When thinking about starting a remodeling project or noticing a new building going up on your block, there are several concerns about the general environment and its safety. These range from the environmental impact (large or small scale) of any project as well as things such as traffic flow, air quality, wildlife displacement, etc. When a large construction or road project is in the works, there is often a period of time that traffic is diverted. This is necessary so that the construction workers are able to move materials and equipment in and out of the active site as well as to protect their safety. These detours can be disruptive and irritating for the neighbors of an active construction site, but thankfully are only temporary.
Vegetation and wildlife safety
Of other concerns are the impact on vegetation and wildlife. These impacts can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the scope of the project. Zoning ordinances usually address the need for studies if there is an expected and significant disruption to plant or animal life in the area.
Another concern for public safety is how the air and water will be affected by the natural byproducts of an active construction site. When a project involves lead or asbestos removal, strict protocols are in force to protect the workers as well as those nearby from accidental and potentially harmful exposure. These materials can create a dust which is very harmful when inhaled or ingested. (Before one reacts to the improbability of ingesting the dust – imagine dust being airborne and landing upon your food.)
Proper containment of these substances is critical for proper air quality control and to maintain construction site safety. Some experts recommend using high quality filters in HVAC systems and changing them two-four times per month if your home or workplace is near a construction site with a lot of airborne dust.
Most of the danger to the neighboring water supply occurs when debris or chemicals find their way into naturally occurring runoff. This can be easily managed onsite with a variety of protective measures, such as dams, sediment fences, ditches or by using an inlet filter to filter debris, sediment or even absorb chemicals. Thankfully, most construction companies comply with the guidelines that are established by OSHA and various city ordinances to keep their sites safe. When one does not, it can create many problems for those who do.
It is crucial that health and safety guidelines are adhered to at all times within the construction industry. Following health and safety legislation ensures that a site is a safe place to carry out work for everyone.
Failure to comply with health and safety regulations can lead to severe sanctions. Fines as well as more serious sanctions can be imposed on employers who neglect their duty. If you are looking for the highest level of training there is, the Construction Skills (CITB) Site Safety Plus range of courses are the best you will find. CITB have a number of different courses that are thought of highly within the construction industry.
The best way for any employer in the industry to ensure they fully uphold their duty under the legislation is to send staff on a Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) course. The quality of the training delivered on a SMSTS course gives great advantage to professionals in construction. The SMSTS courses are targeted at management and supervisors in particular but training is also suitable for any other employees who are in charge of managing any kind of construction related tasks. Site Management Safety Training Scheme courses provide the latest training in essential health and safety skills allowing course candidates to shape and build on their awareness.
SMSTS courses are attended by approximately 10,000 people each year. It is a five day course. You may find a number of training establishments offering the course one day a week over a five week period. This is a useful alternative for businesses that struggle to manage the loss of employees for a solid five days Many companies request to have staff trained at the place of work in an appropriate space, making it far more convenient for and travel and food expenses. Construction, one of the largest industries in the United States is also one of the most hazardous.
OSHA, the regulator for safety and health issues in the work place, requires that all construction sites be inspected by a certified Construction Safety Coordinator before and during use. Inspections are to benefit those working at the construction site and those that will be around, driving by or utilizing the same work place. Though anyone with enough time and effort can become a construction safety coordinator, it is not unusual for construction workers who have previously worked on the job, contractors and/or those associated with construction to slip into this position.
OSHA offers outreach training programs to certify those interested in becoming a Construction Safety Coordinator. Basic classes include General Industry Safety, Physical Hazards in Construction, Healthy Hazards and Emergency Preparedness, and OSHA Citation and Record Keeping Policies. To earn these; classes, exams and basic knowledge are expected. Classes do require payment, time and effort. In addition, many states have regulations that must be met depending upon environmental or specific issues.