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Identifying the Unknown through Chemical Investigation

Posted by Paul Walker on 14-Sep-2018 11:38:37

Unknown materials and substances found on-site, in products, or during processing can be a major cause for concern.  Being able to effectively and precisely identify them enables public and private sector organisations such as corporations, police, hospitals and councils to take action to prevent risk. 

Paul Walker, senior development specialist at SOCOTEC, takes us through the processes of a chemical investigation, to show how we move from the unknown to the known.

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Topics: Specialist Chemistry, Chemical Analysis

Hidden Applications of Asbestos

Posted by Sebastian Lawniczak on 07-Sep-2018 11:08:01

Cheap, durable and flexible with excellent insulation and fireproofing agents, asbestos was used extensively throughout the 1900s until its ban in 1999. Due to its popularity, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) can still be found in a wide range of locations, including those you may not even think of. 

With extensive experience, our asbestos surveyors know that the locations of asbestos are not always in the obvious places.  In our second blog on the subject, Sebastian Lawniczak, project manager for asbestos, identifies some of the hidden locations of asbestos that he has come across.

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Topics: Asbestos, Asbestos Management

Phase One Environmental Surveys: Managing the Environmental Risk with a Desk Top Study

Posted by Jonathan Harries on 31-Aug-2018 13:36:00

Various activities undertaken at industrial sites can pose a potential environmental risk to that site or the surrounding environment. Commonly, previous occupants of a site or neighbouring premises can significantly impact on the contamination levels present in the land.  

Through their site operations, processes and material management, land can become contaminated with a variety of pollutants including hydrocarbons, heavy metals, process chemicals and asbestos containing materials. Careful environmental management and monitoring is fundamental to ensure the site is of a satisfactory state with regard to minimising any impact on human health or the wider environment.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Contaminated Land, Environmental Monitoring Solutions

Legionella: Warmer Weather, Greater Risk?

Posted by Paul Sear on 14-Aug-2018 09:06:17

The effects of climate change are hitting the headlines as we continue into our fourth month of high temperatures. Warm weather and hot summer holidays, quite naturally, see an increased use of many water applications. Air conditioning units and associated cooling towers, for example, are in greater demand in the summer, swimming pools are visited more frequently, and hose pipes are pulled out of hibernation for a summer of use.

While many are enjoying the warmest summer for many years, duty holders and responsible persons must be aware of the heightened – and hidden – risk of Legionella in water sources and systems.

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Topics: Legionella, Water Management

Monitor Your Way to Compliant Effluent Discharge

Posted by James Sneddon on 27-Jul-2018 11:39:16

Managing environmental pollution is a legal requirement, part of your corporate responsibility and a cost-saving opportunity for businesses too. Trade effluent and discharging waste water can be a costly necessity for organisations, but correctly managing and monitoring your industrial waste water can save money and minimise your impact on the environment.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Effluent

Treating Health Like We Treat Safety

Posted by Mary Cameron on 18-Jul-2018 16:37:13

The business case for occupational hygiene interventions is strong and convincing. So why are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK still made ill by their work each year?

Mary Cameron, occupational hygiene team leader, SOCOTEC, discusses the potential reasons behind poorly implemented occupational health strategies and how companies should be looking to overcome them in a bid for a healthy workforce and improved company performance.

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Topics: Occupational Health & Safety, Occupational Hygiene

No Time To Lose in Managing Asbestos

Posted by Denis Morgan on 22-Jun-2018 10:17:53

In the latest ORR occupational health programme update, the ORR backed IOSH’s No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign.

With the HSE estimating that at least 5,000 people die every year from an asbestos-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres at work, raising awareness about asbestos exposure is still – if not more - as important now as ever before.

IOSH’s campaign aims to encourage organisations to:

  • better understand the risks
  • demonstrate good practice
  • commit to introducing new policies and practices to manage the risks associated with carcinogens at work.

With this in mind, there were a number of key messages raised in the ORR’s health programme update to help rail and road users. Our asbestos technical manager, Denis Morgan, has provided further guidance to help your understanding of how best to manage asbestos. There really is no time to lose.

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Topics: Asbestos, Asbestos Management

What is the ‘norm’ for NORM analysis?

Posted by Jasper Hattink on 19-Jun-2018 16:21:09

Exposure to radiation is a potential from many different sources; x-rays are one example of ionising radiation, with transmissions from the TV and radio an example of lower-frequency non-ionising radiation.

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Topics: Chemical Analysis, Nuclear, Nuclear Decommissioning

Standards and Sample Quality for Ground Investigations

Posted by Peter Hepton on 12-Jun-2018 11:36:57

Peter Hepton, engineering manager (ground investigation), SOCOTEC, outlines the case for standards and sample quality for ground investigations to avoid risks that potentially go beyond negative financial implications on projects.

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Topics: Geology and Geotechnics, Ground Engineering

Contamination Risk: Assessment and Mitigation Considerations

Posted by Paul Tilley on 29-May-2018 08:26:34

With rail improvements and renovation nationwide, railway engineering and construction is a big part of the UK’s industry.  Due to the history of railway land and the activities carried out on it, there is a risk of encountering contamination during – and even after – these works.

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Topics: Contaminated Land, Environmental Consultancy

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