When we visit a construction site where spill trays are being used, we ask: What happens when it rains and the trays fill with oily water? Invariably, site manager looks at environment manager, both raise their eyebrows, and one of them will admit that operatives tip the contaminated water onto the ground or even down drains.
It’s easy to see the operatives as the villains of the piece here. But what do you expect them to do?
Faced with a rigid spill tray – or worse, a flexible nappy-style spill tray – full of oily rainwater, do you really expect them to try and carry it to the nearest COSHH bin? They wouldn’t get far without spilling contaminated water onto the ground. And what is often overlooked is that they’d also spill smelly, dirty water onto their work clothes and boots.
These trays are often covered in mud too. Site managers tell us that operatives often leave the dirty, flooded units behind when they and the equipment they are using have moved to another part of the site.
None of this is preventing pollution. Using an approach which only serves to make it look like you are addressing the problem is a box-ticking exercise. You are knowingly allowing pollution to occur across your sites.
So it’s not the operatives’ fault; it’s management’s fault. You are giving them ineffective tools. Spill trays which are liable to overflow and are impractical to empty responsibly are never going to prevent pollution outdoors unless you pump every unit out into a COSHH bin. On a large site during a wet period, you’d have a full time job on your hands.
Construction firms that are serious about pollution prevention have adopted the Green Rhino EnviroPad® as their preferred form of spill control. It’s smart polymer technology absorbs and solidifies hydrocarbon contaminants inside the pad so that they can’t leak out again. No sidewalls required; no pools of oily rain water; no spill risk.
Importantly, EnviroPad® also costs less than the popular brands of absorbent spill trays.
If you really want to protect the environment, you should be mandating the use of the EnviroPad® on all your projects and by all your subcontractors. Invite us onto your sites to demonstrate how EnviroPad® turns hydrocarbons into solid rubber and how it is a cleaner, more practical solution for operatives. It’s a very popular demonstration.
Use the Book A Site Demo form on this page or call us on 01206 299388.