Environmental concerns have been known to halt or severely delay many construction projects in recent years. Any construction activities, including demolition, excavation, and material transfer, can have an enormous impact on the local environment. This is especially dangerous when factors such as fugitive dust and vehicle emissions infiltrate into existing buildings such as hospitals or long-term care facilities where the well-being of patients or residents may already be compromised.
The greatest dust emissions are typically from truck traffic on job sites. Heavy trucks will lift the dust from the roadway, and this airborne dust will reduce both building and external air quality, foul filters, and reduce visibility. Vehicle emissions also cause these problems, in addition to creating a unhealthful odor. A dust and emissions management plan is essential for reducing this impact.
Another factor that creates an environmental impact on construction sites is noise disruption. While noise is mostly considered a minor nuisance, in some cases higher ambient noise levels have been linked to slower patient recovery time in hospitals, and the disruption of courthouse operations. ASHRAE, or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, provides recommended design guidelines for background noise in different classifications of spaces. The following modification strategies can potentially reduce noise impacts:
- Schedule noise-insensitive work for the lease noise-sensitive time of the day
- Increase the separation distance between noisy equipment and noise-sensitive locations
- Install noise barriers around active areas to screen and protect noise sensitive areas
- Require all vehicle engines to have working mufflers.
The construction industry is becoming subject to greater environmental liability exposures and related financial losses as federal and state regulators have implemented more strict environmental laws. It’s therefore very important to have an appropriate Construction Insurance policy in place. This type of insurance in addition to Environmental Liability should be an integral part of any construction firm’s insurance portfolio.
At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we fully understand the diversity of the construction industry. Our approach in combining uncommon risk analysis and strategic Risk Management with Human Resources Consulting and training is designed to reduce your construction operation’s exposures and premium costs while delivering measurable, sustainable results. Please contact us today for more information at (877) 602-2305.