Mick Pratt, commercial director – water, Environment & Safety Services, talks us through his highlights from last month’s Organisational Health Seminar: Minimising Environmental Risk.
Earn as you learn
It was an honor to open ESG’s first CIBSE CPD day at the Royal Society of Public Health. We are regularly approached to deliver training and provide ad-hoc advice on compliance issues so hosting our own seminar covering various aspects of managing environmental risk seemed like a natural progression.
Our aim for the day was to leave the sales pitch at the door and simply deliver high quality and informative presentations which would allow delegates to take actionable insights back to their organisations, all while earning those precious CPD points.
The packed agenda included sessions on numerous elements of water treatment and hygiene, asbestos, waste classification and hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) with delegates free to dip in and out to attend their preferred topics. It is a rare occasion that we get so many of our technical experts together in the same room and our guests certainly made the most of it by asking questions and chatting with the team over lunch. Rather than dashing off after the last seminar, a number of delegates even accompanied us to the local pub to continue discussions and network, a sure sign of a successful day!
But don't just take our word for it, hear what our delegates had to say:
For those of you who may not have been able to join us on the day, I’ve put together my highlights from each of the sessions:
- Electrolytic disinfection – Of the 44 outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in the UK over the last ten years, 39 per cent occurred in hot or cold water systems and spas. It is estimated that £140 million is spent on controlling legionella bacteria in non-domestic buildings each year, electrolytic disinfection can allow water systems to be safely maintained at lower temperatures
- Asbestos awareness – Did you know that over 1.5 million commercial premises still contain asbestos? It is important to have a plan for dealing with emergency situations, such as an uncontrolled release of asbestos fibres
- Legionella management and control – Legionella bacteria multiply exponentially and can colonise a water system within a few weeks. Most duty holders are aware of the requirement to have a legionella risk management process in place but are you carrying out regular reviews of this process?
- Asbestos in soils – In July 2016, industry body, CL:AIRE, (Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments) published the guidance known as the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012: Interpretation for Managing and Working with Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition materials: Industry Guidance, or CAR-SOILTMfor short. Some asbestos remediation work can only be carried out by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) licensed contractors, it’s important to understand what can and cannot be handled by non-licensed operatives before beginning work
- Closed circuit water systems – Did you know that closed circuit water systems rarely fail due to corrosion? Suspended solids and sludge continue to accumulate in systems during their working life which prevents heat distribution and often causes boiler failure. Sidestream filtration can be used to protect and extend the life of water systems by removing sludge and debris build-up
- Waste classification of soils and material reuse – In order to accurately classify contaminants in waste or soil, and determine whether they are hazardous, or non-hazardous, there should always be a consultancy stage, particularly when dealing with material of unknown origin or constituents. In June 2015, WM2, the UK waste classification guidance, was updated and replaced by WM3. Are you compliant?
- Cooling water treatment – Good quality design of cooling towers goes a long way towards aiding water treatment and successfully reducing bacterial build-up. A well-designed and properly maintained cooling tower has never been implicated in a legionella outbreak
- HAV measurement, assessment and control – There have been 8,990 cases of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) reported over the last ten years, making HAVS the single biggest ill health condition reported under RIDDOR
Are you interested in attending similar events? Do you have a particular topic which you would like our experts to advise you on? Please get in touch with our helpful team on [email protected]