Tips for Hazardous Waste Container Inspections

Posted: 10/2/14

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You may remember from our post and eBook on the Top 10 Hazardous Waste Generator Violations that “Failure to Perform Weekly Inspections of Hazardous Waste Storage Areas,” is among the most common ways generators violate EPA regulations.

Weekly container inspections are imperative to protect you, your company, and the health and safety of the public. By performing your weekly inspections you can identify any issues that may arise and stop sills before they happen.

The EPA recommends that companies develop and maintain a standard inspection checklist that can be used during each weekly inspection. This checklist should be detailed and include both the labeling and management procedures in place at your facility.

We have prepared a checklist (with some additional tips) which can be downloaded by clicking the button below.

This checklist can be modified to fit the needs of your facility but remember that at the very list you need to address the following:

  • Any leaks or staining coming from containers;
  • Condition of your containers including noting any dents, bulging, and/or corrosion;
  • Proper labeling—this should include a clearly marked start date as well as the words “Hazardous waste.”  Any other relevant information about the waste should also be indicated on the label.
  • Management practices such as aisle space and drum stacking.

Remember, these inspections are very important in both protecting your company from committing a violation and ensuring the protection of human health and the environment. Inspections should be detailed and methodical and should always be performed by a fully trained individual.

The EPA provides the following tips for conducting your weekly container inspections:

  • “Follow the inspection checklist – make detailed notes if you find something wrong.
  • Be thorough. Check the tops of drums to look for waste residue or corrosion.
  • Walk all the way around containers – check entire storage area.
  • Check containment area for stains.
  • Note anything unusual in containment area – even if it might not be a problem.
  • If problems are found, get the problem taken care of immediately.
  • Keep a logbook of the facility’s inspection checklist.”


Quoted and cited information for this blog post (unless otherwise noted) was gathered from the EPA Handbook for Hazardous Waste Containers. As always, this blog post is not intended to be comprehensive and it is always best to check with the EPA and local government for full, up-to-date, rules and regulations.

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