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I had to get down and dirty to see it for myself! (And boy, am I happy now!)

Posted by Kris Richards on Jul 8, 2021 2:57:14 PM

It had become painfully apparent that we needed to do a reconciliation for our Merkert Building inventory. We’d had Clean Harbors come in for some specialized needs.

We went in on a weekend – I wore my I-don’t-care-if-they-get-dirty jeans. We scanned all of the barcodes - Ian and I loaded them into the module. Ian trusts the system and he can be tough to convince – he’s a former bench chemist and he wants to see the data.

From my perspective, the team captured the process of auditing the inventory quite well. Ian and I did a step-wise process – it was quite sharp! At the end we had a report of “Here are all the chemicals found and not found”. Ian had to do most of the work for Chemistry, even looking for chemicals in their glove box as just one example.

Our bottom line? I figured we’d end up with an inventory of ~35% off … but there was only a 20% difference - now we know what we’ve got! When we get requests to approve hazardous materials for building renovations, we know definitively whether to approve them or not. Our flammable liquids went down but other hazmats went up - reconciliation really worked! Now we are having labs do their own reconciliations.

It took Ian and I crawling around and getting dirty finding and reconciling their hazmats. Now I am much more confident on our data and much more confident in the process, too! We were also concerned about removal of barcodes but that never materialized – just our own concern. So, in the end, there was much pain involved but I’m on-board! And Ian’s on-board, too – and as the former bench scientist that he is, he’s a tough one to convince!

Reconciliation - it gave me a level of comfort I never had before.

Gail Hall
Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Boston College