Many of you are likely spending some time going through your EHS records for this year, and preparing recordkeeping systems for the new year. As you know, there are numerous regulatory requirements for how long you must maintain specific records. Our general recommendation is to seriously consider the possible ramifications of disposing of any EHS related documentation, regardless of how long you technically have to maintain that piece of documentation by regulation.
One example of this is waste manifests, which depending on the permits and licenses that are held by your institution may, need to be maintained for three to five years. Before you go ahead and pitch those manifests that reach the end date of regulatory retention, consider the benefit of continuing to hold on to those manifests in an archived location should an issue with the waste arise. Training records are a critical piece of EHS documentation, which should be maintained longer than technically required by regulation.
Please consider archiving EHS documentation if you are running out of file space before disposing of it! Peace of mind that the documentation still exists is important, especially going into a new year!
Wishing you all a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!