Environmental Impact and Health and Safety
What is health and safety?
A list of regulations and procedures, which protects the welfare of the employees, employers, guests and consumers. The Health and Safety at Work Act was introduced in 1974, it presented vast obligations on employees and how they have to be educated on the health and safety of the employees during work, such as, presenting and preserving safety apparatus and arrangements. Also the act introduces duties to the employer on the welfare of the community from the work at place.
Why is health and safety important?
Health and safety is extremely important for the following reasons. One of the main reasons is that it produces a productive work place for the employees by ensuring their wellbeing it will enable them to work more productively without having to worry about the hazards they might endure. The employees are the industries chief assets, ensuring health and safety will ensure the productivity. Also when establishing a secure work environment with all the employees rights preserved less absences will occur which will result in more work being done in less time which will benefit the company.
In this design project the task was to expand the Water Supply Infrastructure of Nottingham. When planning and constructing not only health and safety should be considered but also the negative environmental impacts this project might present in the future. Therefore a plan on how to protect the welfare of the workers, the individuals in the community and the surroundings the project is conducted within should be presented.
The following report will discuss the health and safety along with the environmental effects and how we can decrease them in the stages of the project. When constructing the pipe and the transport of the materials and also how we can recycle the reusable material in order to reduce the cost and the pollution in disposing the materials.
Before being on site the employee should be well educated and prepared for the project that should be done. Personal Protective Equipment should be worn correctly to ensure full potency and should be worn at all times by the workers when on site. The PPE consists of a hardhat which protects the head from many things such as, falling objects and impacts from stationary and moving objects such as debris, machinery, and passages with low headroom. Eye and ear protection should be worn as well to protect oneself from dust, chemical spills, and sparks from welding and noise from apparatus used within the project. Gloves should be worn to protect hands from cuts and protective footwear such as metal toe boots should also be worn to prevent accidents such as, impacts from falling objects and protects the foot from sharp objects, and the rubber base on these boots protects the worker when working in damp environments such as the rain. High visibility apparel such as jackets and vests should be worn not only to distinguish workers from the public but also catches the attention of for example a driver when construction is being done or close to a road and this will allow the driver to react and move away from the workers. Masks should be also worn to prevent dust and fumes from entering workers bodies.
When employees are on site they should comply and pay attention to the site safety signs throughout the site and keep a clear distance from operating equipment. Employees should only use the equipment and machinery that they are qualified to work with to avoid problems and damage. Employees should announce their position if they are working alone in an area, in case of any emergency the other members of staff will know where to find this person.
The site should have a designated entrance with security checks such as a security officer on duty or a gate which can only be accessed by employees. This way the employer will know who is on site and it will also prevent the public from entering the site which might result in them getting injured.
There are many negative environmental impacts that might occur from this job such as noise and air pollution. To avoid noise pollution the construction should be done during the day time because adults will be at work and children and young adults will be at school. When trying to decrease the air pollution that might occur from the project it does not only protect the environment but also the individuals living within the community surrounding the construction and the workers too. To reduce the amount of dust and fumes escaping and polluting the atmosphere there are several solutions. One of the solutions is having a humidifier or constantly spraying water around the site because water acts as a cohesive which traps the dust particles on the ground. Another solution is spraying titanium oxide on the nets and walls around the site. This will enable the dust and fume particles to stick to the surface minimizing the amount of particles escaping into the air. Another way to reduce the amount of air pollution that will be caused is to arrange the trucks to come at a specific time when it is least traffic. This can be done easily now because a lot of applications on the mobile phone show the current congestion status and this will cause the trucks to come and leave without being stuck the traffic which will reduce the amount of emissions produced by the truck of being stationary and running for a long time and will also reduce the noise that may be caused by the sound of the engine to the surrounding buildings.
When digging the areas to start construction some aspects should be considered, these do not only save money but also helps the environment. When excavating the roads linear quarrying should be considered. Linear quarrying is the use of the current materials in the future road/carriage way. This method saves money and also contributes into protecting the environment by reducing the amount of new aggregate needed and the trip to the landfill. Throughout this project not only roads will be excavated but soil as well. Soil should be reused after the construction is done. However, soil at times could be contaminated. Contaminated soil could cause harm to people by polluting the water and also the soil might be a result of a nuclear spillage which causes radioactivity. Once the construction begins on the soil, the soil should be tested to see if it is suitable to use again. If not and it turns out to be harmful, ex-situ treatment should occur which is the excavation of the surface, or excavating the surface and disposing it to a landfill.
Another important factor that should be considered to ensure that the community is not too bothered by the construction is keeping the site tidy and clean and if there is a fence around the construction site it is preferred to place a printed image on the fence which looks aesthetically pleasing, for example, an image of how the project will turn out or a countryside scenery.