Untangling the maze of federal and state regulations covering health, safety and the environment can be a headache. NAPIM (National Associated of Printing Ink Manufacturers) has developed a program to help its members sort out complicated regulations and assess how well they are meeting them.
The program is designed to assist member companies in identifying practices that may come under federal and state regulation at their operations. It also includes OSHA regulations governing health and safety, as well as various federal and state regulations governing water, air and waste disposal issues. Safety assessment examines, for example, hazard communication, personal protective equipment use, industrial equipment such as forklifts and machinery, illness and injury records, and water permits, VOC emissions permits and disposal of hazardous waste.
At conclusion of the assessment, a written report is provided that includes potentially applicable regulations, pertinent addresses and websites for related information and offers examples of ways to achieve compliance and gives sources of free or inexpensive training.
Color Resolutions International (CRI) built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in 2003. After operating in the space for seven years, CRI wanted a NAPIM evaluation to learn what more can be done to improve upon their processes with a focus on sustainable practices and environmental health and safety.
“We already knew there is zero waste water discharge in our ink manufacturing process, that recordable accidents were extremely low, the plant is extremely clean and the work environment is designed to reduce employee exposure to any chemicals, and such has been the case as there have been no exposure claims filed against the company,” said George Sickinger, CEO and president of CRI.
To find out what else can be done, CRI called upon George Fuchs, director of regulatory affairs and technology at NAPIM, inviting him to their Fairfield, OH ink manufacturing plant to conduct a plant evaluation.
CRI did find from Fuchs’ report confirmation that it has a highly automated manufacturing process that minimizes or eliminates both employee exposures and environmental impact, and has state of the art materials handling techniques, which reduce the risk of employee injuries.
“Through the course of my program evaluation, it was obvious that careful attention was given to safeguarding employee health and safety and minimizing environmental impact during the design phase for the new CRI plant. But the primary driver for the success of the CRI program is its top down management commitment and involvement,” said Mr. Fuchs.
NAPIM provides this service to member companies. It does not verify compliance, but over the course of two days, looks at each of the components of the manufacturing process and in-house programs, including work practices, material handling and management, and documented written programs to determine if companies could meet regulatory requirements. Following the evaluation, Mr. Fuchs provided a written report with any recommended improvements. NAPIM gives guidance and helps the EHS manager implement suggestions.