What To Look For When Hiring an Environmental Consultant:
The cost of your environmental consulting firm is not in the invoice they send you, but in the time and money they will save you.
If you are looking to hire an environmental consultant, take a closer look. Then take an even closer look. Do not be sold on the cheapest service without knowing they have all their licenses, understand regulations, and have the capacity and expertise to handle your project. Any mistakes made by the consultant could result in liability for you. Do your research. Find like businesses and reach out to get names of consultants they think are reputable.
1. Licensed, Experienced, and Educated – A quick visit to the company’s website can clear up a lot about that firm’s competencies, or lack thereof. Also, do not be afraid to ask the company for references. The good ones will gladly point you to the handful of their longstanding clients. If a company is not able to provide a reference in the area of expertise that you are hiring them for, this is a good sign that you should keep looking.
2. Safety Records – The last thing you want is a firm with unsafe work practices on your property. So ask the right questions. “How many reportable OSHA incidents do you have?” “What is your stop-work procedure?” “What safety training and procedures does your company provide to personnel?” A competent company that is truly concerned with employee health and safety will at a minimum be able to provide a representative with HAZWOPER training and a 10-hour OSHA course.3. Meet Deadlines – Simply put, time is money. The last thing you need is a firm that over-commits and under-delivers. Again, this is why it is always advisable to ask for and contact references. An A-list company is going to receive high praise from their existing clients and is going to be very specific about their deliverables (ie. “We can get out there tomorrow, our representative will be arriving promptly at noon, and will be able to have a report to you four days following the visit.”) Nothing vague; no guesswork needed on your part.
4. Emergency Responders – Problems do not arise in a convenient manner with an ample amount of time available for the issue to be resolved. They happen now and need to be resolved five minutes ago. Work with a company who shares the concern surrounding your environmental needs. A company in the environmental consulting industry that is unwilling to jump when you need them to is NOT the norm. If that has been your experience, you are working with the wrong company. A competent firm has a team of licensed professionals able to respond within 24 hours or less.
5. Guides you through Environmental Regulations – A good consultant will give you a list of items you need to have taken care of; a great consultant will guide you through this process. They will not push you; they will ease you along through each aspect and make sure everyone involved understands what is taking place and why it is taking place. The last thing you, the consumer, need when dealing with something so foreign is to be pushed through a project without a clear understanding of what is taking place.