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Spills, etc



Spills, Poke Yoke, five S's and other GREAT PREVENTION ideas....

I have alot of things to do, as well,  but here is why spill prevention
IS worthwhile....

It is my understanding that 40% of the hazardous waste generated in the
US is from spills.  Spills are ENTIRELY preventable.  I work in New
Mexico, a state with strong Quality-based companies and my P2 program is
also Quality based.  This is why the discussion about mistake-proofing
(Poka Yoke) and root cause analysis and the 5 S's is important and is
not academic (I can name a few NM companies that would argue vehemently
with your points as well!5 S's are discussed at major business
conferences here...these ideas are becoming mainstream in industry!)

You can make huge inroads in spill prevention by teaching workers that
mistake-proofing is part of doing business.  Workers in facilities may
think that spills are acceptable...what kind of improvement will that
lead to?  Management that has the foresight to teach employees that
spills are unacceptable and actually takes steps to proactively avoid
spills is much further along the path to economic and environmental
sustainability than a company that focuses on more efficient mopping. 
This is not academic...this is good management in action with an
awareness of environment....this is where good, prevention-based
environmental management systems should lead us.

Also, why are leaks acceptable, especially in big expensive equipment? 
Leaks may indicate other problems and they also may make the equipment
work less efficiently....more upstream pollution prevention
opportunities!  This is why our P2 program sare so very important.

The picure in my mind is Mr. Peabody's Circus on the old Rocky and
Bullwinkle Show....I recall that the guy with the broom (or the mop in
this case) was at the END of the parade!

Thanks!  I think I am gonna Poka Yoke a few documents now!

Pat Gallagher
New MExico Environment Department