The Situation: You are a Solid Waste Supervisor for your local municipality and it is 3:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon prior to a much awaited four-day weekend. Temperatures have been running above normal for about 1 ½ months now and the stress is beginning to show on your workforce, which is running at approximately 30% “no-show” rate. So, you have been filling in the workforce shortfalls by hiring day-labors from downtown, but still it is not enough. Your phone rings, one more time as it has done continuously since your arrival on the “early shift” this morning. You answer in your usual way, knowing that you are about to be blasted by yet another irate customer. As the customer on the other end of the phone starts in as you begin to take notes, shaking your head as you do so. The customer reports the following: “There is a 30 gallon garbage can sitting on the sidewalk in front of the customer’s business that has an extremely foul odor emanating from it. It has been there now for three days and it is beginning to smell quite ripe. This container, which is the customer’s office trash receptacle, contains last week’s standard office trash but also extensive human waste deposits left in the can from evidently numerous individuals of the local homeless population.” The customer is calling to complain that this morning during their regularly scheduled MSW pickup, your employees refused to take the contents of the can.
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1. Did your employees conduct themselves properly by refusing to take the contents of the receptacle?
2. Are the contents of the receptacle classified as Solid Waste?
3. Are there any special handling considerations for this receptacle?
4. How do you respond to the customer and what do you do next?
The Situation: You are the Safety Director for a medium sized municipality. Part of the municipality that you serve is an electric utility, complete with power transmission and distribution service to 265 square-mile electric grid. One day, one of your Safety Officers, who serves this electric utility, comes into your office with a substation construction foreman. They inform you that at a particular substation the utility has had to make some expansions to cover the growing needs of the community. To do so they have to erect a control house at the substation to contain all the necessary breakers and electrical components necessary to run the grid. The control house must remain stable and considering that the substation is built on top of a former city landfill that has been closed for the past 35 years; pilings need to be installed. Each piling is 3 feet in diameter and must go down into the ground 30 feet. They did not see the necessity of pulling a permit to do this work because, “hey, it’s all city property. Since they have been drilling, however, the substation construction foreman’s men have been complaining of the foul odors and are concerned now for their health. However, this concern does not seem to apply to one who is actively collecting and subsequently selling on E-Bay; what he considers to be antique bottles that are being pulled up as part of the drilling process.
1. Is it permissible to disturb the clay cap without a permit?
2. Are there health issues involved and if so what can be done to protect the employees that are working on site? 3. If there are no health issues involved, why not?
4. What steps would you take to deal with the antique bottle situation?
The Situation: The Case of the Oily Rags Outside of the City’s Fleet Operation Maintenance Bays there is a dumpster with a nicely painted sign saying Deposit Oily rags here. As the newly appointed EH&S Manager for the city you ask the next pressing question to the Maintenance Supervisor. “After you put your oily rags in the dumpster, where does the dumpster go?” His response was; “they take them out to the power plant and burn them.” You just smile and say “oh, that’s nice that the city has that capability” Two days later while you are out at the power plant, you ask the Operations Manager about the burning of oily rags in the unit. He tells you that they used to do that but now with the newer changes in place from the EPA they are not allowed to. So you ask yet again another obvious question; “then why are these dumpsters of oily rags coming out here?” He was surprised that you mentioned it because he had been wondering that himself. Now he has 4 dumpsters on his property filled with oily rags.
1. Should the oily rags stay on the plant site?
2. What responsibility does Fleet Operations have?
Case Scenario #4: The Situation: It is Monday in the middle of August and you are a consultant for a local power plant. This particular plant is of an older design in which it can produce power by burning oil, coal, natural gas or garbage. To burn garbage the refuse trucks have to collect the waste and bring it to the plant. At the plant the garbage is dumped on what is known as the “tipping floor” and then hand sorted. Some items, such as mattresses, appliances and the more sturdy items cannot be burned so they have to be removed from the trash. Its already 98 degrees outside when you receive the phone call from the power plant. Apparently one of the sorters found something that you need to see. You hate going out there particularly on a Monday, because most of the time the garbage was dumped on Friday and has sat there all weekend getting “ripe”. When you arrive and open your car door, you realize you were right; it is very ripe! Gagging, you try to down-play your feelings and go to find the supervisor. This particular work group uses a “working supervisor” plan in which the supervisor also sorts garbage. You find him shortly after your arrival and as he is walking over to you, you noticed that he takes off his filthy gloves and lights up a cigarette. With his cigarette in his mouth he sticks out his hand to shake for introductions. All that is going through your mind is where have his hands been. He runs through his story and apparently one of the workers as found a box with a radiation sign on it, except the box is empty.
1. What are your first actions?
2. What do you do if the radiation sign indicates a significant
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