About 15 minutes into a recent chemical manufacturing plant tour, I started making a bucket list. Understand though, this was not a list of the things I need to do before I leave this life. No. It was literally a list of actual buckets in the workplace with about 30 employees. There were buckets everywhere! I counted over a hundred!
Maintenance men used buckets to catch drips from disconnected pipes, and operators used buckets to catch drips from sample ports. Small additives were measured into buckets before being added to reactors. Sure enough, when I looked at the accounts – the company was spending $600 a month on plastic buckets.
You may say “So what? Surely it’s better to catch the drips in a bucket, than to let things drip on the floor?” Well yes – you ‘d be absolutely right. But you can’t then just leave all these buckets lying around.
A bucket of drips can actually be a major problem.
Is the bucket correctly labeled? If not labeled correctly – it is a potential fine. If it contains waste chemicals, it is a potential fine. If it is potentially harmful to health or the environment, it is a potential fine. If it is not properly sealed, it is a potential fine. You get the idea. Multiply all those fines by 100 buckets, and you have a pattern of willful non-compliance which is another fine.
So a culture that tolerates drip buckets everywhere could be a major legal and financial problem. It could also be an indication of a culture that will be difficult to change.
A bucket that catches drips also tends to show that leaks are not fixed in a timely manner. So who is responsible for maintenance?
Drips are lost product. A hundred five-gallon buckets of drips could easily contain $1000 of lost raw materials. If those materials are not recovered, they could wind up costing $1000 or more to dispose of as hazardous waste.
Individually these drips are not much. But taken together, they may be indicative of some major problems and opportunities.
Let Chemvalon show you how. Contact us today.