Hazardous waste is an issue on building sites, and once it has been detected, it can change an entire development plan.
This will inevitably cost both time and money to the business, which might not always be an option. As a result, construction developers are having to invest into environmental consultancy firms and know that any waste of this type needs to be detected as early as possible.
What is hazardous waste and how can you handle it?
The Health and Safety Executive states that waste is hazardous when it contains substances that are harmful to human health or the environment, although it is not required to have an immediate effect. Businesses have a responsibility for handling hazardous waste.
The most common types of hazardous waste are:
- Various equipment that include ozone depleting substances and general hazardous waste containers — which can be quite common in construction.
These hazardous substances can come in various forms which could include solids, liquids, vapours, gases, and micro-organisms. However, under certain conditions a substance can exist in more than one form at the same time, which means construction businesses must be correctly equipped to handle them.
Hazardous waste must be sorted and stored differently to general waste, with a focus on safety and security. As a standard, this waste can be categorised within four main sub-categories which will depend on the type of development you are working on:
Once stored away, you must make sure that your waste is secure and labelled appropriately so that it can be easily identified. To prevent any contamination on your construction site, waterproof covers are recommended so that no waste can run off to any other area.
As well as the physical precautions you put in place, you must keep records to make sure that everything is accounted for. Before your waste management company comes for collection, you must also fill out a consignment note , which varies depending on the type of waste and the type of project you are working on.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to hazardous waste on your next development project. Make sure you’re prepared ahead of your next build by analysing your site before putting plans in place or discussing with environmental consultants.