July 2021

Welcome to our July 2021 newsletter. We are excited to discuss the following topics with you:

  • Report Upgrade
  • Certification
  • New Initiative – adding QR codes to laboratory reports
  • Did you know you can..?
    1. Review the reasoning for all metal species selections – from one view
    2. Average the data for any number of replicate samples
  • Social media links

Report Upgrade

We have recently updated the classification report to make it clearer to third parties about who is responsible for what and where certain critical information can be found (and therefore reviewed).

The accuracy of any HazWasteOnline classification depends on the quality of the data that the classifier has collected, entered and then the processing decisions they make. This process starts with the classifier understanding both the origin of and the process that created the waste, the selection of the correct EWC code(s), followed by the design of a suitable sampling plan and laboratory testing suite. On reaching the classification step, the classifier is then responsible for a number of activities including;

To aid the reviewer, all the fields for which the classifier manages (post data entry) are highlighted in pale yellow. The reviewer should not only check these fields in the report but also make sure the test suite, sampling plan and EWC code are also fit for purpose.


We have been publishing every classifier’s training record on their classification reports for more than 2 years. As part of the report upgrade, we have revised the wording in this section to make it clearer whether the classifier has completed our two day hazardous waste classification course within the last 3 years, or after that, the 3 year refresher course. Where the course or the refresher is current we show that the classifier is CERTIFIED in waste classification

For classifiers who haven’t yet completed the Hazardous Waste Classification course or an earlier certification is out of date, then the missing certification is blank and highlighted in orange.

The change is driven by:

  • Companies, whose staff have completed the course(s), wanting clear evidence as to who is certified and who is not. 
  • Regulators, project management companies, industrials, insurance companies, lawyers etc. wanting evidence as to who has had training in using HazWasteOnline to undertake hazardous waste classifications.
  • DEFRA proposing to introduce a mandatory requirement for technical competence in waste classification into new waste carrier/broker/dealer legislation (consultation due later this year).
If your training record is not up-to-date (since your training, you may have changed company, surname and/or email address), please contact support@onetouchdata.com so we can match up your records.

New Initiative – Adding QR codes to laboratory reports

We have started discussing a new idea with some of the labs which we hope will lead to both greater auditability and traceability for laboratory reports and their results.
As you know, HazWasteOnline has included a QR code and a unique alphanumeric identifier on the top of every classification report for several years. The QR code allows other users (who receive a HazWasteOnline classification report from another party) to scan the QR code and effectively copy the data used in the original classification, plus a copy of the original PDF classification report, into a new Job in their HazWasteOnline. From there, the data can be reclassified (e.g. using the latest classification engine or because new information is available) or simply archived.

However, the challenge that many stakeholders have is that they get copies (sometimes partial copies) of the original laboratory reports from third parties, and less often by the company who commissioned the original analysis. Typically the third party has the PDF lab report, sometimes the spreadsheet version but often not the .hwol data file. So while a third party has been given the report, they have no contract with the originating laboratory, so they can’t ask the laboratory for any missing components. In the case of waste classification, this means no .hwol file and having to manually enter the data into HazWasteOnline.
It would be much better if;

  1. Purchasers of laboratory services acknowledged that their reports (including the laboratory reports) are often passed on by their customers (who likely paid for the data), without asking for their permission (despite what any contract may say),
  2. They acknowledge that once their report has gone to their customer, it is effectively in the wild and they no longer have any control over it, and
  3.  They understand that other parties will eventually be provided with the report, for use for a different or similar purpose from which it was written; such as waste classification and disposal (for which the data may or may not be entirely suitable).

And that all stakeholders would benefit from the ability to utilize a QR code on a laboratory report to:

  • Check their copy of the laboratory report with an original laboratory certified copy to ensure that the data hasn’t been altered, miss-transcribed, misrepresented or critical components ignored or missing.
  • Check that the data hasn’t been plagiarised by another company (whose name shall not be mentioned here) who pass the results off as their own.
    • We would put the lab’s unique report ID in the .hwol file to help identify this type of fraud
  • Check the meta data e.g. whether sulphates are soluble or total, whether moisture is a wet or a dry calculation or checking the method description for a given “TPH” test.
  • Allow stakeholders to download the .hwol file so that the data can be efficiently uploaded and processed
  • Know that every result in the .hwol file would have the report identifier, meaning that every result in HazWasteOnline could be traced back to the laboratory that produced it.

For classifiers, this would increase their efficiency because they would be able to use their smartphones to scan the QR code on the laboratory pdf report and load up both the PDF report and the .hwol file into HazWasteOnline, thus providing a complete chain of custody information between the laboratory report and the classification report.
From a business point of view, the laboratories would ask the requestor to register/login before letting them download the documents. This information would have a number of commercial benefits for the individual laboratory; it would inform as to who was doing what and when and how often – all useful market intelligence for planning and strategy development.
So far, we have talked to ALS, Element and Socotec – if you are interested in learning more about this initiative please email ibishop@onetouchdata.com.

Classifiers – Did you know you can..?

1. Review the reasoning for all metal species selections –from one view (Packages Edition).

 The classifier can review (and edit) all the explanatory/justification text for any metal species using one screen – rather than having to do it one metal species at a time. In a Job, simply click on the “Determinand” column header and select “Review reasoning for all species…”. This opens up a new window where the text for every metal can be wordsmithed.

More information, including accessing the same functionality in the waste stream template tool, can be found on the HazWasteOnline Wiki: Click on the Help tab and search using “review species”.

2. Average the data for any number of replicate samples (Packages Edition).

Normally when a composite sample is sent to a lab, and perform the agreed suite of lab tests on each replicate. When the results are returned, one of the steps in the analysis process typically involves taking an average of the replicate results and the average is used (along with the results for further composite samples) in the classification.  
The tool is available from the screen used to process your .hwol data files.  Once all the data processing issues have been resolved (and the “Create Job” button becomes available), click on the “Add Rule” button and select “Insert average sample”. 

This action will

  • Create an extra sample column labelled “AVG-Date” where “Date” is the current date.
  • For each determinand:
    • where one or more concentrations are greater than the LOD, calculate the average and insert the result into the “AVG-Date” column.
    • where the concentrations are all below the LOD, copy the LOD into the “AVG-Date” column.
  • Grey out all the original replicate columns in the hwol file, leaving the single “AVG-Date” column.

The data in “AVG_Date” can now be added to a new Job/existing Job for classification and statistical analysis.

Social Media content

We are working towards sharing information on a more immediate basis using our social media channels: Twitter and LinkedIn.  These messages can cover new training dates, relevant consultations from ECHA, HSE, Defra, EU and other actors, labs coming on board with the HWOL file and new features (and rarely, any website issues). If you utilise these media, please subscribe.

Please give us a follow! The links to the pages are below.