Construction and infrastructure projects are facing increasing pressure to provide risk mitigation against potential accidents on their sites. Whilst WHS hazards are well serviced through first aid kits, safety equipment, training, procedures and other measures where does the focus on environmental protection fit in?

We are now talking compliance. WHS compliance is a given. All contractors will go to great lengths to provide a safe work place. Many do this for their workers. Some do it because they must – to be compliant. Others wait until a fine is issued, imminent or (in the worst case scenario) after an accident happens.

But what is the thought process to mitigate against the risk of water pollution?

There has been a growing trend over several years for the contractor to ensure adequate measures are in place to mitigate the risk of liquid spills in operations. Spill risk is present on all civil construction sites. Wherever excavation and building are being undertaken, hydraulic equipment will be present. These machines hold oil. There is your risk.

Let’s add to the risk, by location. Many sites are near rivers, harbours, canals or include storm water drains. So what approach is best when planning these projects, reactive or proactive?

The term ‘Spill Response’ would indicate a retrospective approach to environmental pollution compliance. The spill has already happened, so now we need to respond to it – clean it up.

For construction sites and infrastructure projects, there is a requirement for a proactive strategy as much as reactive. To even win the job, the contractor needs to demonstrate measures they will put in place to protect the environment from potential spills.

So…. how does the construction company, contractor or developer actually proactively plan their project? If there is a spill, what measures can be put in place to ensure the least possible damage to the environment? How can you be compliant?

Let’s break it down a little.

Reactive approaches would involve a clean-up – after the spill has happened. You will need spill kits and industrial absorbents to clean up a spill. You will also need to have first responders trained in the use of the spill kit and its clean up procedures.

Proactive approaches are predictive. If something goes wrong, what secondary containment can be deployed so the spilled liquid doesn’t impact on the environment? Portable bunding, floor bunding, silt curtains and bunded pallets are good examples of a proactive risk mitigation strategy.

Take the hassle out of site compliance. Let Akuna Services visit your site to look for any risk where liquid may spill and impact the environment.

Call Akuna Services for a free chat about your site and its risks.