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About Russell Carr

How A Sales Guy Transformed Into An Environmental, Health & Safety Expert & Advocate For Small Businesses

I've spent my entire 30+ year career working within the manufacturing and “industrial services” sectors.

The first 15 years of my career focused on sales of hazardous materials related products and services to the manufacturing sector, then for the last 16+ years transitioned into entrepreneurship, founding 3 small industrial services related contracting businesses. As you’ll see below, running these companies eventually lead me to found yet a 4th business, but more on that in a minute….

Here’s a brief description of the first 3 companies:

Berg Environmental Services, Inc.: hazardous waste disposal & transportation services, founded in August of 2003 3rd party wind energy operations & maintenance services provider to utility scale wind farms throughout the US, founded in September 2007 3rd party oil & gas exploration & production services provider, founded in August of 2011

Each of these companies operated in extremely dangerous working conditions and exposed my employees to a wide range of serious health & safety hazards on a daily basis.

To complicate matters, 2 of the companies also exposed the environment to significant potential harm.

In other words, I learned very early the critical importance of managing environmental, health and safety issues so as to ensure the safety of our employees and the environment, as well as minimizing related risks.

But I also learned how incredibly difficult and challenging this endeavor can be due to the wide range of complicated and continually changing environmental, health and safety rules and regulations that impacted the companies.

To summarize the challenges: First I had to determine which regulations applied to each company, then I had to build compliance programs to meet those regulations, and finally I had to ensure that the programs were being managed and followed by our staff on a daily basis.

All while trying to run and grow 3 profitable businesses….

It was overwhelming and I always struggled to keep up.

To make matters worse, throughout this time I also witnessed the devastating price that companies, management and ownership can pay for failing to manage EHS compliance.

This included seeing one of my hazardous waste management clients get sent to jail over environmental issues, another client’s management team threatened with jail time, a direct competitor get fined $378,000 by OSHA fine after an employee was nearly killed, and many others face major fines and penalties.

Full disclosure, one of my companies got fined by OSHA at one point, & another was cited by TCEQ, so I know how it feels.

In summary, I learned first hand how incredibly difficult it is for small companies to manage EHS compliance due to a common lack of the critical expertise, time and resources that are needed to keep up, and how this situation then ends up exposing them to these potentially catastrophic risks that can literally destroy lives and businesses.

This later inspired me to found my 4th company, Berg Compliance Solutions in 2012, which is dedicated to helping other small businesses, and business owners, to manage EHS compliance and risk.

Education

  • BA, Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder, December, 1990.

Summary of Professional Experience & Qualifications:

  • 30+ years serving the manufacturing & industrial services sectors
  • 30+ years of sales and marketing experience
  • 16+ years as small business owner & entrepreneur: Founded and operated 4 small businesses since 2003.

Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance & Program Related:

  • 19 plus years of hazardous waste management including EPA, TCEQ & RCRA regulations
  • 8 years of DOT/FMCSA compliance experience, including hazardous materials transportation
  • 8 years of combined experience implementing and managing OSHA health and safety compliance programs for 2 high risk energy services businesses
  • Successfully implemented and gained ISO 9001 Quality Management
  • Certification and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Service) Certification for wind energy maintenance business.

Regulatory Enforcement Related Experience:

  • Served as expert witness in criminal environmental compliance enforcement cases
  • Superfund-CERCLA
  • OSHA enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in following industries: industrial services, manufacturing & construction.
  • TCEQ enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in manufacturing.

What is Hazard Communication?

There’s no way around it, employees must be made aware of the dangers associated with any potentially hazardous chemicals in their place of work. Hazard Communication, or HazCom for short, is a set of processes that employees must follow when working with chemicals. Because of the number of health and physical hazards that these workers face, special procedures need to be laid out. Here’s everything you need to know about hazard communication, regulations, and requirements. OSHA requires that any employer [...]

By |2021-05-03T16:23:21-05:00April 30th, 2021|Good To Know|Comments Off on What is Hazard Communication?

Building a Foundational Safety Program From the Ground Up

Let’s go ahead and imagine a scenario. It’s midway through March of last year. You’ve been working at the same manufacturing company for almost 15 years now. You’ve developed a real relationship with your boss, the Safety Director that you’ve been reporting to since you started here. However, once the pandemic hit, she cut her losses and decided to take an early retirement. Your new boss, on the other hand, was trained as a COO in the corporate sphere, and [...]

By |2021-01-27T17:02:06-05:00January 27th, 2021|Good To Know|Comments Off on Building a Foundational Safety Program From the Ground Up

How Safety Consulting Can Improve Your Company’s Culture

We spend a lot of time at work, and most of us are pretty proud of what we do. But in no situation should your job ever cost you your life. Safe job sites should be a priority for all employers; after all, the health and safety of your workers is your biggest responsibility. Protecting your workers starts with a strong culture of safety at all levels of your company. When employees are involved in that process from the beginning, [...]

By |2020-12-23T15:36:50-05:00December 23rd, 2020|Good To Know|Comments Off on How Safety Consulting Can Improve Your Company’s Culture

What is an OSHA Inspection?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has every right to inspect your workplace, impose penalties, and record violations of governmental safety regulations. What gives them the right to do this? OSHA is a government agency that is responsible for enforcing regulations applicable to workplace health and safety. However, there’s simply no way that they could inspect every workplace. Relevant questions to ask are: What triggers an OSHA inspection or what are the different types of OSHA inspections? Types of [...]

By |2021-01-27T17:02:06-05:00December 3rd, 2020|Good To Know|Comments Off on What is an OSHA Inspection?

Workplace COVID-19 Risk Exposures

How At Risk Are Your Workers? As the country opens back up and workers return to their jobs, it’s important to gauge where your employees fall in terms of risk level. Worker exposure risk when it comes to COVID-19 depends on a variety of factors. From the type of industry you work in to the level of human-to-human contact required in a typical work day, different variables can put your workers in categories ranging from lower risk to very high [...]

By |2020-10-25T14:34:28-05:00October 25th, 2020|COVID-19 & Coronavirus, OSHA Texas Laws & Regulations|Comments Off on Workplace COVID-19 Risk Exposures

Is Your Texas Hazardous Waste Disposal Company Putting You At Risk?

Introduction: Is your hazardous waste disposal vendor putting your company at risk by failing to understand and advise you on EPA and TCEQ hazardous waste generator compliance regulations? We were recently contacted by 2 Texas companies who got into trouble with TCEQ and EPA for hazardous waste violations that were actually caused by their hazardous waste disposal company. These cases inspired me to write this blog post which is designed to explain how this can happen, what simple step [...]

By |2020-08-10T16:24:00-05:00August 10th, 2020|Hazardous Waste Management, Texas Environmental Regulations|Comments Off on Is Your Texas Hazardous Waste Disposal Company Putting You At Risk?
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