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If your facility creates or handles hazardous waste, you can’t be lackluster in your approach. From health and safety perspective, failing to ensure proper management of hazardous waste could result in dangerous problems for your employees, customers, and business partners. From a legal and financial point of view, a lack of proper oversight could land you in trouble with Environment and Climate Change Canada and other governing bodies. Regular inspections are paramount in steering clear of these dangers.

Why are Inspections Necessary?

Environment Canada is serious about hazardous waste – and rightly so. If your facility creates or handles hazardous waste, you have the right to store it onsite without a permit for a period of 90, 180, or 270 days – depending on the status of your waste generator and the distance that the waste will eventually be hauled for treatment, recycling, or disposal.

While the waste is onsite, Environment Canada requires facilities to conduct inspections every 30 days in order to remain compliant. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure that each container is in safe condition – free from things like rust, dents, cracks, or corrosion – and that, if any issues are discovered, the contents can be safely transferred to another container before any leakage happens.

While all businesses are required to conduct weekly inspections in order to appease Environment Canada requirements, there are also other benefits to conducting these reviews. For example, weekly inspections can:

  • Ensure that containers are properly labeled
  • Uncover any incompatible materials that are stored too closely together
  • Address situations where a hazardous waste material is stored in the wrong containers

Without regular inspections, it’s easy for small issues to become major problems. Inspections serve as stopgaps to keep your facility operating without unnecessary friction.

How to Inspect Hazardous Waste Containers

While the Environment Canada has basic requirements on how to inspect containers, most facilities choose to use their own in-depth checklists when conducting weekly inspections. Here are some steps you may want to add to your own:

  • Be thorough – check from the top of the drum all the way to the bottom.
  • Walk around the container and look for waste residue, stains, or signs of spillage on the surrounding area.
  • Make notes of any dents, dings, bumps, or bulges that haven’t previously been notated.
  • Check all labels to ensure there are clear start dates and the words “Hazardous Waste” are present.
  • If problems are found, make sure they are taken care of immediately. No delays.
  • Take copious notes and keep a detailed logbook to document the inspection.

Contact Can-Ross for an Assessment

While some organizations choose to conduct inspections in-house, others find it valuable to hire professionals to conduct spill control, spill containment, and hazardous waste assessments on their behalf.

At Can-Ross, we’re proud to provide fast and effective assessments that help organizations identify risks before they become problems. Contact us to schedule an assessment for your facility!


Can-Ross Environmental Services Ltd. Is a leading provider of spill control and containment products and assessments in Canada. Serving the most dynamic businesses in the country, we provide security and peace of mind by identifying spill risks and providing practical and effective solutions to those risks.

Are you prepared for a spill? Get Protected Here.

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About Terry Edgar

Terry Edgar is the President of Can-Ross. In this role, Terry works to develop and execute key strategic objectives and build relationships with customers, distribution partners, suppliers, and staff members. Terry has been in the industry for over two decades and has worked in all areas of the business, including manufacturing, operations, customer service, sales, sales management, and marketing. Outside of Can-Ross, Terry is an avid outdoorsman and a proud husband and father of two young boys.