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?

Learn All About OSHA's Hazcom Standard 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 [...]

By |2022-03-21T12:51:15-05:00April 30th, 2021|Good To Know, OSHA Health & Safety|Comments Off on What is Hazard Communication?

OSHA General Duty Clause Citations: What You Need to Know

OSHA expects all employers to take reasonable measures to protect workplace exposure to illness, accidents and fatalities. Fines, penalties and other repercussions can exist in instances where employers fail to do so. What is the OSHA General Duty Clause?  While you can’t possibly be prepared for every potential safety hazard that could arise on a typical work day, the OSHA General Duty Clause exists to ensure that employers take action against anything that threatens the health and safety of their [...]

By |2022-03-21T12:50:50-05:00March 16th, 2021|Good To Know|Comments Off on OSHA General Duty Clause Citations: What You Need to Know

Lead With a Powerful Safety Message

An effective and compelling safety culture speech can convince your employees to commit to making safety a priority at your company. The more comfortable we get in a job, the easier it is to start to let complacency slip into your routine. Taking safety for granted is a common mistake - and, if we’re being honest, an understandable one. It’s quicker to take a shortcut, and that can be tempting. Although OSHA doesn’t require “safety speeches,” it’s a great way [...]

By |2022-03-21T13:04:53-05:00February 18th, 2021|Berg Environmental News|Comments Off on Lead With a Powerful Safety Message

What Happens If You Violate OSHA?: Fines & Penalties

As we all know, OSHA fines and penalties are a worst-case scenario to be avoided at all costs for most employers. No one likes to think about the big, bad “what if”s of the world." With that being said, if the worst does happen and an employee does get inspected and cited, the employer has a choice to either pay the citation without objection or contest the citation if they believe the claim is inappropriate or unfairly calculated. How much [...]

By |2022-03-21T13:02:52-05:00February 4th, 2021|Good To Know|Comments Off on What Happens If You Violate OSHA?: Fines & Penalties

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 under no circumstances should your job ever risk your safety or live. Safe work environments 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, however creating this culture can be challenging, especially for [...]

By |2022-03-21T13:03:55-05:00December 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 workplace health and safety regulations . 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 inspections [...]

By |2022-03-21T13:03:55-05:00December 3rd, 2020|Good To Know|Comments Off on What is an OSHA Inspection?