07 Aug Toolbox Talk – Environmental
Personal Protective Equipment:
We want to minimise pollution and waste, as this will have an effect on our future health. Some materials can be harmful to the environment as well as to people. Always try to use eco friendly materials such as water based paint rather than solvents and use the minimum that is required to do a good job. Don’t skimp as it will need to be done again. The same applies to energy. The more energy you use or waste, the more the power station or refinery will emit pollution into the atmosphere.
Some ways of reducing energy:
- Don’t leave unwanted lights or equipment on especially heaters.
- Keep outside doors closed to retain heat, fit door closers to drying rooms.
- Use thermostats and timers to control individual room temperatures.
Some waste will be produced but this should be minimised to reduce landfill costs.
There is an order of priority:
- Don’t over order and keep stock of what you have.
- Don’t waste energy, switch off unwanted lights and equipment
- Use more efficient equipment – e.g. use halogen lights rather than light bulbs
- Only take out what you are going to use that day / shift
REPLACE / FIND AN ALTERNATIVE
- Avoid CFCs in fridges and fire extinguishers; PCBs – in transformers.
- Use Aerosols with alternative gases inside not CFCs
- Avoid Chlorine-bleached paper, use Chlorine free paper.
- Wherever possible, attempt to reuse materials
REFURBISH / RENOVATE
- Try to use the best, most durable materials available for the purpose. This will mean less replacement in the future and less waste.
- Materials that cannot be re-used directly can be refurbished and re-used
- We have a maintenance policy, so equipment is running efficiently – not only reducing emissions but also saving you time because it’s working properly
- Whenever we can we try to recycle materials. We are already doing this with concrete, oil, tyres, timber, and paper. You can help further by –
- Segregating waste into the right skips – wood, aluminum, steel, paint tins, batteries, CoSHH and general waste. If the waste is segregated, we can often get some money back.
- This is the least benefit to the environment and also the most costly as tip charges are high. You should therefore segregate as much as possible.
- We are not like a large chemical factory producing vast quantities of potentially harmful emissions to the atmosphere. We do however have to be careful with what we are emitting in terms of fumes, dust and noise.
- Minimise the use of energy – remember the power station has emissions!
- The batcher plants and crusher can emit dust. An estimate is recorded daily. If the dust levels become high then filters need cleaning and we may be fined or lose our license.
- Vehicles and machinery are regularly maintained but if they are emitting exhaust fumes or smoke report it to your foreman.
- Noise may become an issue on some sites and we may be restricted in the hours in which we can work. Those working on tasks with high noise levels will be provided with ear defenders but we do also have to think about our neighbours and ensure that we do not exceed laid down limits. Annoying neighbours leads to fines quicker than anything else.
- Avoid spillages in the first place – by having bunds (holding up to 110% of the volume) for large tanks and by containing any drums in trays. Re-fuelling or work with equipment that might leak must be carried out over drip-trays.
- If there should be a spillage of material, this should be contained, absorbed and cleaned up quickly, and disposed of properly as special waste.
Helping the environment can also result in more efficient working with cost savings. We have already made big savings through reuse, recycling and better control with concrete, electricity, water, batteries, tyres, paint, and paper. An efficient company means more orders and more orders need more men to produce the work
This does not stop at the site gate; you can make cost savings at home and make your money go further. This will help preserve our environment.