1. Should the oily rags stay on the plant site?
Oily rags are classified as contaminated debris under EPA’s definition of hazardous waste because the rags are contaminated with oil which has the characteristic of being highly ignitable. As such, the oily rags should not be kept at the site since the high temperatures at the plant site could easily ignite the oil-air mixture in the dumpsters causing a fire. Therefore, their continued stay at the plant site poses a high preventable risk for fire (Hackman, Hackman & Hackman,2002).
2. What responsibility does Fleet Operations have?
Fleet Operations are the generators of the hazardous waste in this particular case. Therefore they have a responsibility to minimize the amount of hazardous waste generated as a result of their operations by recycling. Moreover, the fleet operations must provide for the safe storage of the oily rags for the duration which they are kept at the maintenance bay. In addition, the management at fleet operations must ensure that all its employees receive adequate information and training on all aspects of hazardous waste to include classifications and their subsequent management. In this regard, the employees must be made aware of the various kinds of hazardous materials such as oily rags they may encounter in the course of their duties.
Further, the Fleet Operations have the responsibility to package and transport the oily rags to the recommended treatment and disposal facilities as per EPA guidelines. In this light, the oily rags should first be hanged out in the air to dry completely before transportation, that is curing should be allowed to take place. Alternatively, they can opt for no curing and hence the oily rags are kept in special containers that do not permit the entry of oxygen. Further, the fleet’s operations management has the responsibility of ensuring that all hazardous waste is properly labeled. Pertinent information regarding the health, fire, reactivity and the protective equipment necessary to handle the waste must be included in the label.
The Fleet’s management also has the responsibility of maintaining accurate records on all hazardous wastes generated from its operations as per EPA recommendations including the manifest system. Finally, the fleet operations have the responsibility to comply with new EPA regulations on the management of oily rags by adjusting their operations accordingly (Hackman, 2002).
1. What are your first actions?
Considering the potential health hazards radiation poses, I would request the working supervisor to put off his cigarette, put back his gloves and keep the container in another container that should be made of a heavy dense material. I would then instruct all the employees at the power plant who had come into contact with the container to change their clothes and shoes while ensuring that the outside parts of their clothing do not touch their bare skins. I would further instruct them to keep the exposed clothes in a plastic bag after which they the bags are to be sealed and kept away. Finally, I would instruct them to take a thorough shower (Hackman et al.,2002).
2. What do you do if the radiation sign indicates a significant hazard?
The primary measures initiated to minimize exposure to radiation include evacuation and shielding from the source of radiation. In this regard, if the radiation sign indicates a significant hazard, I would request that the container be kept in leak proof container. I would then request that all employees at the power plant evacuate so as to minimize further exposure and the power plant to be shut down. I would further request the employees to undergo medical examinations and ensure prompt treatment for those who present with unusual symptoms. I would then establish a safety parameter around the power plant so as to control access to and from the power plant. Finally, I would call for help from hazardous materials responders so that they can assess the type and levels of radiation at the power plant and take any further measures they may deem necessary to ensure that the container is safely disposed (Hackman et al., 2002).
1. Hackman, C.L., Hackman, E.E. & Hackman, M.E. (2002). Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Manual and Desk Reference. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.