Most environmental incidents can be prevented by anticipating and planning environmental concerns into work. As with safety, seemingly minor issues that get overlooked or ignored can have serious consequences. When the project has had incidents in the past, crews have been quick and thorough in responding. However, when an environmental incident occurs, the time and resources expended to stop work, perform clean up or repairs, document the event, as well as, incur the cost of lost time intended for planned work, are typically much greater than the effort put into taking steps to prevent an incident.
- Identify potential environmental issues in work plans and pre-activity checklists, planning environmental into work helps assure that crews have the materials and knowledge available to address concerns and prevent incidents.
- Be familiar with timing and access restrictions related to your work. This could apply to how many days soil can remain exposed, work in critical areas, work in areas needing soil remediation, potential night work. A good example includes moving and relocating soil, Pumping and diverting water from one area to another such as we normally do on the pipelining. Making sure we contact our Environmental personnel for the advice needed before relocating soil/pumping the water from one area to another.
- Plan work to minimize the number of vulnerable areas exposed or at risk at a given time. This can apply to dirt work, material use and staging (chemicals, fuels, paints), waste storage, etc.
- Do not become complacent. Evaluate your work area and identify potential environmental concerns as soon as possible. Do not leave your work area until it has been properly stabilized and housekeeping is addressed.
- Continue to communicate with environmental personnel regarding potential problem areas, spills, and any general questions that apply to your activity. Be sure to communicate our requirements with the Subcontractors and new personnel on site.
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