Preparing for environmental issues on a construction site is just as important as the construction itself. To keep your site clean, on-budget and successful, here are four of the most common environmental issues that occur during construction and how to prevent them.
According to trade publication Bold Business, construction creates 25 to 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s not just bad for local residents — excess fuel usage is terrible for your bottom line.
While carbon emissions play a part in manufacturing every kind of construction material, let’s focus on a more controllable factor: heavy equipment fuel usage. Use telematic monitoring systems to record idle times and active usage. Then, stage construction materials as close as possible to where you need them. You’ll use less fuel when your trailers and diggers don’t have far to go. Also, ensure you’re using the right heavy equipment for the job. The less stress components are under, the less fuel you’ll use. Ensure tire pressure and fluid levels are at manufacturer-suggested standards.
Throughout construction, building materials can end up in nearby water supplies whether you mean them to or not. A gust of wind may carry dry cement and sand into rivers. Without proper disposal, waste, glass, fluids, tile and metal may inadvertently end up in otherwise clean water.
Cover any drains or sewer access points before beginning construction. As soon as possible, you should use dump trucks and other heavy equipment to remove loose rubble to a safe location. If that’s not possible, place waste into covered, secured receptacles until it can be removed.
If you’re using diggers, vacuum excavators or other pieces of heavy equipment, you’re at risk of doing significant damage to the land itself. Land degradation can lead to water pollution along shorelines. If you’re building new drainage and runoff systems, your team might make conditions right for sinkhole formation in the future or in the middle of your project.
Train your team to prevent land erosion by using erosion control blankets, concrete blocks, earth walls and soil nails. Check the area before moving any heavy equipment onto it. Afterwards, planting vegetation and applying mulch to the area may protect fragile soil.
On a construction site, chemical management is key. When stored improperly, chemicals may poison soil, water and of course, nearby humans.
Always store chemicals in covered areas and containers, recommended by OSHA. OSHA provides guidelines about hazardous materials. Each container should be marked, regularly inspected and not stored in an overcrowded area. Minimize general chemical pollution risks by using eco-friendly materials whenever possible.
Get the Right Heavy Construction Equipment for Any Job
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