Recently Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Director of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Affairs Gary Jones assisted an SGIA member facing well over $30,000 in fines for hazardous waste management violations from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Working in concert with the member and their attorney, Jones provided extensive technical support that ultimately led to an 85 percent reduction in the penalty.
EHS rules are decidedly unsexy, but violating them could mean huge fines. Printing operations found violating hazardous waste rules typically face penalties that run $15,000 – $20,000, and the average Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citation is now in the $30,000 – $35,000 range. Compliance contributes to the bottom line in other ways, too.
“It’s easy to consider compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or OSHA rules as a way to avoid or reduce fines. That’s certainly a benefit, but it’s more than that,” Jones said. “Compliance can also improve your operation’s workflow and profitability. For example, changing certain solvents or other input materials can reduce purchase costs and can allow a company to avoid air permit or hazardous waste management requirements.”
The episode in Indiana wasn’t the first time SGIA’s regulatory experts have been called into action, nor will it be the last. Jones and Marci Kinter, Vice President, Government & Business Information, are available to help find solutions.
SGIA’s Government & Business Information team has experience on the federal, state and local levels with bodies such as OSHA, EPA, Consumer Product Safety Commission and Departments of Transportation, and can assist with understanding the regulations. If the issue requires more in-depth assistance, such as a compliance audit, inspection responses and employee training, SGIA has those resources as well.
“We can answer questions and provide resources, and if the nature of the situation is such that you need someone on-site or the project is particularly involved, we’ll connect you with a consultant who knows the printing business,” Jones said. “If an SGIA member calls with a question, I’m going to help them understand the requirements and be able to send them materials that will save them thousands in consulting fees.”
Jones pointed out that the team is available for preemptive questions as well.
“If you call us before an inspection, we can tell you what you’ll need to do so you can avoid the fine altogether,” he said. “And if you have general questions or are confused or need help with regulations, you can certainly call us.”