Our Latest ToolBox Talk is based on the Environment issues that have been caused by Construction Industry.
Around half of all non-renewable resources mankind consumes are used in construction, making it one of the least sustainable industries in the world. Aside from contributing to climate change on a global scale, individual construction projects can have a significant impact on local environments and nature.
In recent years a number of surrounding environments has been heavily polluted, particularly surrounding water pools as a result of construction projects. According to the U.K. Green Building Council, the construction sector uses more than 400 million tons of material a year, many of which have an adverse impact on the environment.
Waste Management on site.
There is other legislation governing the proper disposal of waste, ranging from low-risk waste through to hazardous waste. These laws are enforced by the Environment Agency and Local Authorities. However, all waste produced can also present a real safety hazard to workers on site if it is not properly managed throughout the project. You need to decide at an early stage:
How – wastes streams produced during building work will be managed in a timely and effective way.
Who – is responsible for collecting and disposal of specific wastes produced on site. Problems often arise when a company and individual duties are not made clear before work starts.
Top tips for waste management on smaller projects:
1. Flammable materials – make sure that all flammable waste materials (such as packaging and timber offcuts) are cleared away regularly to reduce fire risks;
2. Work areas – make clearing waste a priority for all trades. Check that everyone is aware of what is required that it is being done;
3. Skips – waste materials need storing safely before their removal from the site so make sure that you allow sufficient space for waste skips and bins etc. Plan where the skips can be positioned and how often they will need to be collected.
What steps could be taken to protect the environment?
1. Use of energy saving materials in all processes.
2. Try to re-use the materials rather than dispose whenever possible and encourage recycling and the use of recycled materials where possible.
3. Make sure your car is running efficiently – keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget; it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
4. Try to drive less – less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise.
5. Shop products that are safe to use and fit for the purpose and conform to all applicable environmental and other legislation.6.
6. Work with and monitor our suppliers to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment through our quality purchasing policy which includes related human rights, moral and ethical issues relative to the country in which they operate.
7. Site our buildings, structures, and operational plant so that we minimise visual noise and other impacts on the local environment.
8. Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
9. Decrease where possible the level of greenhouse gas emissions by using less heat and air conditioning, by energy-efficient products, use less hot water.
10. Plant a Tree – if you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
11. Encourage Others to Conserve – share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.
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