Air quality has an affect on those who are working on the site and the surrounding area. Excessive pollutants in the air such as dust can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation and have an adverse impact on the ecology of the surrounding environment.
It is the responsibility of the company to make sure that any construction activity is controlled so as to reduce, as far as possible, the risks to health and the environment.
This means taking care with the tasks being carried out and an awareness of the outcome of an activity such as the production of excess dust particles or smoke from waste products.
Poor air quality can lead to:
• Poor health such as lung conditions and exacerbation of asthma.
• A negative impact on plants and animals, upsetting biodiversity and sensitive environments. It can also reduce agricultural crop yields.
• Fines for the company should they be found to be responsible for introducing pollutants into the air from their activity.
Once the impact on the environment has been controlled make sure the correct Personal Protection Equipment is worn when working in high risk environments.
– Keep surfaces swept and damp down with water at regular intervals
– Minimise drop heights into haulage vehicles and into conveyors
– Ensure cutting and grinding operations are adequately shielded or wetted
– Sheet lorries carrying dry materials off site
– Use the wheelwash, for appropriate vehicles, if one is provided on site
– Store fine, dry materials within buildings or provide adequate protection from the wind
– Store bulk cement and bentonite in silos
– Position silos and stockpiles away from residential areas or watercourses
– Clean up or damp down any spillage of dry dusty materials
– Notify your Line Manager if work activities are causing poor air quality.