Regulatory Compliance Reporting in 2002

Read the complete PDF article as it appeared in the 2003 Safety and Security Directory

There was a time when industry produced its products, employees worked long hours, often in hazardous environments, and government left everyone alone. That's the way things were throughout the Industrial Revolution. The good ol, days? Well, perhaps, but as history has produced several events throughout this period, industry has been forced to grow up, take responsibility, and implement changes that prevent recurrences of these events. The labor unions were the first to apply pressure to employers to enact safety measures. Safety issues were internal issues between an employer and its employees.

Since the end of World War II, advances in technology and the sciences have produced amazing new products now now in demand by a rapidly growing technological society. The manufacture and use of chemicals has skyrocketed, resulting in effects to the environment. Every component of our environment (land, air and sea) has been negatively affected. Hazardous incidences no longer affect a single company. Due to public pressure, governments of the world have stepped in to protect the common good.

Two incidents in particular heightened public awareness of chemical accidents. In 1984, a release of methyl isocyanate from a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India, killed over 2,500 people. In 1985, there was a release of aldicarb oxime and other harmful chemicals from another Union Carbide facility in Institute, West Virginia. The public outcry to the government to do something to protect our communities from such events resulted in the EPA's establishment of the Chemical Emergency Preparedness Program (CEPP), a voluntary effort to imrove planning and response capabilities at the state and local levels. In industry itself, responding to imminent regulation, implemented prepardness and response programs, most notably through the Chemical Manufacturers Association's (CMA) Chemical Awareness and Emergency Response (CAER) program, which encouraged a closer working relationship between industry and surrounding communities.

Read the complete PDF article as it appeared in the 2003 Safety and Security Directory