About swhaz

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SHC Introduces David Jensen- SHC Phoenix Division Estimator

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Originally from California and Hawaii. David moved to Arizona in 2005 and is enjoying life in Phoenix. “I just love it here. I guess you can say I enjoy sunny warm weather and what it has to offer. Kayaking, fishing, motorcycle rides and hanging out by the pool with friends and loved ones, who could ask for more ?” Said David. David is very sociable and outgoing, so we’re sure he has no shortage of friends!

In his role as an estimator, David has also been busy networking in the Phoenix construction market, he’s made strong business connections, delivering value where it matters and is known for his consultative approach in project management. When asked about this, David said: “I always strive to really get to know the project down to the smallest detail, I get together with the team to refine and critique, that way I know we have delivered the best possible value to the client. I always pull out all the stops to deliver the project on time and on budget, it’s the only way to be.”

David has been working in the construction Industry since he was 16, when he started as a laborer in masonry. He has since worked in just about every aspect of construction and has had experience in a multitude of trades, this has given him the skills to see the project from many different angles.

David’s approach to client management is always based on great client relationships. “It’s the simple, yet effective parts to this that matters,” Says David, ” calling clients back promptly, being on time to scheduled meetings, always being completely transparent and working as closely with the client as possible is what matters.”

David can be reached at (480)-517-9040 and djensen@swhaz.com

SHC Welcomes Stan Maxam To Our Tucson Office

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As part of our ongoing  growth strategy at Southwest Hazard Control, we would like to introduce our new team member Stan Maxam.

Stan is the newest addition to the Tucson team and will be a key growth driver as he comes to SHC with 24 years of experience in the Environmental field.

His previous experience includes estimating and management of asbestos, mold, lead paint, hazardous materials and water loss mitigation.

Stan has an Associates Degree in Environmental Technology and an Advanced Certificate in Hazardous Materials from  Pima Community College.

He is a native to Tucson and has been married for 32 years with 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

Stan enjoys the outdoors, camping and mountain biking.

As the newest member of the Tucson team, we welcome Stan aboard and look forward to his contribution to the team.

Stan can be reached at smaxam@swhaz.com

SHC Tucson Office Honored with Governor’s Award For Their Asbestos Removal Services at Camp Naco

The Tucson office of Southwest Hazard Control, Inc. was recognized earlier this month


Before Asbestos Removal                                 Photo by Simon Herbert

with a Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award for its part in helping to preserve a piece of Arizona’s history, otherwise known as Camp Naco.

From fires (not one, but two) to crumbling roof tiles and asbestos, Camp Naco has seen it all, but more importantly, it has survived it all.

Dating back to the early twentieth century, Camp Naco was originally used to house military personnel during the Mexican Border Defense campaign and later as a base camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Since then, it has fallen into ruin, and would have stayed that way if not for the work done by the Naco Heritage Alliance, Archaeology Southwest and many others, including the Tucson office of Southwest HAZARD Control, Inc.


After Asbestos Removal
Photo by William Doelle

In May of 2013, the Tucson office began the process of removing asbestos from the roof tiles. The removal of the hazardous tiles marks a huge turning point in Camp Naco’s revitalization. Prior to the asbestos removal, the camp had been closed to the public since 2007. Now that the asbestos is gone, officials of the Naco Heritage Alliance are able to involve the public once again in its renovation efforts as well as give tours to interested parties.

The rehabilitation of Camp Naco has been a long one, dating back nearly 15 years – and the work isn’t over yet – but its future has never looked brighter. Due to the combined efforts of many organizations, the once dilapidated encampment is being transformed into a source of pride for many Arizonans.

We want to congratulate the Tucson office on all of their hard work and involvement with this amazing project!

For more information about our asbestos removal services, please visit our services page.

For more information on Camp Naco, please click here.

Meeting And Exceeding Expectations- Why Just Saying Yes Is Not Always A Good Idea

Our General Manager Graham Fraser on an issue that’s prevalent to all industries- Client expectations.

In my role as GM at SHC, I meet a lot of clients from our various locations, I work on a lot of time sensitive projects and my day (like yours) can change on a phone call. I often have to pivot from one action item to another to meet a demand that’s not more pressing or important than the previous one, but simply because I have to meet a client’s expectation. I see myself as having two sets of clients- External and Internal. In my opinion, both are equally important but have different needs and expectations.

The essence of delivering on client expectations is connecting what we said we would do with what we actually did. When we match what we said we would deliver with the actual outcome, we have a happy client.
Here at SHC, we are always working on meshing the two together. In other words, eliminating any disparities(or gaps) between the expectations of the client and SHC’s capabilities.

The challenge of delivering on expectations is not just confined to our own particular industry. This age old issue is prevalent in just about any other Industry I can think of. When one tends to think of client expectations, one tends to think in the singular as opposed to the plural. Singular as in one party- The client. Therefore, with that logic, one client means one expectation gap to manage and mitigate.
But if we step back and think about it, we have more than that don’t we? The challenges of delivering are present throughout our own stakeholder chain.

For example, in our Industry, we have many internal parties with an interest in a successful outcome.
Workers, supervisors, operations managers, estimators and executives. They all need (and deserve) to have their own particular expectations met and exceeded. The field people meeting the expectations of managers and clients, mangers dealing with the expectations of executives and executives dealing with the expectations of all parties in the chain.
How do we as an organization deliver? How do we keep so many moving parts from different departments with different needs and expectations happy, alert and motivated ?

At SHC, we find that it’s being able to succeed at decision making through energetic and robust communication that helps us deliver results. To make the most of this, all levels of the organization have to be in alignment and all parties in the internal chain have to be on the same page.
When an organization delivers on its promises, it does more than meet expectations,it sets the tone for delivering value and satisfaction, makes clients happy and builds a reputation, it’s set the tone and delivers value and satisfaction .
Most managers and executives will admit that delivering on all of the above is challenging to say the least. Ask any manager or executive in any Industry of any particular challenge that comes to mind and most will admit that over promising and under delivering is an issue.
Everyone has their own system to minimize the above, no system is perfect and there is no “Try this and it works all the time and never fails” solution.

Part of our communication always involves collaboration between all parties. It’s at this phase that we align expectations between all interested groups. Through collaboration we build a series of data points that reduces speculation and builds out timelines and goals using solid reasoning. Another good routine to develop is to avoid making promises/commitments verbally, this usually runs a high risk of unsuccessful execution by lack of clarity and not knowing all the facts from all involved parties. Wait till all relevant data has been collected and the organizations goals are aligned to the clients.
Finally, make sure that the appropriate resources are applied to the objective, budgets, staff, or equipment. The right person doing the right job in the right place at the right time delivers results that are quantifiable and measurable – Happy clients that want to use you again and again.

Graham can be reached at info@swhaz.com

Graham Fraser- General Manager

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Graham Fraser to General Manager of SHC. Graham joined the company three years ago and has been instrumental in increasing our marketing presence by his knowledge of website development and his business acumen.
Graham brings a wealth of experience to his new role with SHC. He has a degree in Business Studies from Open University in the UK and he is working towards his MBA at UC Berkeley. His focus is on Marketing. We are sure that with his business knowledge he will contribute to the success of SHC.
Graham will work with Chrisann Karches on growth strategies, business development, and overall management of SHC’s team members. He will be helping with budget forecasting, new business opportunities, customer retention, and new markets for expansion.
Please join us in welcoming Graham as General Manager and congratulating him on his promotion.
Graham can be reached at gfraser@swhaz.com

When Asbestos Meets The Water- A Tale Of SHC Going Nautical

The California division of SHC was contacted in August 2013 about an upcoming clean-up of Oakland Estuary in San Francisco Bay. After various submissions and protocol we were hired by EQM (http://www.eqm.com/) on an on-going basis to be their exclusive Hazardous Materials clean up company. The contract was deemed to be ongoing by the EPA as they were the ultimate project managers and who were in charge of all clearance testing. I and Alfonso Rico (Operations Manager) would see the project through to its completion in December 2013.

The clean up had come about as a result of environmental planning by Federal, State, County and Marine districts working together and ultimately passing a special State law in July 2013 at State level specific to the Oakland estuary. This enabled Federal monies to be released and start the process of cleaning the waters of this region of the Bay Area. It had been noted in previous surveys that this estuary had an abnormally high volume of abandoned older ships that were known to contain hazardous materials, mainly lead and asbestos, both harmful to human and mammal life as well as the environment overall.

We began our operation in early November with our first ship. This was an average size fishing vessel about 42 feet long with a galley and an inside engine room. The ship was lifted/dredged by EQM to dry land (only after a team of divers had determined that the boat would not break apart on lifting) so the EPA could carry out a more detailed survey. At this point we were put on notice and after the report was finalized we moved in and abated any hazardous materials that were determined by the survey. (Note: One of the main reasons we were hired is that the EPA and all other parties involved wanted a team ready to go at short notice, with good proximity to the site with good experience and an excellent track record. They did not want to have to wait for bids to filter in while a boat full of potential hazardous materials sat on site.)

The above photo shows where we removed asbestos containing material from the base of the flue stack.

After completing one ship, we got a call from EQM to come out and view another one. This ship was still in the water and we had to decide what would be the best way to deal with a precarious situation. This was new territory for all of us. We took a ride out with the coastguard to take a look. It, like the first one, was an old fishing boat but was wedged under and attached to a dock that had floated away with tidal currents and had ended up about ¼ mile from shore. The major concerns here were that detaching it from the pier may cause it to break apart and/or collapse and sink along with all its hazardous waste, thus rendering the whole operation useless. I suggested that we do the survey on the water and go from there to determine what we were dealing with and depending on what the survey revealed, we may be able to do the abatement on the water; again new territory for us but we were up for the challenge. A major factor in my decision was the summer like weather we were having at the time in early December.
After much deliberation, it was decided to do the abatement on location with a small team. Given that we would be on the water dealing with a partially submerged semi-rotten ship, working from another boat and using the broken pier as a staging post, the A team was called in!

Just another day of life on the ocean wave for our guys !

There would be 2 SHC experts, our boat captain from the US Coastguard, a rep from EQM and finally an EPA monitor on this project. Our workers would be in full tyvek suits, with life-vests and one in a safety harness attached to the Coastguard boat!

The work involved the following:
1. Remove caulking ACM from around window of cabin on abandoned boat attached to an unusable/abandoned pier.
2. This work was performed on the water by 2 workers, with one in a safety harness and both with a personal flotation device.

Then we got called in again, this time the stakes had been raised considerably.The final ship on this phase of the project would be significantly larger than the others, however, a definite size and scope of work would not be clear until the divers and the Coastguard could deliver their findings.
The largest marine crane on the US West coast was deployed form Seattle by EQM for this lift. What we discovered was a 150 foot sea-trawler with 5 decks that had been under water for approximately 35 years. The survey by the EPA revealed TSI (thermal system insulation) at numerous locations including the kitchen, engine room and smoke stack on the upper level.
They also determined that a lot of the mud and sludge (more like a slurry when we started) on the lowest decks had very high levels of asbestos and this needed to be bagged out. Due to the volume, location and tightness of the work conditions this proved to be extremely laborious. Added to this was the fact that we found approximately 150 bags (+-4200 lbs) of existing bagged asbestos water that had been left on the ship. We ended up re-bagging all of this!
SHC ended up removing +- 1250 bags ( 55000 lbs ) of TSI and about 200 bags ( 10000lbs ) of asbestos containing mud/sludge from the boat and it is currently being demolished on the water to a size where they can lift it onto dry land for the completion of the wrecking and disposal.

Some of the things we noticed in particular that were different on this last phase of the project and making it a little more challenging were:
• Extremely dirty ( considering the ship had been partially to fully submerged for close to 40 years
• The narrowness of the stairwells leading to the lower levels of the boat, where obviously most of the dirtier work had to be done, made for slippery and messy conditions
• Darker than usual conditions and working with headlight equipment at all times

Finally, many people have asked what happens to these ships after the project. The ssips are broken down, crushed and transported to metal scrap yards. So the next time you’re cruising the highways and byways of California you may be driving beside a boat that SHC abated……………………..in the form of a car or truck !

Linda Boettcher- Our Long Serving Controller

I have worked in all facets of the accounting department for Southwest Hazard Control since 1987. Over the years I have grown in knowledge through experience and was promoted to Controller in 1996. I work with a fantastic accounting team whose goal is to supply every division with the tools necessary to be successful. I strive to work with every client, both internally and externally, to ensure that their need have been met and that we are consistent in our service levels.
I am a Tucson native, have been married for 27 years and enjoyed every minute of it. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s anything i can help you with now, or in the future.
I can be reached at lboettcher@swhaz.com

Meet Syd Cook – Our Financial Assistant

I have enjoyed working at Southwest Hazard Control since my arrival June 12, 2012. I started in the Accounts Payable Department and recently moved into the position as Financial Assistant. This affords me the opportunity to be instrumental in many diverse and challenging processes at SHC. I am responsible for communications with our customers to verify their contact and staffing information, documentation requirements and completion, invoice receipt, remittance processing and sending monthly statements. Our SHC customers are some of the most knowledgeable and interesting members of our industry. Not only do I get the chance to facilitate their needs but I often get the opportunity to hear how our SHC team has impressed them with their hard work and job skills. Many of those same customers will share personal and sometimes humorous stories and experiences they’ve had. This continually educates me on the unique nature of our customers and our business in environmental concerns. I work directly with our SHC division managers on weekly reports and any additional customer communications they may need assistance with.
I take great pride and honor in my position with SHC. I feel my responsibilities are well met by my past experiences and positions. I have been in positions in accounting for most of my working career. My past positions have been as Accounts Receivable Supervisor, Accounts Payable, Purchasing Supervisor, Merchandising Director, Promotions and Marketing, and In-Service and Field Representative for an Educational Firm. One of my past positions stands out as the Operations Manager for North Central Industries in Muncie, IN. One of my responsibilities included managing the Safety MSDS Management Program which required me to document our hazardous materials, location, storage, handling and staff training. It was a part of my past experiences but it feels like a connection with SHC today.
In closing, I want to impress upon our SHC customers now, or those considering the products and services of SHC, that we are the firm to choose. We have the knowledge, skills, experience, history, and the team (including me) to do things right, every job, each and every time. Please contact me at 520-622-3607, Ext #121 or at my email address, scook@swhaz.com for any questions or concerns. I may not always have the answer, but I will always find the answer.

Jim Santino Retires

SHC is at once delighted and disheartened to announce that Jim Santino has retired. Jim was a tremendous employee for 20 years. He is gifted with a keen mind and a cooperative nature. Jim pioneered SHC’s Hazmat Division when the Division was just starting out. He later developed many of the procedures we now consider the backbone of our services. His co-workers also recognize Jim for his courtesy and amicability. We will all miss him tremendously.
And as a fitting tribute, here’s Jim in his own words doing what he does best- Engaging with clients. We wish Jim all the best