- On 10th February 2017
- In Dredging, General, Project Management
- By William Coulet
It is widely recognised throughout the construction industry that multiple hazards exist in the workplace. From slips, trips and falls, to lifting operations, to exposure to harmful substances, there are a variety of ways for personnel, the public or the environment to come to harm. Thankfully, health and safety in the work place has developed significantly in the UK through legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), and sometimes through common sense!
Exo Environmental are “dredging consultants and engineers”, and although the definition for dredging varies; it can generally accepted that it involves the removal of material from below the waterline. Therefore, by definition, our work takes us close to, or onto water.
Most health and safety training offered through courses such as SMSTS, IOSH and NEBOSH have focussed on land based works. Therefore a training gap was present for those that work primarily on or near water. This gap in training has now been closed by ‘Waterwise training’, an initiative from Land and Water Services and the Canal & River Trust, with support from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Working near or on water brings a whole new level of complexity to health and safety in the workplace. As a result, additional expertise, knowledge and awareness is required in order to mitigate the extra hazards and increased risk of harm in working in such environments and to make sure that all personnel stay safe in their place of work.
In preparation for a project, with Land and Water acting as Contractor, Exo Environmental underwent additional health and safety training, using the Waterwise Training programme. This programme promotes safe working practices and through an all-encompassing approach, provides the trainee with awareness of hazards that they may never have considered in their direct line of work otherwise.
Not just a useful and recommended training resource, but also a good reminder of how to stay safe on the water, as we embark on the first phase of dredging as part of the restoration of freshwater marshes and water quality improvements with LAWS.