The City of Thomasville’s Solid Waste staff recently completed an important certification that certifies the department to respond to chemical spills. 16 staff members have successfully earned Hazardous Materials Operation/ Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Level II Certification.
“Having this certification is very important for our community,” said Nate Tyler, Director of Solid Waste and Public Works, “Hazardous waste, if not handled properly, could endanger human and animal life as well as environmental quality. Our goal is to be sure that should a situation occur in our community involving any hazardous waste, we are prepared to properly respond, remove and dispose of the waste so that it will not harm our environment.”
OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strictly regulate who can respond to chemical releases. Without spill response training, employees are prohibited from assisting in the cleanup efforts associated with chemical spills. “While the majority of spills are less than 50 gallons, the costs for cleaning up the spill could be in excess of $10,000 when using an environmental contractor,” said Tyler. “Most cities and counties have all of the necessary equipment, but may not have staff that are properly certified. By completing this course, our employees can provide the assistance necessary to safely cleanup chemical spills.”
The employees who earned their certification include Harold Phillips, Jimmy Smith Jr., James Miley Sr., Shawn Roberts, John Bevard, Anthony Roan, James Williams Jr., Malachi Kalip, James Gloster, Carlton Powell, James Ross, Frances Campbell, Joe Douglass, Dale Billiot, Shedrick Wyche, and Ronald Bryant. They earned the designation after completing an eight-hour Chemical Spill Response training class performed by Sigma Consulting.