Previously, we shared how using dangerous goods drive costs up for businesses. Now, we’d like to highlight how SMEs can save hard-earned money by using safer chemicals.
The advantages of substituting dangerous goods with green chemistries go beyond ensuring the safety of your personnel and the environment. There is a growing awareness of the fact that using safe alternatives to dangerous goods also provides the added benefit of cost savings.
Save on PPE Costs
Worksafe, bio-based chemicals are free of toxins, carcinogens, heavy metals, and corrosives, as well as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Because of this, only minimal personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for those handling them.
In contrast, using dangerous goods necessitate the use of more PPE. Depending on the nature of the hazards the chemicals present, your workers will need to use a combination, if not most, types of protective gear including safety glasses, face shields, chemical resistant gloves, flame resistant overalls or barrier coats, and masks or respirators, to name a few.
PPE is subject to wear and tear from every day use so it needs to be regularly replaced to ensure worker safety. Over time, expenses for PPE can add up. Minimising the need for protective gear and its related costs will mean significant cost savings for your enterprise.
Save on Shipping Expenses
Biobased chemicals normally entail no special handling and transportation requirements since they are usually classified as non-hazardous and non-dangerous goods. For this reason, they are safe to ship, and involve no extra costs when transporting whether via road, rail, air, or sea.
Dangerous goods, on the other hand, come with hefty shipping expenses. Items classified as flammable, explosive, toxic, or corrosive require specialised packaging and labelling. Personnel must be highly-trained to handle, label, mark, package, and store these substances due to the risks involved. Moreover, dangerous goods regulations frequently change so hazmat training is mandated once every three years, or within 90 days of the implementation of a new security plan.
Save on Storage Costs
Biobased chemicals typically have no special storage requirements. Neither special storage cupboards nor updating the company’s chemical matrix are necessary, and business owners will have peace of mind that they are not violating compliance standards. Furthermore, they can rest assured that catastrophes such as chemical leaks or fires will be avoided.
This is not the case when storing dangerous goods. Strict adherence to chemical storage guidelines is a must to avoid disastrous outcomes such as injury or loss of life and destruction of property and the environment.
Save on Waste Disposal Costs
Non-toxic, biobased, eco-friendly chemicals help businesses save on costs related to waste disposal. Products such as Envirofluid’s Triple7 range are 100% readily-biodegradable and will not persist in the environment or bioaccumulate in organisms. These products do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals or hazardous air pollutants and will not disrupt the balance of nature’s eco-systems. All these features reduce or eliminate the need for costly waste disposal practices.
With dangerous goods, waste disposal expenses can easily add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. In 2014, Marsden Jacob released a report for the Department of Environment which asserted that the total estimated cost of regulating, transporting, treating, and disposing of hazardous waste in 2012 was at $2,417 million. The report stated that while a large portion of this cost was shouldered by waste producing industries, it is likely that most of the costs are passed on to consumers through price increases to products and services.[i]
Additional Cost-Saving Features
Biobased products such as the Triple7 range, are highly-concentrated which can result in less product usage when recommended dilution rates are followed. What’s more, some of these chemicals are reusable, significantly extending the life of the product.
These next generation safer chemicals can be used for a wide range of applications. This means that one product can be used to replace multiple hazardous chemicals, effectively reducing inventory and storage requirements.
No Heating Required
The majority of Envirofluid products can be used at ambient temperatures, eliminating costs related to heating, including energy usage.
Lower Productivity Losses
Using safer chemicals ensure the health and well-being of your employees. They are not exposed to harmful VOCs and other substances that can increase their likelihood of getting sick. Your personnel can get more work done when they’re healthy.
Protection Against Future Litigations and Penalties
Expensive worker compensation claims, employee litigation, and steep fines and penalties for environmental non-compliance can put a serious dent in any company’s finances. By following the Hierarchy of Controls to control, remove, and reduce chemical hazards in the workplace, you are reducing the risk to your employees and the environment. This, in turn, can reduce the likelihood of your company having to face serious legal consequences in the future.
Real Green Chemistries vs Greenwashing Products
To enjoy the above-mentioned benefits, make sure that the products you are using are genuinely green chemistries. Unfortunately, there are some companies that falsely claim that their products are safe for humans and the environment; however, they won’t hold up under careful scrutiny.
Educating yourself on the subject will help you to tell the difference between real Worksafe, eco-friendly products and those that are merely masquerading as such. Click here to learn more about how to understand green terminologies.