According to Provision 5.e.2, a downstream vendor must adhere to a documented system to manage environmental, health and safety risks and legal requirements. There are two parts to this requirement. First, it must be a “documented” (i.e. written) system. Second, the downstream vendor must “adhere” to the system. Having a downstream vendor simply answer a survey or state that they have an EH&S management system is not objective evidence of their adherence to it – and does not in itself meet the requirement.
Provision 5.e.2 lays out the minimum requirements to qualify as an EH&S management system. It states, “The management system shall include at a minimum the components of Provision 3 (Legal Requirements) and Provision 4 (On-Site Environmental, Health and Safety).”
For the components of Provision 3, this means the downstream vendor must:
- Document all EH&S regulations and laws applicable to their operation, including any import and export laws;
- Have documentation demonstrating the legality of each shipment; and
- Have a record of the required legal compliance audit.
For the components of Provision 4, this means the downstream vendor must:
- Maintain a written EH&S hazards identification and assessment;
- Have a documented EH&S training program for new hires, as well as refresher courses;
- Have applicable personal protective equipment for workers;
- Have monitoring and sampling records; and
- Have emergency response plans and test records.
Since R2 Certified downstream vendors have already been verified by their certification body auditor, it is not necessary for their R2 suppliers to duplicate the verification process. However, for all non-R2 certified downstream vendors, the records listed above are necessary to show objective evidence that the downstream vendor has a qualified EH&S Management system that is documented and adhered to.
Bottom Line: SERI provides free templates for R2 recyclers to use in evaluating downstream vendors. See the Downstream Non-Certified Recycler Checklist template provided in the R2 implementation guide for Provision 5. This template incorporates the requirements of Provision 3 and 4 as required for a non-R2 certified recycler’s EH&S management system.