One of the biggest problems construction companies face is dealing with pollution on their work sites. Because of the heavy machinery and type of work many in the field are doing daily, construction sites generate a wide range of pollution. Debris and equipment contribute to poor air quality, as toxins from those are absorbed into what everyone is breathing. There is bound to be a bevy of noise pollution, from the tumbling of concrete to the loud yelling of workers communicating. And water can be polluted because of the oil, chemicals and cleaners many businesses need to use.
All of these problems can add up to a major issue, especially for a business that is aiming to be environmentally friendly. With so many customers also looking to go green, having a policy in place to lower the amount of pollution from a construction site can be a terrific asset for a company.
Construction workers should learn about the different ways a site may be creating air, noise or water pollution, and then determine a plan to stop the issue.
The process of knocking down a structure or modifying a building’s design is not conducive to fresh air. Construction companies try to take the greatest precautions so that workers are protected as best as possible, providing them face masks, gloves and other types of protective equipment, but dust and particles are still absorbed by the body. When a worker is doing a project for months on end or even over the course of several years, there is little way to prevent pollution from having some sort of impact.
In a recent study, the U.S. Union of Concerned Scientists studied the impact of construction pollution on workers around California. They found that pollution spreads farther than just hurting workers on the site itself; residents all around the state felt the impact. The construction sector generates around $60 billion annually, working on a variety of projects, including maintaining roads and highways all around the state. But the pollution from the work and the equipment needed results in nearly $9 billion in public health costs, including the thousands of missed work that occur as a result.
As green technology has improved, there is hope that progress will be made in this field. The U.S. Green Building Council outlined steps for construction pollution prevention. Because poor air quality has such a tremendous impact on so many people, creating a plan is necessary for businesses within the industry.
Many of the products used on a construction site – such as cleaning chemicals, solvents and diesel and oil for machinery – can be quite harmful if they enter the water supply. Several construction projects every year are done near lakes, rivers and oceans.
There is also the chance that through erosion, debris and other dirt has found its way into the water source. According to the California Department of Transportation, prevention methods are available. By protecting equipment well and keeping it dry, there is lower chance of runoff pollution draining into water.
Limiting the volume from a construction site can be tricky. With so many tools and equipment operating simultaneously, there is undoubtedly going to be noise. However, lowering the sound generated can be a huge difference maker for customers seeking a green construction company.
One way to keep machines running quieter is keeping them well maintained. Regularly changing the oil, cleaning parts and having engines checked when needed will reduce noise pollution by as much as 50 percent, according to the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America.
Having machines safely stored during off hours also can help prevent noise pollution. Most cities don’t allow construction work before a certain hour of the day. By storing materials in a specific place, a construction team can know exactly where everything is when it is time to begin working, as opposed to locating and moving equipment and wasting valuable hours of the day.
Secure storage to the rescue
A smart and secure way to cut down on all sorts of construction pollution is by utilizing a Mobile Mini container. Available in a variety of sizes, the temporary storage can help a business stay green by keeping everything on a site clean and quiet. From the storage of health equipment to ensuring dust doesn’t fly into the engine of a bulldozer, using a Mobile Mini container helps a business stay clean.
The containers can also provide a weather-protected work area for employees. By having that space available, the team is less likely to pollute the air or water, or make noise that would bother neighbors. Being environmentally friendly is so important, and cutting down on pollution is a smart way to guarantee a construction business is doing its part in helping the planet.