Blog

Managing Ecology on the Rail

Posted by Chris Wright on 26-Mar-2018 11:37:44

Ensuring smooth operation and safety on the railways is often the most important consideration for many rail operators but sharing our environment with wildlife may not always be front of mind.

The railway can provide habitat to a number of species and there is great opportunity to creating positive biodiversity around the railway. But rail construction projects, maintenance on a rail depot or trains passing on an active rail line can also have a negative impact on a number of species. To limit this, there are a number of legal requirements in place which can lead to potential prosecution if these requirements are not fulfilled.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Rail, Environmental Consultancy

Demystifying the QAL3 test in BS EN 14181

Posted by Andy Tiffen on 01-Mar-2018 13:56:46

As project manager for Air & Emissions division of SOCOTEC, Andy Tiffen often gets asked ‘what is QAL3?’ and 'what is the real purpose behind QAL3 checks?' Here, he breaks through some of the technical jargon to demystify the QAL3 test in the European Standard BS EN 14181  - Stationary Source Emissions: Quality Assurance of automated measuring systems.

 

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Topics: emissions, Air Monitoring

Monitoring Diesel Fume Exposure for Safe Practice

Posted by Ian Douglas on 22-Feb-2018 15:14:19

Ian Douglas, senior occupational hygienist, Environment & Safety Services, SOCOTEC, discusses the hierarchy of control when it comes to controlling exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) and why this is important for ensuring safety and compliance in the workplace.

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Topics: Rail, Occupational Health & Safety, Occupational Hygiene, emissions, Air Monitoring

Managing Asbestos within the UK's Education Sector

Posted by James Dodgson on 12-Feb-2018 11:28:43

Today there are stringent standards that building materials have to comply with in order for them to enter the construction supply chain.  However, whilst the dangers associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres have been known for many years, asbestos wasn't finally banned completely in the UK until 1999, meaning that the substance remains in significant quantities within many of Britain's buildings.  Here James Dodgson, commercial director for Asbestos at SOCOTEC, discusses the importance of asbestos management within the UK's education sector. 

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Topics: Asbestos, Asbestos Management, asbestos training, Hazardous substances

Embracing the digital age

Posted by Philip Ball on 09-Feb-2018 13:41:48

As major projects such as HS2 look set to revolutionise the way in which data is collected and handled in the geotechnical sector, Philip Ball, group technical director for SOCOTEC, looks at the growth in digital development and the impact this will have on the efficiency of project delivery. 

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Topics: Ground Engineering, SILAS, Digital, Geotechnical Engineering, geo environmental, MiPortal

Unusual Asbestos Discoveries

Posted by James Dodgson on 30-Jan-2018 11:22:48

When it comes to asbestos, roofing and insulation materials tend to be the first things that come to mind. However, not everyone is so aware of the other common materials that may contain asbestos; the HSE list a few examples, such as sprayed coatings, flooring, and textured coatings – all of which pose a health risk if disturbed without suitable precautions.

Before its total ban in November 1999, asbestos was used widely because of its properties as a thermal insulator, its strength, fire resistance and its chemical resistance.

As a provider of asbestos management and consultancy services, our asbestos surveyors have discovered asbestos in a number of locations and, with years of experience, are tuned in to the typical finds as well as the hidden uses of asbestos across many different functions.

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Topics: Asbestos, Asbestos Management

Managing Material Reuse and Waste at Rail Depots

Posted by Charlotte Reeve on 29-Jan-2018 11:57:31

Waste is, quite essentially, any substance that is intended to be discarded. In this modern age, where landfill as a waste disposal option is considered a last resort, maximum material reuse and correct classification of waste is supporting the transition to more sustainable and cost effective material management - including at railways and rail depots.

With rail improvements and renovation nationwide, railway engineering and construction is a big part of the UK’s industry – producing unwanted material as a result.

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Topics: Rail, Contaminated Land, Waste Management

Closing the Skills Gap: Finding the Next Generation of Ground Engineer

Posted by Philip Ball on 09-Jan-2018 09:35:07

Britain is building again and the increase in large developments and landmark infrastructure projects are an undoubted boost for the British ground investigation (GI) and ground engineering (GE) industry. But the increasing workload is making the industry’s shortage of skilled field operatives even more apparent, and if the issue is not addressed urgently, it could have a serious long-term impact on the sector.

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Topics: Infrastructure, Ground Engineering

Supporting the 10th Anniversary of the Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum

Posted by Zoe Cooper on 14-Dec-2017 08:59:05

Being at the forefront of the industry is what SOCOTEC prides itself on.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Zoe Cooper, business development director, Infrastructure & Energy, SOCOTEC has also been the treasurer of Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum (YCLF) for ten years.

Having celebrated the tenth anniversary of the YCLF last month, Zoe tells us about the importance of the YCLF, as well as the benefit it has on the environment and the relating sectors and professions.

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Topics: Brownfield Briefing, Contaminated Land

SOCOTEC Hosted Railway Environmental Forum 2017 at Tower Bridge and Auchentoshan Distillery

Posted by Nicola Atkinson on 27-Nov-2017 09:37:42

It was just a few weeks ago that SOCOTEC, formerly ESG, hosted another Railway Environmental Forum in both Glasgow and London.

Nicola Atkinson, rail account manager, Environment & Safety Services, discusses this year’s success, the fantastic venues and why such an event is important to the rail industry.

Don’t just take our word for it... Andy Cordwell from GTR, Mark Quirke from GWR and Steve Rooke from SWR, have also kindly given their feedback about the Forum. 

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

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