According to Matt Davies Stockton, occupational hazards are not uncommon when conducting renovation or repair work. That’s why it is important to put precautionary measures in place and adopt the best practices in order to reduce the risk of unwanted accidents which can delay the project, increase the project cost and liability, and even bring it to a halt in extreme cases.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips you can follow to handle or prevent renovation and expansion problems:
- Ensure you secure the work area – It is crucial to secure the work area in order to prevent any unauthorized personnel from accessing the site and causing problems. Thus, ensure you lock the doors and fence gates to the site during the off-hours, incorporate a system that identifies authorized personnel and their approved activities, and ensure trained site personnel accompany any site visitors if they are allowed.
It is also important to put up signs, cones, and barrier tapes in the primary language of the occupants to keep them outside the work area.
- Always comply with occupational protective regulations – Worker hygiene is one of the most important aspects to control, especially in work areas that involve significant dust generation and exposure to hazardous conditions.
Thus, when working in dust-generating environments, it is important to follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Additionally, all workers should wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as chemical-resistant gloves, respiratory protection, Tyvec disposable coveralls, shoe covers, and safety glasses or protective goggles.
There should also be separate changing cabins for work and regular clothing and showers. Also, drinking, eating, and smoking should be prohibited in the work area to prevent PCBs from entering the body through oral ingestion, dermal contact, or inhalation.
- Set up the work area properly to prevent the spread of dust – In order to minimize the spread of PCB-containing dust, it is important to set up the work area properly. For instance, the floors of the work area should be covered with heavy plastic sheets and secured with tape. There should not be any items in the work area such as wall hangings, books, or furniture.
When conducting work outside, the building should be enclosed in heavy plastic sheeting with the help of mobile scaffolding. The ground should also be covered with heavy plastic and secured with tape. Additionally, it is necessary to create a decontamination area outside the enclosure where the work personnel can remove their personal protective equipment and clean the used equipment.
Matt Davies Stockton suggests you notify the occupants of the building of the work you are conducting and the appropriate protective measure they should adopt so that they can stay safe during the work period. This includes notifying the building owners, community workers, building occupants, and workers about the site access requirements and limitations, the goal, type, and length of the renovation activities, and the health and safety requirements of the project.