Organizational Guide for Environmental Coordinators
We all get stuck. How can we improve our processes to drive performance and get unstuck?
Being an environmental coordinator for any industry is a challenge in itself. Toss in remote locations, heavy equipment with a tendency to leak oil, and a shortage of supplies—you tend to end up with a big mess, a ton of paperwork and a stress headache to boot.
We’ve talked to many professionals in your line of work, and we get it. We hear the frustration. Not only are you tasked with developing processes that can sustain productivity and profitability, but those processes must meet strict environmental guidelines.
Environmental coordinators create environmentally friendly workplaces, but it’s not easy. How do you do it all?
- Coordinate audits, compliance efforts, inspections and permits
- Stay up-to-date with changes in regulations
- Identify environmental risks and create solutions
- Design, implement and maintain environmental projects
- Reduce company’s impact on the environment
- Help protect local natural resources
- Assist with spill responsibilities related to hazardous substance release into soil and waterways
- Coordinate with safety managers and upper management to reduce hazards and accidents
- Provide training and education for employees
Have you ever struggled with this?
Never enough spill response materials: I never have enough room in my vehicle to keep enough cleanup materials to clean up oil leaks and spills. And the sorbents I can fit on board are usually ineffective at cleaning up oil and fuel messes in inclement weather. If my crew can’t clean up the mess themselves or prevent further environmental damage, I’m looking at some pretty steep spill contractor fees or even fines.
Small spaces: I never have enough room for my tools and equipment. My first priority is to make sure I have the life-saving equipment my crew needs on the road. And, workers end up having to leave spill cleanup materials back at the shop—where it does us no good. It actually costs me time and productivity when they have to go back to the facility to get what they need.
Truck is unorganized: My crew is always misplacing their tools. We waste so much time looking for the things we use every day. And, it causes some tension among my workers. Between the long hours, inclement weather and the stress of the job, we can’t afford unnecessary stress.
When you work with mobile or remote locations, there are constant challenges that seem to be unavoidable. It seems impossible to have adequate supplies, such as spill control, on hand when you are working with limited space. With utility trucks, box trucks and fleet vehicles there’s only so much room. To add insult to injury, the room you do have is often unorganized. All of these factors lead to heavy burdens on your productivity and your bottom line.
Why are these pain points?
If workers can’t find the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs quickly, that’s costing you time and money. If you don’t want to budget for increased labor hours and decreased productivity, it may be time for a better plan. You need efficient solutions that cut down on wasted time and materials.
If your space constraints are slowing down production and creating roadblocks to performance, it’s time to get organized. Think about the heavy machinery you may come across for a minute. How often are you cleaning up oil leaks and spills? If there isn’t room to store enough sorbent material to quickly and effectively contain that spill, you’re wasting money.
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the sound of money being spent on potential legal fees, environmental fines and cleanup cost.
If you’ve spent any time working in mobile applications, you know space is a precious commodity. Aside from the necessary tools of the trade and spill control materials, when you work in remote locations you also need access to the life-saving equipment you need in the event of emergencies. You should never have to sacrifice safety for supplies.
Since you’ve spent time in these industries you understand how proper organization can make or break a company’s productivity:
- Air Transportation
- Electric Utility Transmission and Distribution
- Environmental Engineering
- Heavy Construction
- Military Operations
- Oil and Gas
- Power Generation
- Spill Response
- Working Boats (barges, tugs, salvage, etc.)
How organization can make your life easier.
Six Sigma is a proven methodology created by Motorola in 1986. The data-driven approach provides organizational tools and processes to improve production, worker morale and quality control. It uses the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) problem solving method to enhance business operations and reduce waste. Within the Six Sigma methodology is a production process called lean manufacturing. This system addresses process flow and waste issues to enhance production and efficiency. The goal of the program is to identify problem areas and create solutions to those problems through processes that can be measured and optimized.
So, what are some solutions? That’s where the 5S system comes into play. 5S is a system of tools and techniques that can be used to organize any work space—even fleet vehicles and box trucks (Click here to read more about Six Sigma).
We understand that one of the biggest challenges you face is organization and space constraints. And we believe that Six Sigma practices, lean manufacturing and 5S solutions can help. So, we studied this methodology and took the complicated bits and made it make sense. We dove right in and pulled practical and actionable tips from the entire methodology that you can use in your workspace—wherever it is.
Check Out These 7 Organizational Best Practices:
Clean out trash:
Remember the first step in the 5S process—SORT? Here it is! You don’t want to do it. You probably think it’s a waste of time, but this is the foundation of better organization. If your biggest challenge is space, it’s time to clean house. You may be surprised to see what nonessential items are taking up your valuable space.
Keep your tools organized:
One of the most effective ways to STORE tools in a way that increases efficiency is to use shadow boards. Shadow boards are storage boards that organize tools with cutouts of the shape of the tool. This way there’s never any confusion as to where the tool belongs, especially if multiple people are required to share tools.
Use the right kind of storage:
If you’ve used the 5S system of lean manufacturing, you’re already ahead of the game. You’ve evaluated what you need to store on your work truck or fleet vehicle, now let’s organize it. There are a ton of shelving options out there from bins and shelves to lockers and cabinets. With a clean slate, you’ll be able to visualize what kind of storage options you have room for.
Identify nooks and crannies:
It’s time to get creative. You may have untapped areas of your vehicle that you could be using for storage. Think of all the areas that are unused: corners, seatbacks, between or under seats or gloveboxes.
Hint: These are the perfect spots to store your SmooshKits™. Keep reading to learn more!
You can even attach docking stations to your center consoles to create workstations for paperwork or small tools.
Proper record keeping:
By organizing your equipment, tools and supplies you can easily keep track of what’s in your inventory or what needs to be restocked. Use labels with product information that will make re-ordering simple. HalenHardy® believes in problem solving and has created easy ordering methods that will keep you outfitted with the products you need, when you need it.
This is when you STANDARDIZE your organization techniques. Use labels, signs or visual cues as daily reminders for yourself and workers to maintain organization. If there’s confusion as to what the standard operating procedure is, you can almost guarantee it won’t be followed. Provide clear and documented guidance.
Once you go through all of these steps and look back to appreciate your efforts, just remember there’s one more step. Organizing any workplace is never set-it-and-forget-it. Make sure there is ongoing communication and training so that all your hard work isn’t for nothing.
Want real solutions now?
So, why are we offering up such helpful advice and best practices for organization? Well, that easy. We’re experts in space-saving. We’ve taken everything we have learned about industrial applications and oil spill control over the years and created sorbent solutions for you. You can count on these solutions— in any weather and any location. And, because they are effective, easy-to-use and are inexpensive to ship and store—they’ll save you money as well!
Check out some of these spill control solutions that we created specifically to solve the problem of time, money and space.
If you work with heavy machinery, oil leaks and spills are part of the job. We’ve developed SmooshKits™ as an effective solution to your space constraints. They’re 500% smaller than traditional spill kits and you can pack them and stack them anywhere you wish—even in the seat back of your truck. Because they’re stackable, you can store as few or as many as you’d like.
If you’re sick of the bulky and heavy white booms of yesteryear for your oil spill containment needs, you’ll want to check out SpillBoa®. They’re lightweight, less bulky and they can clip together—so they deploy fast! This means you can get on with the task of containing the spill, instead of struggling with hard-to-use sorbents.
Donny’s dad used to say, “you can’t cram 10 pounds of crap into a five-pound sack”. Well, we were able to “smoosh” the Spilltration® products you need into tactical spill kits you can take on the road. And get this, they’re weatherproof. That means that even if you run out of room inside your fleet vehicle or work truck, you can toss it in the truck bed. It’s that tough!
Many of our customers are always on the go. And, oil spill containment on the road is always a challenge. When we were asked to create a spill solution that deploys quickly, contains spills effectively and is compact and mobile—we jumped at the chance.
Finding the right storage solutions for mobile applications is the first step for organizing your workspace for optimum productivity. When you can store the tools and supplies you need in the least amount of space possible, you leave room for the essential items that make your job easier.
That’s why we created this handy checklist you can use on your fleets vehicles or work truck to make sure your team is organized and ready to work.
If you have any questions on finding the right spill control products that meet your needs, just ask. Give us your crappiest job and we will help you find a better way.