Many hazmat service companies today attempt to get your business by touting “new technology,” “patented equipment,” “great safety records,” “lowest rates,” “age of their business,” “no regulatory violations,” and so on.
Most are financially desperate and will say or do anything to make a sale.
After being in the environmental business for over thirty years, we have sadly seen these pitches and misleading representations fool far too many unsuspecting companies and government agencies.
It is natural for us to trust and believe what people tell us. We want to believe in the magic bullet. That is what catches and ambushes so many trusting persons.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. has been called so many times to go back and correct what these so-called “hazmat” companies have incorrectly remediated, advised, or covered up. Sometimes, it’s because these companies did not conduct their business legally or within regulation guidelines. It continues to be a problem.
How does someone find themselves in this predicament?
I’ve listed scenarios that business owners should do when offered something too good to be true by hazmat service companies.
#1 Businesses should check the representations.
First, check to see if the hazmat service company’s claim of “new technology” is really new. Ask for references and call the references to confirm. Additionally, call the regulatory agencies in your area to verify the legitimacy of the claim.
#2 Businesses should investigate the claims of patents.
Patents mean nothing when it comes to remediation, disposal, and costs associated with hazardous material cleanups.
Experience and knowledge are the most important key factors.
Hazmat service companies can claim they have patents on unique and advanced equipment, and yet no one checks or asks the documentation for proof.
One could say they use a patented pressure washer designed and built by a large manufacturer and claim it is patented. But in reality, it was patented, not by them.
#3 Business should ask for and receive the EMR.
EMR (experience modifier rate) is the number that insurance companies use to determine the costs of insuring that company. It reflects the safety record of the company. If they have accidents–be wary of the company.
#4 Business should think carefully about “lowest rates” claims.
Often, companies will claim and provide lower rates just to get your contract. When this happens, be careful.
If an emergency incident occurs and they are called, they may not show up or respond. It could also be that these companies have no experience dealing with your material or know how to control and contain it. But they did have lower rates.
Experienced teams take a few hours. Lower rate teams may take days. Who then has the lower costs? Be smart and check their references.
#5 Business should know the Hazmat service company’s age in the industry.
Being in business for many years means something. It means they provide s product or service that is valuable, cost-effective, and are consumer-friendly.
Have them provide you the Secretary of state certificate. This document will show the date of incorporation of their business. Three guys with two years of experience don’t mean the company has six years of experience. That trick is commonly thrown out to entice customers.
#6 Business should ask the regulatory compliance of the service company.
You are hiring a group that you must trust and have confidence that they perform within the guidelines of the federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and statutes.
If the governing agencies constantly cite them for violations, mistakes, improper records, disposal issues, safety accidents, OSHA violations – it will be you as the generator. You will also pay the price of mistakes or lack of knowledge on how to deal with the laws properly.
In conclusion, please be cautious, careful, wary, and do your homework. Ensuring a hazmat company’s reputation will save you future headaches, legal costs, outrageous bills, regulatory scrutiny, and far more money than ever imagined.
About the Author
Richard Cameron is the CEO of Protect Environmental Services.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI) is your best-in-class “clutch” performer when you need a First Responder. PESI tackle & remediate the most dangerous chemical spills & removal of hazardous waste. In fact, our pursuit of safety & rapid response for environmental sustainability surpasses ALL other environmental service companies. PESI has been rapidly responding to emergency environmental calls in North Central Texas since 1996.
Richard is also a published author of the “Ebola Response Procedures.” Additionally, he is considered an expert witness to many litigation and mediation cases. He works with multiple law enforcement agencies in forensics to hunt down illegal dumping perpetrators.