-492-3704. Let our almost quarter-century of experience work for your company!

Our blog posts are often centered on different aspects of the environmental industry and its regulations. You will find this one quite different.

While contemplating a topic for this month, I ran across an article that really hit home. Its basis was that any business is more than a good business plan or accounting or marketing. At the root of any successful business sociology is first.

Sociology? Absolutely! After all, every business deals with the interaction of people. So it makes sense that if we simply do what we say we’re going to do, or be where we say we will be, people will appreciate us. And, if we can’t be there for some reason, let the person who is depending on us know … as soon as we know. This is not a sometimes thing but rather an all-the-time thing.

Of course we thank our customers and demonstrate appreciation for business referrals. That’s a given. But do we also remember to thank those who serve us? Remember to show appreciation and thank not just your customers, but your employees and your vendors. Thank everyone. It matters because it serves to brand us as decent human beings.

In short, be the kind of person others want to work for, or hire, or refer to others. Just do what is right and honest. It will always come back to you!

At Safeway Industrial, we believe these are words to live by. Can we be of service to your company? Please call us at 256-492-3704

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your factory or other industrial facility, it’s important to understand the importance of having it done properly. It’s also important to know who you are working with to get the job done while staying within the constraints of current regulations. There are challenges and safety risks involved anytime an industrial cleaning project is started. But with the right equipment and the properly trained personnel in charge of the project, you are less likely to encounter any issues.

Why is having regular industrial cleaning an important component of maintaining your facility? Number one is it can impact employee productivity. Believe it or not, your employees take pride in their workplace. And if they take pride in their workplace, naturally they are more productive if the workplace is kept safe and clean. Keeping your facility clean can also affect the health of your workers, so there is less downtime. Which leads to more profit for your facility.

How much investment do you have in your equipment and tools? Do you think they are worth protecting? It’s amazing how the little things in an operation can cause such issues both with personnel and with equipment downtime. Having happy employees can lead to safer working conditions, more conscientious workers, less downtime, and more profit. So when you think about all these factors, industrial cleaning is a great investment for any facility. And there is generally no downtime for the cleaning.

When working with an industrial cleaning service, you need to work with someone who has the experience, the training, and the communication skills to let you know step-by-step what is involved in completing the project. Effective and open communication is an essential part of the process.

Finally, here are three questions you need to ask any company you are considering hiring for an industrial cleaning project:
Are you insured? This should go without saying, but you would be surprised at the number of companies who do not take care of this component. You have to make sure you are protected.
How do you train your employees? Knowing how employees within the organization you are considering are trained will go a long way towards giving you peace of mind the job will be done right and on time. You may also consider asking about their hiring practices and screening process for new hires.
Get background information or references. How many years have they been in business? What is their experience level? This may take a little time and effort to do, but could save you a lot of heartache in the future.
We are both Avetta and ISNetworld certified. Both of them, stringent clearinghouses for contractors. We are members of the Better Business Bureau and the Gadsden Etowah Chamber of Commerce.

Our staff is trained annually in OSHA, EPA and DOT. We are certified Trainers for EPA and DOT. We are certified Confined Space Rescue contractors with certification in HeartSaver CPR and first aid. We are also an Emergency Response contractor.

As you can see, we have all the credentials and experience to handle whatever comes our way. I hope this gives you a little insight into how to get started the right way with your industrial cleaning project.

As always, call us at 256-492-3704.

Recently, our Field Services Supervisor, T.J. Bethel, brought me an interesting article in one of our industry magazines. Rather than dealing with the usual environmental cleaning issues, it was focused on employees. He and I found it to be so truthful and inspiring for any business leader.

As a leader within our companies, it seems we are always pondering what it takes to be a strong company … the kind that wows everyone who encounters it. The truth is, it all starts with who you attract and hire.

Assuming you do have the right person and value people for their inherent worth and who they can become, you can get them to perform by showing them how much you appreciate them. Rather than expecting an employee to first earn your respect, give them your respect and they will return it. This respect empowers team members to value the company and their roles within it. It also gives them the freedom to act and make learning decisions. If you help them, they will help you. Your encouragement will garner their encouragement. One of the many doors that opens with respect is an open, trusting, honest relationship between leaders and their people.

By creating a culture of respect in which you recognize and appreciate the value of each employee, you provide a reasonable platform for higher performance expectations, higher standards and greater challenges. Ultimately, employees in outstanding companies attain consistent tactical excellence because someone believes they can! Building a successful company that sets a standard not only of performance, but also of values shows that success and respect for human decency go hand in hand.

I don’t know about you, but that’s they type of company we strive for.

Many of our newsletters and blogs concern safety in the workplace. It is paramount to a successful and profitable business. As you know, people are the heart of any business. And keeping them safe means keeping them safety conscious.

A recent article in MSW Management magazine describes a team of research scientists who interviewed 1,000 employees to determine what “domains” create an emergent safety leader. In short, the 4 domains are:

  • Accountability
  • Trust
  • Connectedness
  • Credible Consciousness

The data revealed some interesting information about safety leadership. When a leader demonstrates the 4 domains in high degree, employees work more safely. Leaders who have more than nine direct reports experience lower performance in leading indicator outcomes. The domain of accountability provides the strongest link to leading indicator performance of the four. Building trust is the highest predictor of reduced incidents and injuries and injuries and the success of subesquent investigations. The top three elements driving leading indicator outcomes are defined expectations, integrating safety into the business operation and sharing relevant safety information with others.

It stands then, that if leaders establish a program of accountability for accidents, let their employees know they can trust leadership to care and value their safety, integrate thinking as a connected team and create credible safety consciousness through reliable, convincing awareness and the understanding of what it takes to be safe; any working environment will be made safer.

Knowledge is power. Safety knowledge is no exception.

If you want to empower your employees with knowledge of safety consciousness on the job, call Safeway and let us train and guide your people through an internal “safety audit”. Call today 256-492-3704.

A couple of months ago, we mentioned in our blog/newsletter that certain employee training is required by regulatory agencies (EPA, OSHA, and DOT)  Employers who fail to provide this training are at risk for stiff fines, penalties or worse.

Several of our managers at Safeway Industrial are certified trainers so that we may assist our customers with this valuable tool.  Properly trained employees have less accidents, are more confident in the jobs, and have a tendency to be better leaders.  As employers, we have an obligation to our employees, both ethically and legally, to provide this training.  Many employers wrongly assume that they have to be large quantity hazardous waste generators for this requirement to apply to them.  WRONG!  Even very small quantity generators are obligated!

Any employee who handles hazardous waste or hazardous waste paperwork as part of their employment must be trained regarding OSHA regulations, EPA/RCRA regulations, and if the material is prepared for shipment, DOT regulations.  This training must be provided to the employee within (90) days of hazmat employment for positions ranging from secretaries to dock workers and anyone in between whose job deals, in any way, with hazmat paperwork or hazmat management.  The employee must be tested on the training received, such records kept by the employer, and must be recurrently trained annually for EPA and OSHA and every (3) years for DOT.

Don’t wait until an employee is injured or a regulatory inspection finds gross negligence in this area.  A phone call to our office (256-492-3704) can answer many questions as to your responsibilities as an employer.  Call Safeway and let us arrange onsite training for your employees in the areas required.


A recent article in MSW Management caught our attention because it truly hits home…no matter what business you’re in.

Every manufacturer/business has its own operating standards and specifications. For most companies, this includes standard maintenance schedules which are intended to minimize the need for repairs. It is important to remember that there is a huge difference between maintenance and repairs. In short, maintenance is good and repairs are bad. Repairs are unscheduled and happen unexpectedly. It messes with schedules and causes concurrent, unnecessary costs down the line. Maintenance, on the other hand, is proactive, and if performed regularly as scheduled, does not disrupt operations.

Repairs cost money. Maintenance saves money, because as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. There is nothing as foolish as neglecting basic maintenance in order to reduce overhead costs. This is putting the entire operation at risk from a major repair incident or worse, safety violations. Remaining consistent with equipment inspection and maintenance will help eliminate minor issues and make certain minor issues don’t become catastrophic equipment breakdowns.

Let Safeway’s experience in equipment cleaning and maintenance work for you! Call now to discuss having your company put on our schedule for routine maintenance and cleaning. 256-492-3704

Most employers know their business well. They know their competitors, know how best to build their products and they know how to successfully get their product to the customer. What most employers DON’T know is that if they have employees who prepare hazardous materials for shipment or who transport hazmat in commerce as part of their job, there are stringent requirements and responsibilities placed on them as hazmat employers.

The Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR) defines a hazmat employee as a person employed full-time, part-time, temporarily or self-employed who is directly affecting hazmat transportation safety by loading, unloading or handling hazardous material, is a railroad signalman or maintenance-of-the-way employee, or who designs, manufactures, inspects, marks, tests or reconditions containers, or who prepares hazmat for transportation or operates a hazmat transport vehicle. It requires hazmat employers to provide certain training to these employees … and there are stiff penalties for not complying!

The intent of the HMR is to ensure that hazmat employees are familiar with HMR, are trained and able to recognize/identify hazardous materials, are able to understand the dangers and consequences of their job, are knowledgeable about emergency response, self-protection measures, security awareness and accident prevention.

At a minimum, HMR requires that an employer:

  • Provide training to meet DOT 49CFR 172.704. Training may be conducted by the employer or a private or public trainer within 90 days of hazmat employment. Training required by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.210 or 1910.1200 and EPA 49CFR 311.11 may be used if it also addresses the issues in 49CFR 172.704
  • Test the employee on their training
  • Certify that the employee was trained/tested
  • Keep records of such training/testing
  • Provide recurrent training every (3) years for DOT or when revised and annually for OSHA and EPA

If you have questions regarding who in your employ might qualify for this training or you have questions regarding the training, call Safeway Industrial and let our experience and training work for you!