Blog

'Five W's' of workplace exposure to hazardous substances

Posted by Mary Cameron on 13-Nov-2017 13:25:46

An occupational hygienist is an important player in the fight against workplace-caused ill-health.  In this blog Mary Cameron, occupational hygiene team leader, discusses the 'five w's' of workplace exposure to hazardous substances:


Who is affected?
What employers must do
When should employers act?
Where to find guidance
Why SOCOTEC plays a key role in COSHH compliance

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Topics: Occupational Health & Safety, Occupational Hygiene, Hazardous substances

Women in Drilling

Posted by Clare Chapman on 07-Nov-2017 13:06:36

According to The Institution of Engineering and Technology, only 27% of Science and Engineering Technicians and 5.5% of Engineering Professionals are women.

Within that percentage falls Clare Chapman, operations director of the Ground Investigation Division at SOCOTEC. Working her way from Geological Technician to Operations Director, Clare has 30 years of experience working within the ground investigation, and geotechnical engineering environment.

To help inspire other women embark on a geotechnical career pathway, Clare talks us through her experience in the ground investigation industry.

 

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Topics: Geology and Geotechnics, Infrastructure Services, Ground Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering

Supporting the Rail Industry with 2017's Railway Environmental Forum

Posted by Nicola Atkinson on 26-Oct-2017 12:27:46

Our annual event, the Railway Environmental Forum, is around the corner once again with only one week to go until our experts present on a range of environmental, safety and compliance topics at Glasgow. Just a week later, our second event will be held in London.

With the focus of Monitoring Environmental Inputs and Outputs at rail depots and work sites, Nicola Atkinson, SOCOTEC’s rail account manager, explains what’s involved in the day and what will be learnt when attending.

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Rail, Groundwater, Railway Environmental Forum, Effluent

Investing in the Future Standards of Waste Derived Fuel

Posted by George Bradley on 05-Oct-2017 16:07:38

With many efforts worldwide to divert waste away from landfill sites and turning waste into energy, companies are beginning to invest in more and more in Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities in a bid to reduce the impact on the environment.

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Topics: Fuel Testing, Energy & Waste Services, Biofuels, Solid Recovered Fuels

History of Legionella

Posted by Paul Sear on 29-Sep-2017 15:26:15

With 496 UK cases reported in 2016, Legionnaires’ disease continues to be a major health concern in the UK. Caused by the inhalation of Legionella bacteria which can be present in a diverse range of water systems, Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia that was first discovered after an outbreak in 1976.

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Topics: Reducing Risks, Legionella, Water, Water Systems, Water Management, Risk Management

Cut Through the Noise with Sound Advice for Environmental Noise Monitoring

Posted by Guillermo Tomac on 27-Sep-2017 09:02:08

Noise is one of the most widespread environmental pollutants that can cause a number of health issues. In various industries, including rail, it is important to monitor and control environmental noise to ensure noise levels in commercial, industrial and transportation settings comply with the recommendations set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Rail, Occupational Health & Safety, environmental noise monitoring,, noise and vibration

Taking a look at EU Biocidal Product legislation

Posted by Jon Fielder on 11-Sep-2017 11:45:57

Navigating the health and safety legislation surrounding the use of biocides can sometimes be a daunting task, with legal jargon and heavy wording complicating an already testing subject matter. Jon Fielder, technical director for Water Treatment Equipment, Built Environment Services, SOCOTEC, breaks through the noise to decipher what you need to know about the EU Biocidal Products Legislation.

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Water, Legislation Updates, Water Management

LEV Assessment: Back to the Shop Floor for Operations Director

Posted by David Gough on 29-Aug-2017 16:30:08

With a degree in Chemistry and a desire to be interacting with people and the practical working environment, David Gough, operations director, Built Environment Services, SOCOTEC, embarked on a progressive career in occupational hygiene over 20 years ago.

Occupational hygiene is all about the recognition, control and management of workplace health risks – from chemicals, biohazards and physical agents such as noise & vibration. Occupational hygienists use science and engineering to control risks to health, by designing out hazards and applying engineering controls to minimise exposures.

In the workplace, exposure to hazardous substances should either be prevented or adequately controlled.  The purpose of an Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system is to control the emission of such substances to the atmosphere as close as possible to the point of source, thereby preventing release into the workplace.  To be effective, LEV must initially be well designed and constructed.  Over time, the performance of systems can deteriorate due to wear, blockage or damage.  Thus, regular inspection and testing is critical to ensure that control of exposure remains adequate, and this is one of the many occupational hygiene services that SOCOTEC provides.

Here, David talks us through the process at a major railway maintenance depot.

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Rail, Occupational Health & Safety, Occupational Hygiene, LEV assessment

Behind the Scenes at a Rail Depot: Keeping the Client Compliant

Posted by David Gilmour on 26-Jul-2017 11:23:56

David Gilmour, business manager, Built Environment Services, SOCOTEC, visited the maintenance depot of a long-term rail client for their monthly depot monitoring assessment, as part of SOCOTEC’s services to keep them compliant. Here, David tells us about his day on site to share what goes on behind the scenes.

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Fuel Testing, Rail, Legionella, Groundwater, Effluent

Mapping Asbestos in Concrete: Laying the Foundations for Safe Building Demolition

Posted by David Birkin on 10-Jul-2017 10:10:07

Until the late 1970s, asbestos was a commonly used building material and, despite its use declining until a total ban was implemented in 1999, its legacy lives on in over 5.5 million buildings in the UK. This can bring a number of challenges when it comes to building demolition, due to the health and safety hazards involved in managing asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACMs). It is crucial to establish the extent of such substances prior to carrying out any refurbishment or demolition work on a building. 

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Topics: Built Environment Services, Asbestos In Soils, Asbestos, Asbestos Management, asbestos in concrete

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