The course was recently delivered in-house to RSK company Structural Soils, which had realised that the EHS team’s bespoke course development capabilities could help to further its environmental training specifically relating to spills.
As RSK environmental consultant Paula Collins explained, “The course aims to provide an overview of the potential environmental impacts from a spill incident. That does not just mean hydrocarbon-based chemicals; it looks beyond the more common fuel and lubricants to things such as antifreeze and battery acid. We look at the environmental impact of spills and give a brief overview of the current related legislation and if spills could potentially result in fines or prosecutions for businesses. We consider best practice such as the Environment Agency’s pollution prevention guidance note, which is supported by Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The Welsh government is also currently consulting on its own control of pollution or storage regulations, so we can also highlight the regulations it is intending to introduce where relevant.
“We draw attention to the business implications associated with incidents, whether that is breaking a contractual clause or damage to a business’s reputation with a client. Once a reputation is damaged, a client is not necessarily going to give the best references. If it is a severe event, the regulators have the power to publicise the details of the incident and the regulatory action taken. The way a company deals with an incident may be satisfactory for its client, but it could still potentially receive negative press.
“Then there is a practical exercise that will always be site- or circumstance-specific, thus different for each delegate group. We then return to the classroom to talk through specific procedures for spill response, incident management, incident reporting and the waste handling side of things. The course concludes with a question-and-answer session.”
RSK offers a whole range of bespoke EHS training services, including risk assessment, waste management, material reuse and environmental legislation. To hear more about what RSK can offer or to discuss a spill training course, please contact Paula Collins.