Environmental Factors in the Construction Industry
The construction industry is one of the largest and most active branches of industry in the world. Even in times of recession this branch of industry is very active and it employs a great part of the population, directly or indirectly. There are 130 million people employed in the construction industry in the US alone. This number doesn’t include people who work as construction inspectors and similar jobs that are in some way tied to this industry. This tremendous activity has a lot of downsides when we look at the whole thing from an environmental point of view. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, it is one of the more serious sources of pollution. While it may not be as aggressive as the car industry, it definitely has a notable role in the pollution of our planet.
The variety of pollution construction projects drag with them is something that is unparalleled by any other source. These environmentally unfriendly effects can sometimes be so bad that they can severely deteriorate the health of the workers and these cases have been known to cause fatalities.
Waste management and disposal
Depending on the type of construction, the waste that is created can be of different sorts and can have a harmful effect on different parts of the environment. The soil is almost always contaminated to some degree. In cases where the construction is done on water, partially or completely, there is almost always a severe level of water contamination. Some of these waste materials can be very hazardous for wild life in waters and in cases of soil contamination in urban areas there have been cases of severe deterioration of health with the locals. There are too few safety mechanisms that deal with environmental safety but are at the same time mandatory.
When it comes to reckless energy consumption we can’t really say that the construction industry pays much attention to the conservation of energy. Since it deals with the construction of objects that produce energy it should also have a working and practically applied knowledge of energy preservation.
Every part of construction requires energy, be it material transport or processing, the use of power tools, the use of heavy machinery and all of them use diverse energy sources. Also some fuels are being used as construction elements. This means that even a small percentage of energy loss with such diversity and in such a large industry leads to great overall energy loss.
This is a thing that affects both the health of the workers and the health of the inhabitants in the urban areas around the construction site. Noise is a very serious thing for any man since it produces stress and by itself stress can cause a lot of neurological diseases and drops of the immune system. Noise has an even wider influence than that and some analysis show that this it has a very active role in damaging the health of people. Noise is a real environmental issue. It influences our health on a very real level and that’s why we need to find ways to protect ourselves from it. Construction workers are the ones who are worst off, being that they are exposed to it on a daily basis.
In better companies, the workers are equipped with safety equipment to deal with any situation but this is not always the case.
Every construction company should have personnel that deals with environmental issues. On top of that, the education of all employees should be proposed by law, mandatory for all, no matter if they work on site or off it. This will enable all the staff to work in unison and achieve the best results.
The construction environmental management plan is something that is mandatory in Australia and the UK, but it is slowly going global. This document provides you with all the necessary information and can be used as educational material for the staff. It provides companies with ways of identification, management and reduction of environmental issues. It is basically a guide book to which rules you have to abide by and the things you need to guarantee, environmentally speaking.
Overall, steps need to be taken to reduce the active environmental factors the construction industry has on our planet and on our health in general.