The presence of hazardous materials is something that can quickly disrupt a construction project. This inflicts a large cost in terms of both time and money. Luckily, this cost can be limited with some advanced planning and insurance. These steps are nothing against the cost of failing to detect a hazard which later goes on to inflict damage.
What is classed as Hazardous?
Hazardous substances are substances that are harmful to human health, or to the environment. Legally speaking, businesses have a duty of care when dealing with their wase, and must do this in a way that does not harm others.
What are the different Hazards found on a construction site?
The following substances are the most likely hazards to be found on a construction site:
Asbestos is a mineral that is found in several natural fibres which were used in construction and insulation after the second world-war. Asbestos is dangerous when disturbed, which is common on a construction site. When inhaled, asbestos can make it’s way into the lungs, where considerable damage can be done, causing pleural disease and lung cancer – which can ultimately lead to asbestos claims from affected workers and third parties.
There are many chemicals used in construction which can be dangerous when improperly handled. Workers should therefore always be provided with masks, helmets and suits when dealing and handling these potentially dangerous chemicals. When not in use, these chemicals should be stored securely and labelled accordingly.
Pesticides are amongst the most notorious kinds of harmful chemical due to the fact that they are designed to kill living things. Spillages can devastate environments and cause irreversible ecological damage – due to this, pesticides should be stored with the same care and attention given to other chemicals.
Batteries are containers for harmful chemicals. Throughout the life of a battery, these chemicals are usually very safely contained. If batteries are improperly disposed of, the protective casing will deteriorate over years, until those chemicals are released. This is why it is vital for batteries to be recycled at an appropriate facility.