Tuesday 3 September 2013

How to increase safety awareness through ‘near miss’ and ‘potential incident’ reporting

In a well-developed safety system, it is critical to reduce the accident occurrence rate before an accident actually happens. In order to minimize accident occurrance, we first have to pay attention to every step of the routine operation within the entire working procedure. When an incident has occurred, we then have to identify the root causes and apply immediate correction, and lastly, incorporate a proper filing system of these incidents.

In addition to job safety analysis, ‘near miss’ and ‘potential incident’ are the two other preventive measures that can help to increase safety awareness and to prevent accident. 'Near miss' is an incident that has happened but without injury or damage; 'potential incident' is a hazard that has been identified but no incident has happened. Properly investigate the root cause, process and result of the incident can help to increase the safety awareness of workers and can reduce the chance of future recurrence of similar type of accidents.

Building adjacent to the service
station has blocked the sight view
of the car drivers who will turn
into the station
'Near miss' incident

In a recent inspection during our petrol interceptor cleaning service in Tong Mei Road service station, we have identified a potential incident. Before performing the service, the working area has already been identified and confined. However, due to limited space available, the working area and pedestrian road are very close. Building adjacent to the service station has blocked the sight view of the car drivers who will turn into the station, although traffic cones have been placed.

Immediate action

Informed tanker driver to inwardly park the tanker closer to the manhole of the API, and moved the traffic cones outwardly to the edge of service station to enhance the working area and have better indication of a confined working area to show car drivers outside who were going to turn into the service station. In addition, we also reported the case to the station manager, consensus was collected that during future service delivery, the tanker should park as close and as inward as possible and the traffic cones should place out to the edge of the station and the pedestrian road.

Traffic cones were moved outwardly
to the pedestrian areato have better
indication for drivers outside who
were going to turn into the service
Increasing safety awareness

Immediate actions taken to correct errors caused by behavioural and/or external environment can prevent the occurance of hazards and accidents, enhance workers' safety awareness, and help minimize future accident recurrance. On top of that, these 'near miss' or 'potential incident' reports will be filed to refresh and enhance the safety awareness of any workers who might be involved in similar work tasks, so as to prevent similar mistakes and accidents from happening again.


如何提升安全意識 -「未遂事故」和「潛在事件」報告








Wednesday 12 June 2013

"Cradle to Grave" - "Trip Ticket" chemical waste control scheme

In Hong Kong, the process of treating chemical waste has been regulated by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). That is to say, the entire cycle, from when it is generated, whom to collect, and where to dispose, has been monitored and regulated by the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste)(General) Regulation under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Laws of Hong Kong Chapter 354).

Waste producer, waste collector and end-point disposal facility are all being regulated EPD. All chemical waste movements are monitored by EPD, and have to comply with the "Cradle to Grave" chemical waste control scheme.

"Cradle to Grave" chemical waste control scheme

A unique trip ticket system has been adopted to further reduce the chance of illegal dumping and inappropriate treatment. After generating and before disposing the chemical waste, the waste producer will have to apply and obtain a chemical waste producer license from EPD. The waste producer will then need to complete a set of three forms, also known as the ‘trip ticket’, before the chemical waste is being collected and removed from the premises. Under this system, one copy of the trip ticket has to be kept by the waste producer, the second copy of the trip ticket will be retained by the waste collector upon delivery of the waste to a reception point, and the original copy of the trip ticket will be retained by the reception point (disposal facility).

All chemical waste removal activity and/or movement should only be appointed to licensed collectors, which are approved and licensed by EPD. After waste collection, the waste collector must transfer the waste to the reception point 48 hours after collection.

Dunwell is the only ISO14001 certified chemical waste collector operating a licensed reception facility to provide a one-stop and ultimate solution to the waste producers. Our business scope includes collecting spent lubricant, spent non-halogenated solvent, spent wastewater contaminated by lubricant, spent solid waste such as rags, filters, bottles, paint cans, fluorescent lamp tubes, and spent batteries. By providing one-stop chemical waste disposal service, once appointed, Dunwell will be committed to the task of collection and disposal of the chemical waste for the waste producer. The entire business operation can fully comply with the requirement of EPD.

We rank the "trip-ticket" system amongst our highest priority. All movements of chemical waste, including cleanup, transport, and disposal activities have been put into record. We guarantee that all chemical waste will be properly treated in our chemical waste treatment and recycling centre, located in Yuen Long Industrial Estate. Useful and recyclable materials will be extracted and transferred to corresponding recycling centres. In order to increase transparency, inspection of "trip ticket" might also be arranged for particular clients upon request.

"Trip ticket" - a set of three forms: original copy, in white, to be retained by the reception point; waste collector's copy in yellow; and waste producer's copy in pink










Wednesday 1 May 2013

Levy on beverage glass bottles? A step closer to an ideal waste management system

According to statistics, 2%, 153 tonnes, of the 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is wasted beverage glass bottles. To reduce the burden to landfill, such regulations and levy to glass bottles should be carried out immediately.
From instances of our neighboring countries, such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, all of them have introduced such charging scheme to regulate wasted glass bottles since the 1990s. In most of the cases, glass bottle manufacturers have to paid a certain amount of recycling fee, which will then contribute to wasted glass recycling industry

To tackle this, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department has launched a consultation at the beginning of this year. Further, the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs has also discussed on the matter and gathered different views of the respective feasibility, possibility and potential positive and negative impact to the recycling industry as well as the catering, food and beverage industry. In this preliminary stage, supports are found from most of the stakeholders groups. However, since the consultation is still in progress (to May 6, 2013), the details of implementation plan are still subject of great controversy.
Different stakeholders have different positions and views, which there are still a lot of rooms of discussion, such as the type of glass bottles to be charged, the number of recycling contractors to be hired, the actual price of levy, who should share the cost, and whether a landfill ban should be applied, etc. We need to determine a proper plan and the corresponding supporting facilities and equipments to support and assist in the implementation. On one hand, to maintain the balance of various stakeholders, on the other hand, to ensure an the recyclable glass bottles are treated or reused properly and sustainably
Though the public awareness of waste reduction is graduallyincreasing, education still ranks amongst highest in priority.

The consultation period will end in May 6, 2013, for specific details, please visit the EPD website: http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/bottles_consult/en/promotion/

Please click here to download the response form and send back to: glass_prs@epd.gov.hk









Monday 15 April 2013

Proper storage of chemical waste

Under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap.354) - Waste Disposal Regulations, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department has defined chemical waste as any substance or thing being scrap material, effluent, or an unwanted substance or by-product arising from the application of or in the course of any process or trade activity, and which is or contains any substance or chemical specified in the prescribed schedule if such substance or chemical occurs in such form (http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/files/guide_e.pdf), quantity or concentration so as to cause pollution, constitute a danger to health or risk of pollution to the environment.

Chemical waste should be properly and temporarily stored by the waste producer before the waste is transferred by the waste collector to a licensed treatment provider. There are certain criteria should be applied to the containers for temporary chemical waste storage, including its material, condition, etc. Such containers should be placed in a suitable area located close to the waste generation source for temporary storage and the containers should be either drums or jerricans type. The size of the containers should be determined according to the quantity and frequency of chemical waste to be stored. Common types of materials to be used for the containers include plastics and steel.

The storage area should be enclosed on at least three sides by partition, wall or fence with a height of not less than two metres or the total height of containers in stack, whichever is less. Such enclosures should be built with concrete, brick of steel with fixed erection to the areas. In addition, appropriate labeling should also be applied for accurate indication to ensure proper and safe handling, storage and transport of the waste.

Source: Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department

For specific details regarding Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department's guideline of chemical waste storage, please visit: http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/guide_cwc.html