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CESQG Business Inspections Musings, Observations & Recommendations Dave Waddell Field Inspector, Question Answerer, Project Coordinator, Science Lab Guru,

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Presentation on theme: "CESQG Business Inspections Musings, Observations & Recommendations Dave Waddell Field Inspector, Question Answerer, Project Coordinator, Science Lab Guru,"— Presentation transcript:

1 CESQG Business Inspections Musings, Observations & Recommendations Dave Waddell Field Inspector, Question Answerer, Project Coordinator, Science Lab Guru, Smartass With the LHWMP in King County

2 Why Am I Here? 10 years as a lead field inspector for LHWMP Our inspectors visited 3,000+ businesses/year Abby asked me to describe a mature inspection program I, of course, won’t stay on topic

3 Today’s Topics Why inspect sites? Some approaches to consider Are inspections effective? How not to mess up and… –Get injured –Piss off your site guide –Tick off other inspectors We’ve adapted to changed priorities in the LHWMP

4 Why Inspect Businesses? Puts a face to your agency –Hopefully: helpful & competent Clarifies who is posing risks to the local environment Most people want to do the right thing Most businesses don’t know what that is Questions answered specifically & immediately

5 A Note on Small Business Owners Often love their jobs & excel at them They work long hours They have little free time 75% of small businesses go under in 1 st 5 years You aren’t their top priority We’re all from the EPA –Don’t sweat that

6 Small businesses hit hard by recession So be a bit compassionate

7 Some Approaches to Consider (They’re varied – so vary your technique) Cold calling in priority areas/industries Respond to referrals from agencies Respond to chemical problem reports Inspect priority businesses No cash incentives without a visit Technical assistance, not enforcement –Still regulatory, but they’re “exempt”

8 Are Inspections Effective? Concerns over cost of staff vs. benefits People can only visit so many sites Would it be better to just mail out the info? –And pray someone actually reads it... –And gets it... –And does something …

9 Never confuse movement with action -Ernest Hemingway How many inspections did you do? Counting beans is not a primary job –Waddell’s Business Card Inspections Technique But it is one indicator of progress

10 So, who should we inspect? Beware inaccurate industry lists Locating businesses to inspect by industry type 25 to 35% error rate is common Wasted visits to vacant lots

11 Impact Indicators (Outcomes) You were busy. So what? Need to show tangible results from activities Quantitative or anecdotal –Pounds no longer released –Lives potentially saved Tell a good story Use photos

12 Measurement Assumptions Most owners are honest They don’t minimize generation rate estimates Field staff can verify info –Field observations –Shipping documents When in doubt, pregnant pause & skeptical eyebrow So Bob, where DOES your waste antifreeze go?

13 Follow-ups Revisit the site if –Numerous problems –Significant opportunities Telephone follow-up if –Few waste mgmt. issues No follow-up –Compliant w/ little waste

14 Inspector Accomplishments D one in one year by six inspectors 436 visits 12,400 pounds no longer being generated 20,500 pounds diverted to proper disposal 4500 gallons of haz liquids stored safely $9,000 saved by businesses 97% of CESQGs initially non-compliant 68% improved compliance w/ BMP’s

15 Use Photo Documentation Sell Your Inspection Program BeforeAfter

16 Use Behavior Change Principles To Make Inspections Effective Inspector’s job = changing behavior Brochure: –“Properly store containers!” – Generalized and vague Inspector –“Move that drum away from that door to that location in that secondary container” – Specific and very clear

17 Can They Properly Manage Unknowns? Discuss in terms of loss –Injuries, lawsuits, testing costs These could cost a fortune! Can’t respond to spills Can’t guarantee proper protective equipment Can’t dispose of it properly –Very expensive to test

18 Voucher Incentive Program Leveraging their fees back into action Portion of biz fees rebated –50% of costs up to $500 Requires a site inspection –Can be request or referral –Must follow guidance –Submit invoices, manifests, form For each $1.00 of ours, they do $4.00 in work Over $1,000,0000 distributed

19 How Not To Mess Up… and get injured Keep eyes open & wits about you Pause before opening doors or moving bottles The common chemicals often cause most injuries

20 Familiarity breeds contempt – and children. – Mark Twain Where’s the goggles, gloves, lab coat?

21 Recognize Unsafe Situations Flammable storage by gas water heaters

22 Be prepared in case of an accident Is this their eye wash?

23 Bad Dogs & “Whack-job” Site Guides Inspectors need a variety of trainings

24 How Not To Mess Up... and piss off your site guide Don’t ask “What idiot labeled this?” It may be them. This conversation is over Get beside them & look at issue Ask probing question, then pause “You have an MSDS for your Methol Something?” –They’ll blurt out something –Now we’re working together

25 Other Ways To Make Eyes Roll “We’ve targeted you for visits” Tell them to invest $50,000 in a treatment system –His profit last year was $20,000 Quote regs Use acronyms Point out problems without suggesting solutions Paint the whole industry with one brush

26 How Not To Tick Off Other Inspectors Etiquette During Joint Visits Decide up front who is lead investigator –They do most talking & answer questions –Observer can also ask, just wait your turn If you disagree on a point, 2 options: –Wait till you can discuss it away from guide –If serious, gracefully avoid undermining Observer can catch items that were missed Afterwards, compare & refine notes

27 Collector Mentality HHW Collection staff look at this and ask: –What do you want to get rid of? They then collect it Process it Dispose of it Safely, legally and securely

28 Inspector Mentality An inspector looks at this and asks: –What do you use? –Why do you use it? –How much do you use? –Tried alternatives? They then get it properly stored/handled/disposed In school cleanouts, this = 50% more old chems gone

29 Changing times = changed priorities in the LHWMP Manufacturing & heavy machining leaving High tech influx Small biz turnover high Less improper disposal Illegal dumping up PBTs don’t fit very well P2 messages morphing How does product stewardship fit in here?

30 We’ve Changed Our Approach Working upstream to prevent problems –Change chemical policy –Push product stewardship Shifting inspectors time to support these efforts Increasing partnerships Cut our inspections >60%

31 Lastly, always dress professionally


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