Working Safer and Smarter Guidelines

Working Safer and Smarter Guidelines
Working Safer and Smarter
for Auckland Transport and Contractors
2011 Edition
Working Safely Guidelines
How to use this guide
When you work for Auckland Transport we will expect
you (and your sub-contractors) to become familiar
with the helpful information in this guide as part of
our induction process.
Where there is ambiguity or inconsistency
between the guide, other requirements and your
own procedures, you must assess all relevant
considerations to determine the best method to use in
each circumstance.
• The term 'Principal' is used throughout this
guide to refer to the Auckland Council, from the
contractor's perspective.
This guide is the basis for continued improvement in
health, safety and environmental management.
It is designed as a handy reference document to
assist contractors with preparing environmental
management plans and site safety management
plans, and to meet requirements of the Health and
Safety in Employment (HSE) Act, and the Resource
Management Act (RMA).
Each Act gives responsibilities to employers and the
'Principal' including:
• Undertaking hazard identification and
management, and identifying the key
environmental effects and risks of contractors'
routine work.
• Continually monitoring the site.
• Ensuring the prevention of harm or nuisance to
employees, the public and contractors.
• Providing adequate training and supervision
for employees in the safe use of equipment and
materials, and implementation of environmental
• Providing information to employees (and seeking
involvement) about hazards they are exposed to
and how to minimise them.
• Highlighting key legal controls on workplace
hazards and environmental effects, and providing
some practical guidelines to help you manage
Contractors acting on behalf of Auckland Transport
must know and understand their legal obligations.
The content of this guide does not supersede
the contractor's responsibility to identify legal
requirements and project risks, and manage them well.
If you have any questions or concerns, please
talk with your supervisor, manager, safety and/or
environmental representative, or Auckland Transport
Table of Contents
Working Safer & Smarter
Section One: Health and Safety
1.1 Responsibilities of the Contractor
1.2 Responsibilities of the Principal
Section Four: Common Construction
Activities and Typical Environmental
1.3 Serious Harm
Mitigating Environmental Risks
1.4 Significant Hazards
4.1 Construction and Earthworks
1.5 Reporting Accidents
1.6 Accident Reporting and Investigation Process
4.2 Stormwater Inspection, Maintenance and Replacement
4.3 Concreting and Piling
1.7 Managing Injuries
1.8 First Aid
4.4 Contamination of Surface and Underground Water
1.9 Rehabilitation/Return-to-work Programme
4.5 Road Surfacing and Construction
4.6 Utilities
1.10Health Monitoring
4.7 Trenchless Work
1.11 Personal Protective Equipment Policy
1.12 Principal's Safety Rules
4.8 Substances Handling and Contaminated Materials
Section Two: Hazard Management
4.9 Noise, Vibration and Dust
4.10Plant and Equipment
4.11Trees, Weeds and Parks
4.12Bored Tunnelling
2.2 Driving – Excavators and Tractors
2.3 Traffic Management
2.4 Small Plant
2.5 Excavations
2.6 Work on or in Water
2.7 Chemicals (MSDS)
2.8 General Office Environments
2.9 General Environment
2.10Workshops – Plant and Tools
2.12Painting and Plumbing
2.13Rail Safety Regime
2.1 Driving – General
Section Five: Environmental Issues
5.1 Water
5.2 Waste
5.3 Noise
5.4 Vibration
5.5 Dust, Emissions and Odours
5.6 Archaeology
5.7 Other Considerations
Section Six: Additional Resources
Section Three: Environmental
Management Obligations
3.1 Environmental Legal Controls on Contractors' Work
3.2 Environmental Management Plans
3.3 Managing Sub-contractors
3.4 Doing On-the-job Inspections
3.5 Keeping Up-to-date Records
3.6 Responding to Emergencies and Complaints
3.7 Incident Response and Notification Chart
6.1 Training
6.2 Helpful Contacts
Section One
Working Safer & Smarter
Health and Safety
Section One
Health and Safety
Working Safer & Smarter
Responsibilities of the Contractor (under the Health and Safety in Employment Act)
Hazard Identification
Employers must have a system to identify existing and new hazards to employees.
Hazard Control
For significant hazards, employers must implement appropriate controls to eliminate, isolate or minimise them.
Workplace Monitoring
Employers must use workplace monitoring to obtain an accurate assessment of the exposure of employees
to physical, chemical or biological agents. The results need to be assessed against acceptable standards to
determine the most appropriate controls.
Employee Information
Employers must ensure their staff receive and understand health and safety information about all significant
hazards, as well as emergency procedures.
Training of Employees
Employers must identify training needs in the organisation, ensuring all employees are trained to deal with
workplace hazards.
Supervision of Employees
Employers must ensure that all employees, who do not have the knowledge and experience required, are
supervised by someone who does.
Emergency Plans
Employers must have an effective general emergency plan to cope with all types of emergencies likely to occur
at any part of the organisation's operation, and to comply with legislative requirements.
Employers must develop and implement an accident recording, reporting and investigation system to ensure:
• All accidents that harmed or might have harmed any employee at work, or any person in a place of work
controlled by the employer, and every occurrence of serious harm, are recorded, investigated, and remedial
action taken;
• All instances of serious harm are reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Department
of Labour as soon as possible and written details provided within seven days of the occurrence.
Harm to Others
Employers must identify and implement any measures to be taken to ensure no action or inaction by
employees, while at work, causes harm to any other person (including other employees).
Duties as Principal
Employers must determine what practicable steps can be taken, as the Principal in a contract, to ensure those
contractors, sub-contractors, and their employees are not harmed while undertaking work they were engaged
to do.
Involvement of Employees
Employers are required to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to be fully involved in the
development of procedures for hazard management or for dealing with emergencies or imminent dangers.
Health and Safety
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Duties of Employees
Employees must take all practicable steps to ensure their own safety while at work and that they do not cause
harm to any other person.
1.2 Responsibilities of the Principal
Under the terms of the Health and Safety in Employment Act, we have a responsibility to ensure that any
contractors employed are active in promoting health and safety in the workplace. We must take all practical
steps to ensure that no employee of a contractor or sub-contractor is harmed while doing any work that the
contractor or sub-contractor was engaged to do.
Physical works contractors employed by the Principal are to seek accreditation by the Accident Compensation
Corporation (ACC), and maintain Principal approval status by:
• The contractor to have in place acceptable health and safety practices;
• The contractor to be inducted by the Principal;
• The contractor's performance to be reviewed/monitored by the Principal on a regular basis, including a
review at the end of the contract.
Responsibilities of Contractor's Staff:
It is a prime responsibility of all staff and employees of a contractor to ensure that their work is performed safely
and without injury to themselves, other members of staff, or the general public. Part of this responsibility is to
identify all hazards that are likely to be encountered in the workplace and put controls in place to eliminate,
isolate, or minimise them.
1.3 Serious Harm
Serious harm is defined as:
1. Any of the following conditions that amount to, or result in permanent loss of bodily function, or temporary
severe loss of bodily function:
Respiratory disease, noise-induced hearing loss, neurological disease, stress and fatigue, cancer,
dermatological disease, communicable disease, musculoskeletal disease, illness caused by exposure to
infected material, decompression sickness, poisoning, vision impairment, chemical or hot metal burn to eye,
penetrating wound to eye, bone fracture, laceration, crushing
2. Amputation of body part
3. Burns requiring referral to a specialist registered medical practitioner or specialist out-patient clinic
4. Loss of consciousness from lack of oxygen
5. Loss of consciousness or acute illness requiring treatment by a registered medical practitioner, from
absorption, inhalation, or ingestion of any substance
6. Any harm that causes the person harmed to be hospitalised for a period of 48 hours or more commencing
within seven days of the harm's occurrence.
Note: Complete definitions are provided in the HSE Act 1992.
1.4 Significant Hazards
Significant hazard means a hazard that is an actual or potential cause or source of:
a) Serious harm; or
b) Harm whose severity depends on how long a person is exposed to the hazard; or
c) Harm, which does not occur or, is not easily detectable, until a significant time after exposure to the hazard.
Note: Actual definitions provided in the HSE Act 1992.
In the event of a significant hazard being discovered in the investigation of the accident and it is not already
covered in the Health and Safety Plan (e.g. a new hazard), then the accident investigator must complete an
improvement report and update the hazard register communicating to all affected parties.
Health and Safety
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1.5 Reporting Accidents to the Principal and OSH
It is important that all accidents (or near miss incidents that have potential to cause serious harm) are reported
to the following organisations:
1. The Principal needs to investigate why the accident/incident occurred, and prevent a recurrence if possible.
2. Serious harm must be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) of the Department of
Labour as soon as possible (see 'Major Accident' procedure, below).
3. The appropriate people within your own business, in case ACC is needed later.
All accidents at work involving either treatment by a medical practitioner, lost time injury (8 hours +), or a
serious near miss or death, must be reported within 2 hours (or as soon as practical).
Furthermore, a written report must be prepared and received within 24 hours (as stated in the contractual
Accidents will not be considered a work place accident if reported outside this time. Near miss incidents that
have the potential to cause serious harm must also be reported.
1.6 Accident Reporting and Investigation Process
Accidents and near miss incidents are to be reported to the employee's supervisor or manager and an accident
form completed by the employee. Accidents are divided into:
• Minor accidents – first aid may be needed but no further treatment is necessary;
• Major accidents – medical treatment (i.e. treatment by a medical practitioner) or hospitalisation is required,
or serious harm;
• Fatal accidents.
Minor accidents with the potential for serious harm, major and fatal accidents must be thoroughly investigated
and a full accident report completed (in addition to the accident form). The accident report is to be completed
by the person investigating, not the person who has had the accident. Other minor accidents may also be
OSH must be notified within 24 hours when serious harm (see definition on Pg.2) has occurred. A written
summary using the OSH Serious Harm form must be completed within 7 days.
Five Step Accident Investigation Procedure:
Determine the level of investigation to be carried out.
Appoint a designated accident investigator to investigate and report on the accident/incident.
Carry out the investigation following an Accident Investigation Checklist.
Prepare an Accident Investigation Report and submit report to the Principal.
Review Improvements.
Implement recommendations within accepted time parameters.
1.7 Managing Injuries
Sprain and strain type injuries are the most common types of injury occurring with contractors. The effective
management of these injuries has radically changed in recent years. Traditional concepts emphasising bed rest
and passive treatment have been demonstrated as ineffective. Instead, it has been shown that keeping a person
as active as possible is the most effective method.
Early intervention is a key factor in getting rapid rehabilitation. When you suffer an injury you must seek early
professional advice.
Health and Safety
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If you are the Principal's employee, and have an injury that results in lost time, you will be required to see the
Principal's medical provider as soon as possible after the injury occurs. These people know our workplace
and can help with advice on what tasks can be done and what to avoid during return-to-work programmes.
1.8 First Aid
First aid kits: Well-stocked (and regularly maintained) first aid kits are required on each work site. Work site
includes vehicles used as a work travel requirement.
First aiders: A minimum of one certified first aider is required per site (less than 50 people) for each shift.
1.9 Rehabilitation/Return-to-Work Programme
A rehabilitation process is outlined below.
Recognises at the earliest opportunity there is a health issue that will need
managing and advises the Health & Safety Manager.
Health & Safety
Intervenes to develop a rehabilitation programme as early as possible when an
employee becomes injured or ill. Advise Operations/Projects Manager of the issue
and subsequent action plan. Additional help may include a case manager, medical
professionals, or rehabilitation specialists. Develops a programme jointly with the
employee and the appropriate advisors. Alternative tasks identified.
Monitors progress to ensure correct action is occurring.
Injured/Sick Employee Co–operates with the organisation in developing a rehabilitation plan. Is involved
in planning stage and decision-making. Co-operates with training programmes
and in making relevant information available.
Follows up on rehabilitation programme. Maintains records.
1.10Health Monitoring
Pre-employment Checks
Before commencement of employment, all permanent and fixed-term employees should complete a medical
Monitoring Staff for Impact of Hazards
Health monitoring should be done relevant to each hazard. Staff are expected to co-operate with this and
need to sign an authority to allow the exchange of information for the purpose of health management.
For example:
Hearing tests
Dirty, dusty, contaminated environment
Lung function test and respiratory questionnaire
Physical work
Flexibility and grip strength
Using computers
Eye strain
Eyesight tests
Gradual process injury
Flexibility and grip strength
The type of monitoring for the hazard is reviewed and modified periodically.
Health and Safety
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Monitoring Workplaces for Hazards
Confined spaces (or other hazardous workplaces) will be monitored for gases (or other identified biological
Other Health Checks
From time to time other health checks may be made available to staff. These may include blood pressure
checks, skin spot checks, influenza vaccinations, diabetes and cholesterol testing.
Cell Phones
Never use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
1.11 Personal Protective Equipment Policy
It is our policy to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a last line of defence for protecting staff from
identified hazards and as one component of the hazard management system. Each staff member shall be
trained in the correct use of PPE.
The use of PPE is mandatory on all Principal physical work sites and this requirement will be strictly enforced
at all times.
On Site
All contractors/visitors/clients must sign in at the visitors' register (which will specify hazards and appropriate
controls for that site) at every site. The PPE requirements of the site will be explained by the person in control,
to minimise the site hazards.
Head Protection
Safety helmets shall be worn:
At any site where there is a hazard created by the possibility of falling material;
In operations where diggers, hiabs, or cranes are being used;
When working under helicopters;
All helmets shall be of High Visibility (Hi-Vis) colour, namely fluorescent (fluoro) yellow/lime or fluoro
pink or white and shall be kept clean. All standard safety helmets and helmet harnesses shall be no more
than 3 years old as determined by the manufacturer's date stamps and shall be replaced immediately if
• Should be compatible with any eye/hearing/respiratory protection worn.
Eye Protection
• Worn where there is danger of flying debris, dust or vegetation brushing in face.
• For the purpose of this policy, approved eye protection is defined as:
− A mesh visor or mesh goggles;
− Polycarbonate lenses or face shields that meet or are approved to AS/NZS 1337:1992.
• People wearing prescription spectacles made of glass (hardened or not hardened) shall take additional
precautions, i.e. wearing wire mesh visors or polycarbonate over spectacles.
• Dust goggles shall conform to AS/NZS 1337:1993.
Hearing Protection
• Hearing protection shall be worn where noise levels may cause hearing damage.
• Hearing protectors shall comply with AS/NZS 126.
Respiratory Protection
• Respiratory protection devices shall be provided where any individual is exposed to a chemical dust, gas
or fume hazard (or other particulate matter). Respirators shall comply with AS/NZS 1715:1994.
• Dust masks shall be worn in dusty areas where there are no chemical or fume hazards.
Health and Safety
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Sunscreen and Hats
• Where people are likely to be exposed to sunlight long enough to cause burning sunscreen protection of
at least SPF15+ shall be worn.
• When safety helmets are not required, wide-brimmed Hi-Vis hats shall also be worn.
Hi-Vis Clothing
• Hi-Vis clothing shall be worn by all staff/visitors/contractors on any worksite. Not applicable if a greater
hazard is created through the wearing of Hi-Vis clothing (i.e. entanglement in machinery).
• When working on the road or road berm, Hi-Vis clothing shall be non-flammable fluorescent orange with
a 150mm tail.
• Hi-Vis rainwear may be worn without a Hi-Vis vest.
Hand Protection
• Employees working in operations that have the potential to result in hand injuries shall wear industrial
gloves or appropriate hand protection for the operation (i.e. dealing with wastewater). Gloves may vary
depending on the need for a moisture barrier or hard-wearing surface. The industrial glove standard is at
least NZS 5812:1982 Industrial Protective Gloves – reconfigured 1989.
• All people working on worksites shall wear footwear that gives support to the ankles, has a sole which
minimises the chances of slipping, and has steel toe caps complying with AS/NZS2210 Occupational
Protective Footwear.
• Laces shall be securely tied at all times.
Protective Clothing – Chemical
• All people involved in the application of chemicals shall wear clothing in accordance with the Material
Safety Data Sheet requirements.
Work in Confined Spaces
• As per Confined Space Procedure/Confined Spaces Entry Permit.
• As per the Hazard Identification Procedures.
• Any contractor not complying with the Principal's PPE policy may be asked to leave the site.
Health and Safety
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1.12 Principal's Safety Rules
• Staff/contractors are to ensure that they are thoroughly familiar with, and observe the health and safety
instructions and rules pertaining to, any work.
• Staff/contractors are not to indulge in practical joking or "horseplay" on the job.
• Staff/contractors are not permitted to work if they cannot perform their duties properly because of
impairment due to alcohol or drugs.
• Staff/contractors are not to operate any equipment outside the scope of their normal duties unless they
are authorised to do so, and have the appropriate licence.
• Staff/contractors are to cease using any plant, materials, or equipment found to be faulty or hazardous
and are to report the problem to their supervisor/manager.
• Staff/contractors are to wear or use all necessary protective equipment.
• Staff/contractors are to take appropriate steps to protect the public.
• Staff/contractors are to report to their supervisor/managers any hazards or potential hazards.
• A guide should accompany visitors to site. Staff are to formally carry out a safety induction for visitors.
• Staff/contractors are to report all accidents or near misses, however trivial, that happen to them or other
people in the workplace (including the public).
• No service lines, e.g. power cables, telephone cable, water pipes and sewer pipes, or similar, are to be cut
without the authority of the asset owner.
• All staff/contractors are required to acknowledge, by signing the acknowledgement in the induction
procedures, that they have read, understood, and will comply with the induction.
Working Safer & Smarter
Hazard Management
Section Two
Hazard Management Checklists
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The following tables will help identify potentially significant hazards for each work activity, with practical
actions to either Eliminate (E), Isolate (I) or Minimise (M) them. It is not exhaustive and the contractor's own
company processes, knowledge and site conditions should be considered as well.
Contractors must ensure the controls implemented on their site are practical/workable, maintained and
communicated, with appropriate training.
2.1 Driving – General
Controls Suggested Action
operation of the
equipment that
may cause a traffic
Faulty equipment
• Complete daily vehicle check.
Ergonomic hazards
• Adjust seat to suit driver.
• Ensure operator has the correct licence.
• Conduct competency check and provide training as appropriate.
• Adjust mirrors and other controls.
• If seatbelt is fitted it must be used.
• Ensure cab windows are clean.
• Ensure no obstructions around control pedals.
• Do not use a cell phone if you are driving (It's illegal).
Manoeuvring and
reversing hazards for
• Go slow.
• Check what is behind your vehicle before you start to reverse.
• Have another crew member guide.
• Keep a special watch for pedestrians, particularly when there is low
visibility or risk of sun strike.
Over loading
• Check load weight conforms to regulations and truck certification.
• Check connections/safety chain. Check weight restrictions.
Hazard Management Checklists
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2.2 Driving – Excavators and Tractors
Controls Action
under ground
• Check for overhead services and underground cables before starting
• All underground services to be "potholed".
• Contact service provider to "mark out".
People walking into
working excavators
• Use correct signs and fencing.
Work on slopes or
unstable ground Overturning
• Keep the bucket low to ground.
ROPS (Roll Over
Protective Structure)
structures and site
• Protective structures on uneven terrain must be fitted and certified.
The seat belt must be used.
Injury by hydraulic
boom crushing
• Only operate hydraulic controls when sitting in the seat.
Loss of control of
• For non-sprung vehicles avoid bumps.
Travelling on the
• Be aware of machinery width/height.
• Do not overload bucket.
• Avoid parking tractor on incline. If required, always apply parking
brake before leaving the tractor seat, and chock the wheels.
• If leaving the seat make sure the bucket is on the ground and the
safety bar is locked.
• Check independent brakes are locked together.
• Monitor traffic build up and pull over to allow passing.
Operating tractor – M
Injury by power takeoff (PTO) shaft
• Check that guards are in place. Put power take-off out of gear and wait
for shaft to stop turning before leaving tractor.
Injury by hydraulic
arm. Crushing
• Only operate hydraulic controls from safe position (i.e. seat).
Noise Dust/Glare
• Wear hearing protection and safety glasses.
Physical contact with
person or plant/
• Licenced to operate machinery/trained.
• Use extreme caution when operating on steep slopes.
• Do not work or stand under hydraulic equipment.
Hazard Management Checklists
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2.3 Traffic Management
Controls Action
• Ensure Traffic Controller (TC) is always onsite.
• 'Physically' isolate the worksite (i.e. barriers, extended bars, fencing
etc) - not just cones.
• Ensure pedestrian controls are in place and do not send pedestrians
into 'at risk' areas, i.e. on the road.
•Only commence with an activity as set out in your approved CAR
(Corridor Access Request) and local conditions of your WAP (Works
approval permit).
•Ensure that daily site checks are carried out and documented,
compliant with CoPTTM and/or the Approved CAR / TMP.
•Ensure that the approved current CAR and WAP documentation is
located on site.
•Ensure that all active sites are physically supervised by the appropriate
STMS, (Site Traffic Management Supervisor - Practicing ) STMS NP
(Site Traffic Management Supervisor - Non-Practicing ) or TC (Traffic
Controller), as per the requirements of the site under CoPTTM
pursuant to the level of road.
•Ensure that all TTM personal are currently qualified and competent.
•Ensure that the physical delivery of the TTM, effectively manages /
safe guards the travelling public, including all Pedestrians.
•Ensure that all known Hazards are effectively identified and
management as per the AT (Auckland Transport) Working Safer &
Smarter Guidelines.
•Promote safe behaviours of all visitors and/or staff while on site,
including conducting verbal site inductions.
•Highlight TTM within tool box talks to identify and address specific
activities, issue or behaviours relating to TTM hazards.
•Appropriate planning prior to work commencing must be
2.4 Small Plant
Controls Action
operation of the
equipment that may
cause an accident
• Provide working safety procedure.
• Conduct competency check.
Noises, dust, cuts, eye M
• Enforce PPE e.g. ear and eye protection, gloves, hard hats, and safety
• Work upwind of machines.
• Use forced ventilation in confined spaces.
Injury from loss of
control, kickbacks,
machine hitting hard
• Be alert for kickbacks. Some machines have extra torque.
• Never use machines one-handed.
• Do not operate without safety guards in place.
Hazard Management Checklists
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Pipe bursting/welding M
- noise, dust, cuts, eye
• Ensure all staff are competent to operate the equipment.
• Ensure all staff are wearing PPE.
Machine moving
back while operating
(drilling rig etc.)
Bars breaking and
hoses bursting
• Make sure the machine is sitting securely and braced up. Operate
from the side.
• Do not stand behind the machine when it is pulling.
• Do not put the machine under strain (set breaking strain cut-out to
the correct rate).
• Be extra alert for kickbacks.
Injury because of
untidy site
• Maintain good site housekeeping.
Strain or sprain
• Use correct lifting technique.
• Make sure you are standing on stable ground.
• Do regular stretching exercises.
• Use alternative lifting device. Refer [email protected] web site.
Hazard Management Checklists
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Controls Action
Danger to the public
• Ensure correct signage/fencing/isolation (not cones) is used.
Note: Fences must be able to take both a vertical and horizontal load.
leaks and fires
Before starting
• Make sure you have plans of the underground services in the area.
• Use a cable or pipe locator or a locator service (i.e. Connetics) to mark
cables' location.
• Request the service provider mark the position of services.
• Look for signs of service connection cables or pipes, e.g. a gas meter
or service connection entry into a house or streetlight.
• Hand dig potholes (as many as necessary) to confirm the position of
services in the area.
• Never assume services are as per the plans. Potholes regularly and/or
trench across services to locate.
• Check with asset owner that any cable, embedded in concrete and
needing to be broken out, has been made dead.
• Report to your supervisor any damage to a cable, pipe or pipe
• Do not use hand-held power tools or an excavator within 500mm of a
gas pipe or any electrical cable.
• Do not handle or alter the position of an exposed service.
• Do not build existing services into a manhole, other structure or
encased in concrete.
Gas leaks
• Remove everyone from the immediate area.
• Telephone the local gas authority/principal.
• Ban smoking, and naked flames.
• Undertake continual gas monitoring.
Unstable or steep
ground conditions
• Ensure ground conditions are stable to support machinery.
• Ensure machinery is fitted with ROPS and seatbelts are worn.
• Ensure all machinery is well beyond the edge of the excavation.
Danger from falling
objects, materials
stored on the edge of
Excavation collapse/
• Do not stand under material (suspended loads).
• Fence-off materials.
• Practise good housekeeping.
• Wear PPE (hard hats etc).
• Shore excavation to OSH Code of Practice requirements; or
• Batter back – 1H:1V; or
• Obtain written certification from a geotechnical engineer that the
excavation is stable.
• Notify the Labour Department for depths greater than 1.5 metres.
• When deep, test for gases.
• Control water by de-watering.
• Provide proper ladder access.
Hazard Management Checklists
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Machinery working in M
• Make sure you are always within the operator's vision. Keep clear of
the swing area at all times – at least 4 metres if possible.
Machinery striking
overhead power lines
• When within 4 metres, obtain a permit from the local power provider.
• Use a 'spotter'.
Note: Power lines tension changes with temperature throughout the
night and day.
Working at night
• Ensure there is adequate lighting, reflective signs, and Hi-Vis PPE.
2.6 Work on or in Water
Controls Action
Getting in or out of
the water or boats.
(slipping, back injury,
Slipping or falling out
of boat
• Be aware of the flow of river, tide, and wind against the boat.
• Get in (and out) on stable ground/make sure the boat is secured.
• Staff to attend water safety course.
• Wear a life jacket at all times.
• Do not stand in boats.
• Do not overload the boat.
• Develop written rescue procedures and train staff.
Dropping into deep
water holes
• Probe the waterbed.
2.7 Chemicals (Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS))
Controls Action
Chemical contact or
• Follow instructions on label(s).
• Use appropriate PPE.
• Follow MSDS available onsite.
Contamination of
environment during
• Select appropriate mixing site.
• Secure caps on containers.
• Triple rinse empty containers where washwater will go to waste.
• Dispose of empty containers as per Code of Practice.
• Secure containers during transportation, provide drip trays where
• Place surplus chemical mix in marked containers.
Hazard Management Checklists
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• All staff are to be familiar with emergency procedure. Spill kit to be
appropriate to types and volumes of chemicals used. Contain spill to
avoid contamination.
• Keep storage shed locked/segregate.
• Use bunded areas where appropriate.
• Label all containers.
• Provide ventilation and PPE.
• Approved handler
2.8 General Office Environments
Controls Action
Using computers
Occupational Overuse
Syndrome (OOS)
• Set up workstation to a comfortable level.
• Ensure compliance with VDU Code of Practice.
• Encourage early reporting of discomfort.
• Provide good working environment e.g. heating, ventilation and
• Plan your work load. [email protected] web site.
• Staff to adhere to Company Smoking Policy.
Working in the office,
eye strain, back strain
• Check lighting is adequate – avoid glare.
• Ensure chair is ergonomically suitable.
2.9 General Environment
Controls Action
Aggressive Animal
• Leave area, do not approach.
• Contact owner if possible.
• Call animal control services.
• Ensure only certified/trained persons are involved.
• Ensure asbestos management procedures are followed.
• Notify OSH 24 hours before work.
Back strain from
lifting/bending –
repetitive movements
Concrete cutting
• Preventative training.
• Encourage staff to undertake exercises as per training.
• Job rotation to avoid constant exposure to manual handling.
• Use two people to lift heavy objects.
• Ensure operators are trained or supervised by competent staff.
• Provide and wear PPE.
• Wet cutting only. Contain spills and never release to stormwater drain.
• No disposal of concrete cuttings, including concrete 'wash', shall be
allowed in the kerb or stormwater catchpit. All saturated material
from this activity is to be pumped into a tank or suction truck and
transported to an approved dumpsite.
Hazard Management Checklists
Working Safer & Smarter
• Assess potential impact of weather.
• Do not work in drains and/or streams alone.
Hazards associated
with work around the
Noise exposure
• Ensure fencing and signage are used.
• No children or animals onsite.
• Measure/monitor noise levels.
• Baseline and followup audiometric tests.
• Provide education/training.
• Enforce Hearing Protection use.
Operating machinery
on sloping ground
E, I & M
• Check manufacturer's recommendations.
• Weather must be considered.
• ROPS to be fitted/certified.
• Enforce seatbelt use.
Operating motor
• Must have an up-to-date NZ Drivers Licence.
• Drive to the conditions, and use lights as required.
• Ensure current WOF & registration.
• Check vehicle towing capacity, tow-ball coupling is adequate, and use
safety chain.
• Ensure load is properly secured.
• Report any defects immediately.
• Wear seatbelt, and never drive when tired.
Stress/fatigue leading
to serious harm
• Be aware of change in individual's personality.
• Ensure excessive hours are kept to a minimum/managed.
• Monitor work environment for heat/cold stressors.
Working at height
• Notify OSH 24 hours before work commences, where workers could
fall 5 metres or more.
(Any height that has
the potential to cause
Working at night
• Provide either fencing barriers or fall preventation (PPE) to staff.
• Use floodlights and torches.
• Wear retro-reflective jackets.
• Use appropriate road traffic management plan (if required).
• Park vehicles 3 metres from site in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Activate hazard lights and beacons.
• Fence off unsafe areas.
Working in/entry to
confined spaces (CSE)
• Ensure all operators are trained and currently certified.
• Ensure all entry work is conducted in accordance with the Confined
Spaces Entry (CSE) Procedures and Entry Permit. Ensure atmospheric
testing is carried out continuously.
• Ensure emergency procedures are documented, site-specific and
tested regularly.
• Notify OSH 24 hours before start.
• Test and tag equipment annually.
Working alone
• Only if absolutely necessary at night or in isolated environments.
• Tell people where you are and when you expect to be finished.
• Carry a cell phone.
Hazard Management Checklists
Working Safer & Smarter
Working around
cranes falling load/
suspended works
• Isolate public from worksite with signs/barricades/fences.
• Ensure lifting chains/straps are tested/tagged annually, and regularly
checked for wear.
• Use trained dogman.
• Lock out crane to 'free fall' mode.
Drugs and alcohol
• Ensure site rules and company requirements are followed.
2.10Workshops – Plant and Tools
Controls Action
Lathe - physical injury
caused by clothing
Cuts and burns
• Take care with waste metal and turned metal. Watch for flying swarf
and hot metal chips. Wear PPE.
Drill physical injury if
work spins
• Hold work firmly in vice.
Welding/gas cutting/
Welding fumes and
• Make sure clothing is close fitting/appropriate.
• Know where the emergency stop switch is.
• Clamp down the vice. Wear PPE.
• Check welder electric lead for damage.
• Stop use if damage does occur. Wear PPE.
• Do not weld in pits or confined areas without proper ventilation and
• Wear eye protection when removing slag.
Gas plant
• Ensure flash back arresters are fitted.
• Shut gas off at source. Point flame away from yourself and others
when in use.
Welding flash
• Use welding screens.
• Position work so welding point is not seen.
• Wear the appropriate PPE.
Portable electrical
• Regularly check the condition of gear.
• Take special care with the long extension flexes. Test and tag all
portable electrical equipment every 3 months (construction), 6
months (civil sites).
• Use isolating or residual current device.
Powered equipment
• All plant, tools or generators powered by an internal combustion
engine must be used in an area with adequate ventilation.
• Frequent breaks should be taken. Wear anti-vibration gloves.
Hazard Management Checklists
Working Safer & Smarter
Controls Action
Skillsaw - electric
• Use a RCD. Be aware of where the cable is.
• Check that the guard returns. Take special care that the trigger lock is
not used inadvertently if left-handed.
Dust (inhalation)
Physical - cuts
• Wear a face mask if appropriate.
• Check that the guard returns. Look out for kickback – hold the saw
firmly, support wood, keep saw sharp.
Jigsaw - electric
• Use a RCD.
• Take special care that the trigger lock is not used inadvertently if lefthanded.
Drill use
• Be aware that the drill could jam and twist your wrists. Keep a tight
grip. Hold to avoid drill bits snapping. Look out for metal splinters –
eyes and skin. Use slower speed for metal.
Nail guns physical –
nail penetration
• Used only by licensed operators (Powder powered tools).
Angle grinder • Sparks and burns
• Shattering
• Follow training procedures. Ensure certification of the machine is
• Wear appropriate PPE, stand out of spark stream.
• Ensure half guard is fitted.
• Hot work permit.
• Hold the grinder correctly. Make sure the work is secure.
• Check that the guard is in the correct position. Check blade condition.
Discard if it shows signs of disintegrating.
Working Safer & Smarter
2.12Painting and Plumbing
Controls Action
Scaffolds, planks and
trestles - falls and sprains
• Check for loose bolts and bent cross members. Check ladder is tied
• Ensure there is a handrail, midrail and kickboard. A certified
scaffolder must construct any scaffolding above 5 metres, with
Aculog reviewed weekly.
• Discard damaged planks. Use only certified planks.
Steps and stools.
• Check carefully for overhead cables and have them disconnected by
the power authority.
PVC solvent cement.
Chemical – inhalation
• Avoid inhalation – work upwind or in a ventilated area. Provide
MSDS onsite.
Ladder work falls – base
slipping, wind blowing
• Place base carefully. Tie top of ladder in place. 1:4 Angle placement.
Repair underground water
mains. Electrocution
• Attach jumper leads to an earth stake when cutting old galvanised
iron pipes.
People falling into holes/
• Adequately fence and provide warning signage.
• Secure top and bottom/extend 1 metre past step-off point.
Section1: Executive Summary
Working Safer & Smarter
2.13Rail Safety Regime
Worksite Type of Work
Plant and people working
behind safety barriers @
3m* from track centreline
or fences @ 5m from track
centreline . Plant must
not be capable of fouling
the safety barrier ie an
excavator with a 8m reach
must work 8m away from
the barrier.
Contractors Duties
•Run a job start meeting
•Work behind barriers/
fences and ensure that
no plant operates in a
position where it can foul
the line i.e. an excavator
with a 8m reach must
work 8m away from the
*May be reduced in isolated
locations with authorisation
from the Rail Safety
Plant and people working
behind a safety fence or
barrier and it is possible for
the plant to foul the line eg
excavator or crane. NB work
must be carried out at all
times without fouling the
fence/barrier. At this type of
worksite, the safety fence is
permitted to be positioned
at 3m from track centreline.
•Run a job start meeting
with the KiwiRail Observer
•Ensure that all work at the
site can be undertaken at
the site with out fouling
the safety fence or barrier.
•Ensure all staff understand
the limits of the site.
•Ensure that all staff stop
work when the air horn
Plant & people working foul •Run a job start meeting
of track or crossing track
with the KiwiRail Protector
while the rail line is open for
•Ensure all staff understand
the limits of the site.
•Ensure all staff vacate
the rail track/stop
work immediately
when requested by the
Plant & people working on
the rail corridor when the
rail line is closed for normal
•Run a job start meeting
•Do not enter the rail
corridor until authority is
received from ONTRACK
(Mis 75 form) Do not
re enter the corridor
once the Mis 75 form is
Section Three
Working Safer & Smarter
Environmental Management Obligations
Environmental Management
Working Safer & Smarter
A degraded natural environment impacts on residents in many ways. Loss of recreational opportunities, health
concerns and economic implications can all arise from increased pollution.
Auckland Transport are guardians of the natural environment, and contractors who work for them must play
their part in ensuring their work does not damage the surrounding environment.
For example, most outside drains (stormwater) discharge to streams leading to the sea, so contractors need to
be extra vigilant in making sure no contaminants enter stormwater drains.
3.1 Environmental Legal Controls on Contractors' Work
A number of environmental laws, regional and district plans, resource consent conditions and permitted activity
rules affect how you do your work. You must be familiar with these obligations. Most environmental obligations
are from the Resource Management Act 1991 and regional and local provisions made under it.
Other acts that may apply include the Historic Places Act 1993, the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act, the
Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park Act 2000 and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 and its
regulations. The responsibility rests with the contractor to identify legal obligations.
Permitted Activity Standards
The main documents that set out when an activity requires a resource consent, or that set the standards for
permitted activities, are:
- Proposed Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water;
- Regional Plan: Coastal;
- Regional Plan: Sediment Control.
- Bylaws;
- Operative District Plans.
Even if you do not need any resource consents, you must still comply with the permitted activity standards.
Failure to comply with the conditions of the consent or with the permitted activity standards, may make you
and your sub-contractors liable to enforcement action.
The Resource Management Act has a series of penalties for polluters:
• Environmental infringement notices (instant fines) ranging from $300-$1,000;
• Abatement notices;
• Enforcement orders;
• Prosecution, with penalties of:
- Imprisonment for up to two years;
- Fines of up to $200,000;
- Fines of up to $10,000 a day for ongoing offences;
Note: Any prosecution may potentially affect future business opportunities.
Principals can also recover their costs for time, expenses and pollution clean up. The costs of your downtime,
as well as court and legal costs, are often much bigger than the fine itself. Contractors must regularly assess
their own legal compliance and their management of environmental effects. In addition, we will regularly carry
out checks of contractors' environmental compliance requirements and procedures to manage environmental
Environmental offences can also lead to the Principal, its contractors and sub-contractors staff being prosecuted
and heavily fined.
Depending on the offence, other enforcement regimes may apply such as under the Historic Places Act 1993
which includes:
Environmental Management
Working Safer & Smarter
• Fines of up to $100,000 for destroying a site; and
• Fines of up to $40,000 for damaging or modifying a site.
Under the RMA (s330) works may be undertaken without having the resource consents in place first, where
any project of work by a network utility operator (such as a roading authority) is affected by:
- an adverse effect on the environment that requires immediate preventative or remedial measures; or
- any sudden event causing or likely to cause loss of life, injury or serious damage to property.
The consenting authority still needs to be notified first and, in some circumstances, a retrospective consent
may need to be granted.
There will be specific arrangements with regard to who can authorise emergency works under the contract.
Check with your contract and/or your Auckland Transport contract manager.
3.2 Environmental Management Plans
You may have to prepare an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) as part of your contractual obligations.
This may have to be approved by the Auckland Transport before work can start.
Things to consider during preparation of your EMP may include:
Training and
Monitor and
Review EMP Management
Structure and
Outline the names, roles, responsibilities and Authority of
personnel involved in the implementation and operation of
the EMP.
Identify appropriate education, training or experience for
personnel performing tasks with potential to cause significant
environmental impact(s). This should include: a record of
the training which identifies the person; position; type of
training; who was facilitating the training; when the training
was completed and any refresher training that may be
Environmental Aspect
Management Plans or
Identify all environmental risk and consent conditions,
including, where applicable, environmental aspect plans
and maps e.g. dust suppression plan, erosion and sediment
control plan, construction management plan and a vibration
management plan.
Operating Procedures
Include operating procedures which will control identified
environmental risks/impacts.
Emergency Contacts
and Response
Identify the contact person(s) for environmental emergencies
that have the potential to cause material harm to the
environment. This is to include: the names and 24 hour
contact details; response personnel responsibilities;
emergency service contact details; the location of on-site
information on hazardous materials; steps to follow to
minimise damage and control an environmental emergency.
Include a procedure for monitoring and measuring key
activities which can have a significant environmental impact.
EMP Audits
Include a procedure detailing how internal audits of the EMP
(at planned intervals) will be conducted, and how the audit
recommendations will be used.
Environmental Management
Working Safer & Smarter
Site-specific Environmental Plans
You may have to prepare a site-specific environmental plan as part of your contractual obligations. Consider
relevant factors such as:
• Overland flow paths
• Stormwater gutters and catchpits (protection/isolation)
• Steepness of slope to stormwater catchpits or other infrastructure
• Stormwater treatment devices such as ponds or other stormwater infrastructure
• Nearby water bodies: streams, wetlands, beaches, Waitemata Harbour, inland lakes
• Location of trees that may be affected by the works, and the extent of their driplines
• Location of any archaeological or other historic sites, including these sacred to Maori such as traditional
burial grounds
• Roadside berms and services, including any hazardous installations that could be affected by your work
• Neighbours – houses, workplaces or other places where people are located
• Anything else you need to know about, or manage, in order to protect the environment
• A scheme plan (visual) of the worksite is a good communication tool
• Consider how rubbish will be controlled
• Impacted flora/fauna, and native wildlife
• Limit work area to minimise potential sediment runoff
• Prevent soil/sediment tracking from site (i.e. vehicle wash)
• Provide 'clean-up'/spill containment plan
• Spill response procedures including restricting the spill to one area, reducing the severity of adverse
effects and, if possible, eliminating adverse effects
• Provision of spill kits appropriate to the volumes and types of materials used or stored, including
3.3 Managing Sub-contractors
A sub-contractor working for you must meet the standards set out in the contract documents, consents
and permitted activity standards, and your environmental and health and safety site plans. Make sure your
environmental plan outlines how you will manage sub-contractors so they achieve the same high standards
expected of our contractors.
3.4 Doing On-the-job Inspections
Inspect all environmental controls to identify actual or potential problems and fix them as soon as possible.
For each job, consider setting up a simple checklist that covers the main risks identified, risks posed by the
site and by the work carried out for the Principal. Document all inspections and corrective actions.
3.5 Keeping Up-to-date Records
Records should be in writing and accessible, such as:
• Environmental training;
• Environmental inspections or checklists;
• Any incidents, emergencies, non-compliances or complaints, and your response (notify the Principal's
contract manager immediately);
• Any reports (complete monthly reporting); and
• Other reports required by regulatory agencies.
Environmental Management
Working Safer & Smarter
3.6 Responding to Emergencies and Complaints
You must have an emergency response plan, which is trialled regularly. Your written response plan should cover
(but not be limited to):
• Training your staff and sub-contractors;
• Reporting environmental incidents to the Principal;
• Contact phone numbers of emergency services;
• How to dispose of spillages and clean-up materials;
• Provision of site drainage;
• Post-spill action to re-establish controls over the remaining material; and
• A protocol for investigating spills and near-misses.
Follow the flow chart overleaf for the procedures about whom to notify in the event of an incident or complaint
and how to respond.
Emergencies that could pose environmental risks include:
• Storms;
• Damage to other services resulting in discharges to the environment, especially from trade waste sewers,
which may contain hazardous substances;
• Plant or equipment failure, including oil and hydraulic hose leaks;
• Spills of drilling fluid, oils, fuels, paints, turpentine, paint strippers, weedkillers and other chemicals to the
environment, including from waterblasting, sanding or incorrectly washing paintbrushes, rollers and other
painting equipment into stormwater;
• Spills or runoff from 'hot' asphalt, which contains high levels of hydrocarbon compounds;
• Spills or runoff from uncured concrete or concrete cutting/drilling/grinding (highly alkaline and lethal to the
environment's flora and fauna); and
• Vandalism, of any vehicles, machinery, stored substances or wastes.
Contingency plans should be considered for all identified emergencies.
Environmental Management
Working Safer & Smarter
3.7 Incident Response and Notification
Environmental or safety incident
or accident
(personal injury, chemical spill,
damage to fauna, sediment or
waste run-off to drain).
Ensure staff have correct PPE
Contain incident (bund
spills, secure fauna –
stop flow to drain)
Site safety
Speak to Contract
Manager/Engineer within
1-2 hours
Is the incident
Contact the
Pollution Hotline at
Auckland Council
Regulatory Agency
Provide other means to
mitigate damage, i.e. flushing
(confirm with Contract
Incident investigation:
Identify root causes of
incident (i.e. lack of controls,
training, equipment failure)
within 3 days
Forward report to our
Contract Manager/Engineer
and Safety Representative
Our Contract Manager/Engineer
to communicate verbally with
affected public & pollution response
personnel (within 12 hours)
Our Contract Manager/Engineer
provides report to their
manager including:
- Root causes
- Contributing factors
- Mitigating actions
- Improvement recommendations
Principal Contract
forwards summary
report to Environmental
Regulatory Agency
within 5 days
Section Four
Working Safer & Smarter
Common Construction Activities and
Typical Environmental Risks
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
At every stage of the construction process there is the potential for environmental problems to arise. This
section identifies common construction processes, some of the main environmental risks and potential controls,
and actions to minimise risks.
Mitigating Environmental Risks
Look at how you manage the job, for example:
• Stage the work – do things in a different order to minimise wastes or risks;
• Have a plan for handling, storage and disposal of liquid and solid wastes;
• Work more efficiently. For example, minimise risk by starting the riskiest phases of the work at times when
you can finish them quickly (watch the weather);
• Encourage staff and sub-contractors to come up with innovative solutions;
• Avoid effects by using alternative methods, e.g. trenchless technologies; and
• Finish the job to a high standard so that no environmental risks remain.
Prevent or reduce the effects of emergencies, for example, by:
• Reducing the likelihood or seriousness of any emergency by minimising the amount of fuel and materials or
chemicals needed or stored on the worksite; and
• Training staff to respond promptly to minimise their effects.
The checklists on the following pages feature common activities undertaken by contractors, their environmental
effects if not controlled, and practical actions you should consider (where practical) to avoid these effects.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
4.1 Construction and Earthworks
Selected Environmental
Suggested Controls and Actions
Risks/ Effects without
to minimise Risk
• Cease work in vicinity of the find and
fence off area.
Archaeological Excavations may
uncover Maori or
European evidence
and artefacts predating 1900.
Some geological
sites are also
Potential to damage or
destroy archaeological
and geological sites or
Stripping and
stockpiling of
soil, leading to
dust issues
Dust caused by not
covering exposed
soils, and stockpiles
can dry out and be
picked up by wind.
• Stop work in high winds.
Fine particulates can
cause air pollution and
• Water dry stockpiles, ensuring no
nuisance to public.
Sediments can later be
• Cover stockpiles with pinned geotextile
washed into stormwater
materials to protect soil, mulch or
or directly into water
grass down to stabilise.
using heavy
Heavy machinery
is often required
to carry out
construction and
works including
horizontal drills,
slurry control (pits)
large vertical drills,
rock breakers,
hammers, spades
and shovels.
Exhaust fumes.
Sediment discharge.
Spills of hydraulic oils
and fuels.
Damage to trees and
their roots.
Damage to
archaeological and
geological sites.
Erosion and land
• Contact Contract Manager.
• Contact Historic Places Trust.
• Call the Council's environmental
protection agency.
• Ensure all plant and equipment is
maintained regularly.
• Avoid tracking on roads: sweep
regularly and/or install stabilised
construction entrance way.
• Consider noise levels when buying or
selecting plant.
• Communicate with public on hours of
• Have a spill containment and response
plan on site.
• Install catchpit protection.
• Protect any onsite and downstream
stormwater treatment devices e.g. rain
gardens, swales, ponds etc.
• On following pages, see checklists for
Dewatering, Trees and Parks. (Also see 4.15).
Sediment and soil
pollute water from
many aspects of
underground works.
Potential to enter
stormwater system and
damage it by clogging
with sediment, concrete
or other materials. See Dewatering.
Potential to enter
waterways affecting
stream health and
aquatic habitats.
When pumping water from around a
main or from a sump under a main, put
a filter cloth bag around the suction
head of the pump. Discharge pumped
water onto grass where possible.
Periodically remove accumulated silt
from around the filter bag.
Alternatively, use TP90 measures,
settling tank and suction pump and
remove to an approved disposal site.
(Also see 5.1).
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
(including on
Sediment control
measures can
become a source
of pollution if not
well constructed,
maintained and
Potential for sediment
from secondary control
measures to enter
stormwater system and
pollute stream or beach
at outfall.
• Divert clean water away from exposed
• As a contingency, install a catchpit
insert or approved device with a 30-50
micron mesh size) within the catchpit.
Put geotextile cloth at the back
entry slots of the catchpit to prevent
sediment entry. Clean or replace daily
if it rains.
• Provide on-site suction pump or
suction truck and remove to an
approved disposal site, or provide a
watertight skip with a cover.
• Alternatively, use TP90 catchpit
measures if the above is impractical.
• Have a spill containment and response
• Monitor controls: check before end of
day and after rain. Repair promptly.
(Also see 5.1).
Stockpiling of
materials and spoil
may be needed on
some sites.
Harm to tree roots if
placed in the dripline.
Sediment runoff into
the stormwater system
or directly into water
Dust nuisance.
Stockpiles of excavated
material must be
approved in the Road
Opening Notice and
confirmed at precommencement
Put excavated stockpile materials away
from overland flow paths, low points and
impervious areas (roadway, footpaths
or driveways) and at least 500mm from
Put excavated stockpile materials in a
skip for removal (cover if raining).
Remove saturated materials (slurry, moist
clay) to an approved disposal site in a
sealed container to avoid spillage.
Put large stockpiles in approved areas.
Cover with suitable geotextile, pinned
needle punch 12.0gm and secure
around the edge, or grass and mulch.
If long term, surround with TP90 silt
Tips for Managing Stockpiles
• Cover stockpiles with geotextile cloth.
• Plan the disposal of surplus materials before starting works.
• Aim to reuse spoil rather than disposing of it to landfill.
• Store topsoil for reuse in piles less than 2 metres high to prevent damage to the soil structure.
• Segregate different grades of soil.
• Position spoil and temporary stockpiles well away from watercourses and drainage systems.
• Minimise movements of materials in stockpiles to reduce degradation of the soil structure.
• Silty water formed by erosion of the stockpile must be managed correctly.
• Direct surface water away from the stockpiles to prevent erosion at the bottom.
• Place silt screens around spoil heaps to trap silt in any surface water runoff.
• Vegetate long-term stockpiles. This will prevent dust in dry weather conditions and reduce erosion of the
stockpile to form silty runoff. Ensure adequate weed control.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
cleaning and
travelling on –
and off-site
Vehicles gaining
access to and from
sites track sediment
into areas without
Washing trucks Cleaning vehicles,
and other
tools, plant and
General clay and
sediment left on the
road can run off into
stormwater system.
Provide stabilised entry and exit points
from site (i.e. basecourse). Refer TP90.
As a contingency, provide catchpit
protection. Remove contained sediment.
Wash waters can
become a pollutant.
• Never wash concrete equipment onsite
(see 4.3 and 4.5).
• Direct small amounts of washwater to
excavations to soak into ground, or
take equipment to base and wash in a
designated area that has a trade waste
permit or contains water in a sealed
pond or tank.
Contamination See item 4.8
Substances Handling
and Contaminated
Refer to 4.15 (Excavation).
Also see 5.3 to 5.6.
Stormwater Inspection, Maintenance and Replacement
Environmental Risks/
Controls and Actions
Effects without controls to minimise Risk
Water mains must be
isolated and flushed
with mains water before
being reinstated.
Discharge of sediment
or chlorine into the
stormwater or directly
into environment.
• Containment and removal by
suction truck site referred to in
Flushing of
Stormwater pipes
blocked by roots or
sediment, which need
to be broken up and
Discharge of tree
roots, sediment and
contaminants into
stormwater system or
the environment.
• Containment and removal by
suction truck.
Drains are unblocked
using water blasting or
mechanical screw.
Potential overflow of
• Bypass pumping or suction truck.
• Have a spill containment and
Discharge of trade waste. response plan on site.
Tree root damage.
• See Trees (Under 4.11).
Also see 5.2.
• See root cutting (Under Trees,
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Concreting and Piling
concrete and
Concrete cutting,
handling wet
concrete, rinsing
exposed aggregate or
damping concrete as
it cures.
Runoff of blade
cooling water.
Noise and vibration.
Environmental Risks/
Effects without controls
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
Air pollution and irritation.
Pollution of waterways and
potential fish kills. Exposed
aggregate concrete –
discharge of highly alkaline
washwater when exposing
Wash from concrete
equipment and/or concrete
trucks, resulting in
environmental enforcement.
• Plan your work – consider the
discharge of highly alkaline
water to stormwater system
and environment.
Discharge of lime/concrete
dust to air.
• Prevent discharge from wet
cutting to the stormwater system.
Surround the cutting area with
bunds to dam the cutting water
and seal catchpit outlet.
• Excavate a washpit or raise a bund
to capture discharge.
• Remove the water from site with a
portable vacuum or suction truck
to site referred to in contract.
• For small quantities, divert
the runoff to a pit, grassed
or unsealed area away from
stormwater drains or protected
trees, where it can soak to
• See Road Surfacing and
Construction (4.5) and Noise and
Vibration (4.9).
(Also see 5.2).
Also see 5.2.
The use of asphalt
and bitumen in
the resealing and
reinstatement of work
Spills, washdown or runoff • See Road Surfacing and
from 'hot' asphalt and
Construction (4.5).
bitumen emulsion can result (Also see 5.2).
in surplus runoff.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Contamination of Surface and Underground Water
Discharge of
groundwater or
surface water
from trenches and
other works. See Sediment, in
Earthworks 4.1,
Environmental Risks/
Controls and Actions
Effects without
to minimise Risk
Discharge of sediment • Do not pump sediment-laden water to
and contaminants
gutter or catchpit. Direct to silt fence,
to stormwater and
decanting earth bund or settling tanks/
waterways may silt
storage devices.
up, discolour and
• Never pump from the bottom of the trench.
pollute waterways.
• Use a drain sock over the pump housing.
• Call a suction truck.
• Silty/sandy soils (not clays) can be settled 24
hours before siphoning or pumping to an
approved outfall, which leaves undisturbed
coarse sediment on the bottom. Check
water is sufficiently clear prior to discharge.
Decanting earth bund design (Example)
Topsoil or compacted fill
Work area
Stabilised spillway extending
from bund to kerb
Non perforated pipe
through bund
Construction pod to collect silt
4.5 Road Surfacing and Construction
Roading aggregates
used for construction
and maintenance.
Risks/ Effects
without controls
Depletion of a
natural resource.
Drilling Operation and Management
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• Consider other methods: stabilisation;
geogrids; thicker asphalt layers.
• Reuse digout material.
Aggregates need to
be stockpiled onsite
roads regularly
Dust nuisance for
/ public
Cover Stockpiles
• Store in paved sheds.
break 50% 4.1 above).
• See Stockpiles (in
Water used to cool
the blade can create
Entry to stormwater
or directly to water
bodies can cause
pollution and
potential fish kills.
• Surround the cutting area with bunds, seal
the catchpit outlet.
• Remove with a portable vacuum or suction
Potential for bitumen
spillage (including
when using
Pollution of ground
surface and
• Bund around storage areas.
• Include spill kits.
(Also refer to the Bitumen Code of Practice).
Cover dry loads
porosity open weave mesh
Sprinklers used on small areas
Keep speeds low
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Drilling Operation and Management
Working Safer & Smarter
Water haul roads regularly
Wind break 50%
porosity open weave mesh
Cover Stockpiles
Risks/ Effects
without controls
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
Chip-sealing of roads
with liquid bitumen
and stone.
Bitumen can runoff • Provide a watertight skip with a cover to
into drains, noise
collect material for removal and disposal.
generated by work, • Have spill containment and response plan
air pollution from
machinery exhausts.
• Inform affected partners.
Suitable material
Cover dry loads
goes as cleanfill to
pit. Remainder to
small areas
Waste dumped and • Maximise cleanfill
going used
to pit.
Keep speeds low
increases landfill
screening and re-use of topsoil. Consider revolumes.
use of backfill. Use stabilisation techniques.
Lime is commonly
Dust. • Never start stabilisation when rain is expected.
stabilisation applied to improve
Damage to vehicles. • Use only in low wind.
substrates/techniquesHighly alkaline
• When using lime, identify the location and
stabilisation during
runoff to
depth of water, and pipes.
waterways. Silt fence shaped to
All pumped flows pass
• Identify stormwater access points
flows from pit or skips
Air pollution and
silt fence
provide impoundment
irritation. Pollution
• Prevent lime from being washed to the
of waterways
and potential fish
kills if any water
• Never wash down plant or equipment where
contaminated with
it can drain to a stormwater drain or stream.
lime enters the
• Dry-sweep work areas rather than rinsing
stormwater system,
and likely result in
• Have a spill response plan with equipment
and your staff well trained.
During drilling all slurry to be collected
Discharge from skip to a grassed area
• Follow
contract specs.
and discharged to retention device
Roads and pavements
must be reinstated
as per the Code of
Practice "Working on
the Road".
Materials used
• Remove
Construction pod
inserted trapping
silt excavated spoils. Place
for reinstating
topsoil 100mm deep in grassed berms. Mulch
excavations may be
newly-reinstated grassed areas and remove
when grass has re-established, or hydro-seed.
4.9 Noise, vibration and dust.
Hardfill placement as stabilisation and stormwater inlet protection
Stockpile of excavated material placed
where runoff will flow to trench
Hardfill is progessively placed
on a daily basis
Insert construction
pod to collect silt
Close footpath
Protect stormwater inlet with filtersock or sandbags
(NOT to be used as primary sediment control)
Block/filter back
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Environmental Risks/
Controls and Actions
Effects without controls to minimise Risk
Bedding and fill
Supply and placement of Consumption of nondesigned aggregates to
renewable natural
specified compaction.
• Recycle dugout
Gas line damage
Inadvertent damage to
underground services.
Gas leak.
• Evacuate area; call
Fire Service, local
gas supplier and our
engineer. Advise local
Open pits (excavation
Open cut works require a
pit or trench, and drilling
and other subsurface
works need entry holes.
Slumping of trench sides. • Promptly backfill pits,
trenches and entry
Liquid from pits,
trenches or entry holes
can overflow to the
• If it is necessary to
stormwater system or
remove liquid by
water body. Reinstating
pumping, wrap a filter
materials must be
sock around inlet.
sampled and tested by a
• Never pump sedimentcertified testing agency.
laden water to gutter
Principal may request
or catchpit. Where
appropriate, direct to
silt fence, decanting
earth bund or settling
• Use trenchless
technology to minimise
• Never pump from the
bottom of the trench.
• Material too saturated
for compaction must
be removed from site.
• Silty/sandy soils (not
clays) can be settled for
approximately 24 hours
in settling tanks before
siphoning or pumping
to outfall.
• Topsoil grassed berms.
Mulch newly reinstated
grassed areas, or
• See 4.9 Noise, Dust and
Decanting earth bund design (Example)
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Topsoil or compacted fill
Work area
Trenchless Work
Stabilised spillway extending
from bund to kerb
Environmental Risks/
Effects without controls
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
Breakage of
Excavations and
directional drilling run
the risk that wastewater
pipes can be broken.
Overflow of wastewater
to environment if pipe
blockage occurs.
Damage to ecosystems.
• Containment,
reinstatement of
through bund
the service, erecting signage,
clean up and monitoring.
Construction pod to collect silt
Operation of
Closed circuit
television inspection
of underground
pipes, which needs
to be powered by a
Non perforated pipe
• Call Auckland Council.
• Follow 'Dry Weather Sewer
Overflows Best Practice
Management Guidelines'.
Noise nuisance for public
and neighbours.
• Comply with standards and
conditions for noise levels and
• Communicate hours of work
to neighbours.
• Consider noise levels when
buying generator.
Drilling Operation and Management
Cured in place CIPP, used in
/ pump failure.
Water haul roads regularly
pipe (CIPP)
rehabilitation of the
Discharge of contaminants
existing sewer. Bypass
during pipe reinstatement.
pumping is used to
divert flow.
break 50%
• Wind
Cutting pipes
• Removal and cutting by
approved contractors only.
Use of cutting
equipment on pipes.
Asbestos dust resulting in
personal health risk.
porosity open weave mesh
• Alarms or standby pumps.
• Spill containment/response
plan onsite.
• Keep pipe moist/wrap.
Grouting /
Grouting is where
cementitious materials
are pumped in
dry loads support or to
fill voids.
Chemicals for grouting/
• Select chemicals used based
lining are flushed into sewer
on acceptability in the sewer
as waste, causing damage Sprinklers
used on small areas
to the sewer or clogging it
• Have in place a spill
with materials. These can
containment and response
contaminate groundwater.
plan and kit to prevent escape
of chemicals entering sewer.
Dust management techniques
Sucker Truck collects
flows from pit or skips
During drilling all slurry to be collected
and discharged to retention device
Silt fence shaped to
provide impoundment
All pumped flows pass
through silt fence
Discharge from skip to a grassed area
Construction pod inserted trapping silt
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Drilling and
An entry and exit pit
is dug and the pipe
is inserted. Thrusting
machines are put in the
For 'Open Pits' pit; a cavity is thrust
see 4.6. Utilities through to the other
pit. The pipe is pulled
Environmental Risks/
Effects without controls
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• Prepare a sediment control
Sediment, slurry and
polymers discharge from
sub-surface pipeline drilling. • Provide watertight settling
Sediment discharge from
tanks or suction truck to
de-watering of the entry/exit
collect saturated material
(slurry, clay) during drilling for
Spills of drilling fluid, oils or
removal from site.
• Remove other material, ideally
on the same day it is removed
from the drilling rig.
• Do not dispose of any
extracted drilling material on
kerb, stormwater catchpit or
• Keep site and surrounding
area tidy.
• Resource consent is needed
when drilling or thrusting
through tree roots zones.
• Have a spill containment and
response plan onsite.
Pipe cracking
Pipe jacking
A micro-tunnelling
machine is placed down
a manhole and pilot
tube piped ahead of
machine, which has a
cutting face.
Sediment discharge from
works area.
Spills of drilling fluid, oils
and fuels.
Damage to trees and tree
• Prepare a sediment control
plan (see Earthworks, 4.1).
A hydraulic head is
pulled or pushed
through an old existing
pipe. The existing
pipe is burst. The new
pipe is pulled through
Ground heave around pipe
damaging services.
Sediment discharge.
Spills of hydraulic oils and
Trees roots.
Archaeological / geological
• Prepare a sediment control
plan (see Earthworks, 4.1).
A large pipe is thrust
into position. Material
removed manually
or by machine while
jacking the pipe into
Sediment discharge from
works area.
Damage to trees and their
• Prepare a sediment control
plan (see Earthworks, 4.1).
Only used in special
circumstances, e.g. very
inaccessible or deep
sites and large diameter
Sediment discharge from
• (See Earthworks, 4.1).
works area.
• Have a spill containment and
response plan and equipment
Lowered groundwater levels,
resulting in settlement.
• Have a spill containment and
response plan onsite (see
• See Trees (4.11) and
Archaeology (4.1).
• Have a spill containment and
response plan onsite (see
• See Trees (4.11) and
Archaeology (4.1).
• See Trees (4.11) and
Archaeology (in 4.1).
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
4.8 Substances Handling and Contaminated Materials
Environmental Risks/
Effects without
structures and
As required in regular
maintenance, testing or
permanent removal.
Handling and disposal
of contaminated
• Instruct OSH-certified asbestos
company to undertake works.
Maintenance of water
networks may require
removal of contaminants
from catchpits. Sediment
may require de-watering
before disposal. There
is potential to unearth
contaminated material e.g.
industrial areas/historical
service station sites.
Handling and disposal
of contaminated
Discharge to the
environment during dewatering of
• See Dewatering (in Earthworks,
Litter removal
from catchpit
traps, grilles
and booms
Litter traps in catchpits,
grilles at stormwater pond outlets, and booms
across ponds or streams,
need regular inspection
and maintenance,
including periodic removal
of litter.
Handling and disposal
of contaminated
Spilling and resuspension of material
into the environment.
• Provide a watertight skip with
a cover to collect material for
Oil booms,
maintenance or
booms require regular
inspection / maintenance,
periodic removal and
Risk of contaminated
material release during
handling and disposal.
• Remove liquid by suction truck.
As required in the regular
maintenance of Auckland
Transport assets.
Spill of paints, turps,
thinners, paint
Preparation of the
surface for paint,
including water or sand
blasting, washing of
brushes and rollers to
Discharge to air during
• Auckland Council requirements
– no waterblasting run-off to
Potential for pollutants
to enter the stormwater
system or directly
into surface and
underground waters.
Soil pollution.
• Provide a spill kit for each site
and vehicle that can contain/
clean up all spills.
Spills of sediment,
concrete, lime, asphalt,
paint, fuels, chemicals and
other substances used on
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• Provide a watertight skip with
a cover to collect material for
• Have a spill containment and
response plan and equipment
• Have a spill containment and
response plan and equipment
• Have a spill containment and
response plan and equipment
• Contain the area by tarpaulins
• Containment and removal.
• Have a spill containment and
response plan and equipment
• Correctly dispose of all leadbased paints.
• Train staff/sub-contractors in
emergency procedures.
• Avoid decanting onsite.
• Maintain equipment to prevent
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Environmental Risks/
Effects without
Storage of
Most jobs need materials
to be stored onsite, such as
fuels, lubricants and other
Potential for spills to
pollute soil, water,
and air during storage
or while transferring
them to or from site or
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• Comply with Growsafe Code
of Practice. Store all substances
in secure, bunded store, metal
bins or cabinets.
• Label all containers. Never
decant into unmarked /
unsuitable (e.g. food or
beverage or other) containers.
• All decanting to be offsite.
• Provide Material Safety Data
Sheets for all substances onsite
(including fuels).
• Provide spill kits and training.
• Segregate substances.
• Isolate substances from the
stormwater system/cover
stormwater inlets.
Waste handling
and disposal
Wastes may include
spoil, plant materials and
construction or demolition
Clean fills can only accept
clean solid waste with
no contaminated soil,
green waste or other
contaminants that could
leach out.
Stockpiling waste
materials for disposal
may result in
contaminated runoff.
• Prepare a waste management
plan for handling, storage
and disposal of all hazardous
• Store all materials in sturdy and
well-labelled containers that
separate out different products
for re-use or recycling.
• Compost any green waste via
refuse transfer stations.
(Also see 5.2).
Wood disposal
Trimming of trees
generates wood off-cuts.
Potential to be treated
as waste, dumped
and increased landfill
• Chip branches for mulch for
Noise, Vibration and Dust
Risks/ Effects
without controls
Stripping and
stockpiling soil;
exposing soils
which can dry and
be picked up by
Pollute air, looks
• Damp down site and contain run-off to
bad, causes
stormwater system.
nuisance to
• Use stabilised entrance ways.
neighbours / public
• Stabilise exposed areas and cover stock
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• See other techniques below.
Decanting earth bund design (Example)
Topsoil or compacted fill
Work area
Common Construction
Activities and
Stabilised spillway extending
Their Environmental
from bund to
Working Safer & Smarter
Noise generated
by plant and
Normal operating
Noise pollution for
noise levels can be
disturbing and noise
arising from works
to collect silt
out of pod
working hours.
Non perforated pipe
• Communicatethrough
hours bund
of work to
• Comply with standards and conditions for
noise levels and hours.
• Separate noisy equipment from people by
moving it further away or putting soundsuppressing material between it and
• Consider noise levels when buying plant.
See Section 5.3 - 5.5 for more information on 'Noise', 'Vibration' and 'Dust, Emissions and Odours'.
Drilling Operation and Management
Water haul roads regularly
Wind break 50%
porosity open weave mesh
Cover Stockpiles
Sprinklers used on small areas
Cover dry loads
Keep speeds low
and Equipment
Sucker Truck collects
Silt Environmental
fence shaped to Risks/
without controls
Taskflows from pit or skips
Old or poorly
maintained plant,
vehicles and
equipment use
more fuel, are
noisier and emit
more fumes.
Noise and emissions
generated by plant.
Poor fuel efficiency.
Noise, exhaust fumes,
unnecessary use of fossil
Noise pollution for
All pumpedand
through silt
to minimise
• Ensure trained staff
undertake regular
maintenance, and develop
protocol for disposing of
• Comply with the relevant
TP90. Advise locals.
• Noise attenuation material
to reduce noise.
During drilling all slurry to be collected
and discharged to retention device
Discharge from skip to a grassed area
Construction pod inserted trapping silt
Hardfill placement as stabilisation and stormwater inlet protection
• Designate an area within
site for routine plant
maintenance with run-off
treated prior to disposal or
disposed of to sewer.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Onsite refuelling of Spills of fuels into
large equipment
stormwater or directly into
may occur.
water bodies.
• Bund off and use drip trays.
• Spill containment/response
• Clean up spills
Be prepared
Contamination and
• Display the site's
emergency response
procedure at maintenance
Spill containment barrier deployed in a stream to prevent further environmental damage.
4.11Trees, Weeds and Parks
Environmental Risks/ Effects
without controls
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
Spraying of bar oil.
Contamination of plants, soil,
• Use organic rather than
synthetic lubricant.
Use of fertilisers.
Breaks down soil structure
and leaches nutrients into
• Explore organic alternatives.
Often treated as waste,
landfill. Raised BOD levels in
• Never allow clippings to enter
Chemicals kill non-target
plants and insects.
• Provide a registration or
application. Use selected
Disposal of grass
Chemical vegetation
and pest control.
• Explore different plant species.
• Onsite composting.
• Explore biological/organic
• Hand-pull weeds. Improve
application techniques e.g.
low drift nozzles, air-assisted
booms. Put in place stormwater
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Environmental Risks/ Effects
without controls
and removal
for access
Trimming and tree
removal required for
machinery or works
where there is no
Erosion and sediment
• Mulch newly-reinstated grassed
discharge prior to stabilisation. areas, and damp down.
Discharges of 'loose'
• Chip/mulch wood.
vegetation to environment.
• Compost other material via
refuse stations.
Weed control Control of noxious
weeds and invasive
Potential for spills or runoff of
chemicals and hot foam.
Controls and Actions
to minimise Risk
• Compliance with application
methods, handling and
• See relevant Auckland Transport
policy on conditions of use.
Root cutting
round trees,
and within
Root cutting in pipes
when tree roots
enter wastewater/
stormwater pipes.
Done to prevent pipe
and root expansion
that can cause sewage
overflows or flooding.
After cutting, the pipe
may be grouted, cured
or sliplined, to seal it.
Discharge of severed tree root
fragments or chemicals into
the stormwater or wastewater
Working within the
dripline of trees in
the road reserve or
removing trees in the
road reserve may need
a resource consent.
Currently a blanket
consent requirement is
in place to work around
Machinery, spoil or fill, and
holes or trenches can damage
A Auckland Transportapproved arborist should
oversee works around trees.
Report any tree problems to
supervisor or arborist before
Arborist must submit to the
engineer monthly audit forms
on pruning and/or works
within root zone of trees on
roads and reserves.
Damage to tree through
inappropriate cutting.
• Removal of tree waste to
organic fill.
• Consult arborist if appropriate.
• Containment and removal by
suction truck to the approved
disposal site referred to in your
• No machinery, holes, or spoil
under trees unless on hard
• Holes/trenches under trees to
be hand-dug.
• Leave intact and undamaged all
roots over 50mm diameter.
• All ground openings with
roots or cut root surfaces not
backfilled within 2 hours, to be
covered with damp hessian to
prevent drying out.
• No damage to branches/
• Excavation work within
dripline, where roots are cut or
damaged, to be inspected by
an arborist.
• Work in accordance with the
blanket tree consent.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
4.12Bored Tunnelling
Environmental Risks / Effects without Controls and Actions to minimise
Bored tunnelling
Bored tunnelling may have impacts on
groundwater, which could then have
subsequent impacts on ecological
Plan the disposal of spoil and slurry
arising from tunnelling ahead of works.
Consider re-use options, but be aware
of waste regulations. Minimise longdistance transport via road in order to
minimise traffic impacts.
Groundborne vibration
Large-diameter tunnels near to
ground level are most likely to cause
groundborne vibration.
Be aware of any sensitive buildings in
the locality.
24-hour working may cause annoyance Note limits in relevant District Plan.
to neighbours near the tunnel portal.
Contaminated ground or Contaminated ground or groundwater Develop a contingency plan for
may be encountered during tunnelling. dealing with it. If it is encountered
halt works immediately. Clear the
Tunnelling may cause a preferential
site and ensure there is no smoking
pathway through which contaminants,
within 10 metres of the site. Seek
mobilised by groundwater, may
expert advice. Keep any contaminated
spoil/groundwater separate from
uncontaminated spoil/ groundwater as
it should be handled and disposed of
Ensure that any contamination
that is encountered is dealt with
appropriately to prevent its spread.
Archaeological finds
Watch out for unexpected
archaeological finds.
Refer 4.1, 4.5 and 5.6.
Environmental Risks and Actions to Mitigate
Small plant maintenance
Maintain small plant to minimise emissions.
Manage wastes arising from the works properly.
Noise from microtunnelling may annoy neighbours.
Traffic entering and leaving site may disrupt normal traffic flow.
Emissions from traffic may annoy neighbours.
Damage to tree roots
Microtunnelling can damage tree roots.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Contaminated ground may be encountered during tunnelling.
• Develop a contingency plan for dealing with it. If it is encountered, halt
works immediately.
• Clear the site and ensure there is no smoking within 10 metres of the
• Seek expert advice. Keep any contaminated spoil separate from
uncontaminated spoil, as it should be handled and disposed of
• Tunnelling may cause a preferential pathway through which
contaminants, mobilised by groundwater, may escape.
• Ensure that any contamination encountered is dealt with appropriately
to prevent its spread.
Environmental Risks and Actions to Mitigate
Excavations can lead to
many environmental
risks if not carefully
Prevent water entering excavations. When it does, take measures to avoid it
becoming contaminated. Dispose of it properly.
Be aware of unexpected archaeological finds. Materials to look out for during
excavations include burnt or blackened material, brick or tile fragments, coins,
pottery or bone fragments, shell deposits. Also see 4.5 and 5.6 Archaeology
skeletons, timber joints or post holes, brick or stone foundations, infilled ditches.
If excavation reveals contamination, halt digging immediately. Clear the
site immediately, ensure there is no smoking within 10 metres of the site.
Where appropriate, try as far as possible to identify the extent and cause of
contamination (e.g. any movement of contaminants.) Seek expert advice.
If asbestos is uncovered unexpectedly during digging operations, halt digging
operations at once and refill the excavation. Exposure of asbestos filings to
the open air can result in widespread contamination as the particles are easily
airborne far from site. Remove personnel immediately and secure the area.
Contact site management immediately.
Excavation plant and vehicles used to transport materials from and around site
may cause impacts from emissions, mud, noise. Poorly maintained plant and
vehicles cause more environmental effects than well-maintained plant. Use a
wheel wash to minimise dirt on road.
Environmental Risks and Actions to Mitigate
Spoil arising from excavation can be recycled. Crush any rock uncovered and
use on or offsite. Store topsoil for reuse in piles less than 2 metres high to
prevent damage to the soil structure. Use excavated materials to form noise
bunds and for landscaping - check whether planning permission is required.
Common Construction Activities and
Their Environmental Risks
Working Safer & Smarter
Dealing with water in
• Prevent water from entering excavations. Water running down the side
of an exposed batter face may dislodge fine particles and take them into
suspension. It may also cause collapse. Divert water by digging cut-off ditches
around the excavation or grading the ground.
• Prior to any excavation below the water table, including any site dewatering,
inform the Auckland Transport of the works to be conducted.
• If there is water in the excavation, do not allow plant or personnel to move
about in it and stir particulate matter. Once particles are in suspension,
particularly fine particles such as silt or clay, they can be difficult and
expensive to remove. Use the corner of the excavation as a sump and avoid
disturbing that corner.
• Water in an excavation which is open for some time can be controlled by
stone-filled edge drains leading to sumps.
• If groundwater is flowing into excavations, consider installing cut-off ditches,
walls or well-point dewatering.
• Before discharging any water, always check that you have permission to do
so and that the discharge complies with any conditions attached to that
Environmental Risks and Actions to Mitigate
Grouting and related
Blowback from blockages or overfilling from pressure grouting with dry
materials such as cement can cause significant dust problems.
Working within an enclosure may be necessary in particularly sensitive areas,
although health and safety precautions must be taken by the workforce.
Grouting in or near contaminated ground may displace polluted water from the
excavation. Prevent the uncontrolled release of this water.
Prevent the uncontrolled discharge of cement and bentonite slurries. Use a
settlement tank to remove sediments, check pH and contamination levels, and
then obtain a consent before releasing the effluent.
Dealing with waste grout: Grout fines can be more successfully separated by
the addition of a chemical flocculant, by hydroclone separation or mechanical
dewatering. This allows easier disposal of the constituents.
Deal with any slurry waste (water mixed with silt) appropriately.
Working Safer & Smarter
Environmental Issues
Section Five
Environmental Issues
Working Safer & Smarter
It is vital to manage water properly onsite to protect our environment. You and your company may face legal
action if you cause waterways to be polluted, or dispose of unacceptable wastes via the sewer system.
The site doesn't need to be next to a river to cause a problem. Any pollutants getting into a surface water
drain or groundwater can end up in a stream or river far away. The pollutants can often be tracked to their
It does not take much spillage to cause pollution, and it can impact on the whole food chain: high levels of
silt can clog up a fish's gills and eventually kill it, as well as smother invertebrates and sensitive plant life. Silt
can also prevent fish spawning and suffocate eggs.
Other pollutants can damage our waterways by:
• Changing the chemical balance of waterways (e.g. cement or concrete washwater is highly alkaline);
• Removing dissolved oxygen (e.g. detergents);
• Contaminants that dissolve quickly are difficult to control and treat. They are easily transported in
waterways and, if toxic, the effects are likely to be widespread.
Potential Harm to Waterways
Concrete, chemicals, paints, sediment from exposed soils, spills, dust and washwater discharges are some of
the pollutants that can get into the stormwater system. These end up in streams and on beaches – harming
property and the environment, including killing fish and other wildlife. Dumping or incorrect storage
and containment of rubbish and other solid wastes can also enter drains and flow directly into fresh and
Sources include:
• Exposed soil, stockpiles of fill, compost or bark or skips of waste, which if washed into waterways,
smother stream life or use up oxygen;
• Concrete and lime or asphalt-cutting wastewater;
• Sediment or chlorine used when flushing new water supply lines;
• Contaminants from pipe reinstatement;
• Wastewater overflows caused by pipe blockages;
• Handling, storage, dewatering and disposal of materials from contaminated sites or stormwater treatment
devices; and
Environmental Issues
Working Safer & Smarter
• Inappropriate washdown of concrete equipment, and general machinery.
General principles are:
• Keep 'clean' water separate from 'dirty' water: clean rainwater, stormwater running onto your site or
clean groundwater flowing into an excavation needs to be diverted away from working areas or stockpiles
that could contaminate them. You can then let this 'clean' water carry on flowing down the gutter,
into the stormwater system or over land towards a water body. This will minimise the amount of 'dirty'
water associated with your work that you have to treat and dispose of. As such, you should consider the
- Treat and dispose of 'dirty' water that your work has contaminated with soil, concrete or other
chemicals so pollution does not occur - suggestions are given in this booklet.
- Prevent or control spills from refuelling or handling chemicals, and dispose of other liquid wastes
from your work in an environmentally responsible way.
- Protect stockpiles: cover and divert water to prevent runoff or dust.
• Separate hazards: store wastes in bins that don't leak or allow material to blow away, and segregate
hazardous substances.
• Good housekeeping: keeping a tidy, clean site will help you to do the job more efficiently as well as
protect the environment.
• Understand drains: runoff from a worksite can carry pollutants into stormwater or wastewater pipes. Use
each pipe for the right purpose:
- Only uncontaminated or treated rainwater can go into the stormwater system.
- Only wastewater can go into the sanitary sewer – don't put stormwater into it.
- Some trade wastes can go into the sewer. Common contaminants from contract work are lime and
hydrocarbons. You need a temporary trade waste permit to discharge wastes into any sewer.
Lime and Concrete: A Special Case
The lime used for roading, stabilisation and concrete products is lethal to stream life. It is a strong alkali and
soluble, making it practically impossible to filter out. It can contaminate soil and water, just as a strong acid
would. It is so strong that diluting it with more water may cause harm to a greater length of stream which
can take many years to recover.
Allowing this – or any other material – into the stormwater system is illegal, and may result in an instant fine,
an abatement notice or prosecution.
Managing Water Onsite
Take the following steps to avoid causing pollution to waterways:
Step 1: Evaluate the potential challenges and risks for the project
Water pollution problems arise as a result of both activity and inactivity onsite. Key causes of problems
• Silty water and its incorrect disposal;
• Spillages of pollutants due to bad storage and handling of materials, or the inadvertent disposal to surface
water drains;
• Washout from concreting operations;
• Works in, above or near watercourses;
• Working in groundwater;
• Water in excavations.
Step 2: Identify appropriate control and management methods for each potential issue
• Refer to Section Four: Common Construction Activities and Typical Environmental Risks as a useful guide,
and your own procedures.
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Step 3: Ensure compliance and monitor implementation
• Predict potential pollution incidents by undertaking risk assessments.
• Provide training so staff and sub-contractors know what to do.
• Supervise site personnel so works are undertaken as intended and problems are addressed quickly.
• Secure sites against vandalism.
Step 4: Adopt an emergency response plan
Ensure the site has an emergency response plan and that all staff know how to carry it out.
Disposing of Water from Worksite
A Auckland Transport consent is required to discharge direct to a watercourse. Any consent issued will
establish allowable concentrations of pollutants and flow rates, and may prescribe peak flow rates for
unpolluted discharges.
Consents take time to obtain, so plan ahead to avoid delays. Even if consent is approved, allowable pollution
limits will be low. Controlled waters include rivers, streams, ditches, ponds and groundwater. Pollution
includes silty water, oils, chemicals, litter, and mud.
Prevent anything that has the potential to pollute, including muddy water, from entering the surface water
Avoiding Spillages
Precautions to avoid spillages include the use of bunds around oil storage tanks and the use of drip trays
around mobile plant.
Plan ahead to avoid the need for emergency measures. For example, sandbags can be used as a barrier to
protect sensitive areas. Block off drains during refuelling. Any sand or soil that becomes contaminated must
be disposed of properly.
Managing Surface Water Runoff
Surface water running across or ponding on a site may cause water management, pollution and erosion
problems. The solution is to control surface water so that it does not run into excavations, disturbed ground
or haul roads, and to minimise erosion onsite.
Ensure that the water collection system is adequate to handle the controlled release of storm flows. Ensure
silty runoff from disturbed ground and soil stockpiles does not reach waterways.
In dry weather large quantities of mud and oils can build up on hard-surface areas. If these are not cleaned
frequently, a sudden shower can wash them into watercourses, causing major pollution. Therefore, keep
hardstanding and surface roads swept clean.
Emergency Response
Follow the emergency plan for the site.
In the event of silting, erosion or pollution of a waterway, the site manager should follow the Incident
Response and Notification Procedure in Section One of this guide. Following clean-up, the incident must
be reported to the company's environmental representative to learn from what happened and avoid future
An effective emergency response system relies on the following elements:
• An emergency response plan
• Definition of responsibilities
• Contact numbers
• Training in implementation
Site managers should ensure the necessary information and equipment is at hand and updated regularly. 50
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This will require detailed planning.
Emergency Response Plan
Ensure that all appropriate staff are aware of the company's emergency procedure and know how to use it (see
the example given below. This could be integrated with the Incident Response and Notification Procedure and
other relevant guidance above).
Example of a Typical Emergency Plan
In case of spillage of oils and chemicals report immediately to manager/supervisor who should
then report the incident to the Auckland Transport and its environmental agency. They will find out
eventually, but if you report first, it will build a better relationship.
Try to identify the source of pollution and stop the flow immediately. Switch off sources of ignition.
Avoid the spillage spreading:
• Check the site drainage plan - where will the spillage end up?
• Stop the flow if possible.
• Dam the flow with earth/sand/polythene.
• Divert from drains/watercourses where possible.
• Get a spill kit.
• Use absorbent materials if appropriate
• Place a boom across watercourses as precaution.
Do not wash spillage into the drainage system - it only makes things worse. Never use detergents – use
sand or absorbent pads to mop it up.
If the spill has already entered the drains, block off the entrance to the drains.
Shovel contaminated sand/earth/granules into sacks or skips according to size. These must be disposed
of appropriately. Oil pools may first be removed by a sludge-gulper.
Define the responsibility for the following with site personnel:
• Reporting to the site manager;
• Reporting to environmental agencies and other regulatory authorities;
• Taking charge at the scene;
• Recording events as an incident record;
• Regularly checking that the contents of the spillage kits are complete.
Ensure that the contact details for the following groups are easily available:
• List of site personnel and sub-contractor offices;
• Your company's environmental representative;
• Fire Service/Police 111;
• Auckland Transport's environmental agencies;
• District Health Board;
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• Equipment suppliers (e.g. pump hire and waste disposal sub-contractors for skip hire);
• Liquid waste disposal contractors.
• Emergency spill kits are ideal for dealing with spillages, usually consisting of equipment to contain and
absorb spills on land and water. Obtain them from a reputable supplier.
• The contents will depend on the project, but they may include oil-absorbent granules, "pigs" or
"sausages", floating booms, absorbent mats, polythene sheeting, or polythene sacks.
• Store them in a marked bag or wheelie bin in a well signposted location. It is best to store them near
where they may be needed. Ensure in advance that booms for rivers are long enough and have suitable
anchorages, and the kit is adequate for the types and volumes of substances used.
• Assess the number and deployment of it for quick access across the site.
Buckets of sand, earth, straw bales and rags are good for cleaning up small spillages. There is also a wide
range of proprietary equipment available from suppliers to deal with spillages. Special mats or cushions can
be placed over drains to prevent pollution to water supplies, located at the source of leaks or under pipe
Make sure that site personnel know who to contact in the event of a spillage, what to do and where to get
equipment from. Manufacturers of spillage kits usually provide training in their use.
Sediment, concrete, dust and other wastes are highly visible pollutants that cause a great deal of community
concern. Messy and untidy worksites are also more likely to be unsafe and polluting, and will inevitably
attract time-consuming public complaints.
Different types of waste need to be treated appropriately:
• Inactive waste covers materials that do not undergo significant physical, chemical or biological reactions
or cause environmental pollution when deposited at a landfill under normal conditions. These include
uncontaminated soils and rocks, ceramics, concrete, masonry, brick rubble and minerals.
• Active wastes include acids, pesticides, wood preservatives, oily sludges, batteries, waste oils, asbestos,
timber, plastics, alkaline solutions and bitumen. Some active wastes may also be special wastes.
• Special wastes are those that are deemed to be dangerous to life; they may be corrosive, reactive,
explosive, oxidising, carcinogenic or flammable. Some of the more common special wastes include acids,
alkaline solutions, oily sludges, waste oils and wood preservatives.
Waste Management Onsite
To manage wastes effectively, focus on:
• The amount of materials that are wasted;
• The way in which wastes are handled and stored;
• The amount of wastes that can be reclaimed; and
• The method of disposal of wastes.
This section provides guidance on how to address each of these issues. The site manager should allocate
responsibility for these issues onsite to nominated individuals. On large sites it may be more appropriate to
designate one person as the site waste manager.
To manage wastes effectively and efficiently it is important to allocate sufficient space and resources. In order
to plan waste management, it is helpful to know the types and quantities of wastes are generated onsite.
This information can be obtained by monitoring wastes onsite and by drawing on previous experience.
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Checklist - Storing Wastes Properly Onsite
• Segregate different types of waste as they are generated.
• Mark waste containers clearly with their intended contents. Consider using colour coding.
• Use containers suitable for their contents. Check that containers are not corroded or worn out.
• Minimise the risk of accidental spillages or leaks. Provide covers and bunds to prevent evaporation and
spillage of wastes.
• Ensure that wastes cannot blow away.
The noise levels and timing that apply to the job should be considered under the relevant District Plan and NZS 6802, A guide to noise control – construction noise and NZS 6803 1999: 'Acoustics - Construction Noise'.
What is Noise?
Noise is often explained as being a sound that is unwanted by the listener. Sound is a wave motion carried by
air particles between the source and the receiver, usually the ear. It may consist of a high-pitched or low-pitched
whine, or it may have no special distinguishing features. Sound, pressure and noise are measured in units of
decibel (dB) using a logarithmic scale. This means that if you increase a sound by 10 dB it is perceived as a
doubling in loudness.
As a rule of thumb, if you have to shout to make yourself heard over background noise from the site, then the
background noise is likely to be about 75-80 dB.
Why Noise is Important
Excessive noise levels onsite represent a major hazard to site works. Neighbours/occupiers of land have a duty
to avoid unreasonable noise under the RMA. Noise causes more offsite complaints than any other topic and can
rapidly sour relations. Noise can also disturb our wildlife and natural heritage.
Various types of control on noise levels from construction sites can be imposed when noise starts to cause a
nuisance. These controls can affect the programme by limiting the length of time which noisy activities are
allowed and influencing the construction method. Failing to meet noise constraints can result in fines.
Reducing Noise Levels in the Community
There are three factors that influence noise levels at a given point:
1. Site management and construction method.
2. Plant.
3. Screening.
For each of these factors simply following good practice can bring great benefits. Further reductions require
attention to be directed to specific equipment or methods.
In planning the approach to noise reduction on a project, the benefits to be gained from each factor should be
weighed against the cost of implementation. In some situations there may be only one solution.
Site Management and Construction Method (including Timing, Duration and Phasing)
The general operation of the site needs to be addressed to control noise. It is not only loud noises that cause
complaint, but also anti-social activity and irregular or tonal noises such as reversing warnings. Other reasons
for complaint include shouting, bad language, radios and out-of-hours deliveries.
Some of the construction activities that cause the greatest problems are piling (particularly by diesel hammer),
breaking out with pneumatic tools, falling ball demolition, earthmoving, scabbling, concrete pours and
maintenance works.
Calculating noise levels for real operations involves combining the cumulative effects of many different items of
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Use the checklist below to minimise noise and vibration.
• It is important when communicating with stakeholders to emphasise the impact of noise to fully and
realistically inform them.
• Change the working method, equipment or modes of operation to reduce noise. For example, in
demolition works, hydraulic shears can be used in place of hydraulic impact breakers. In driving steel
sheet piles, would the ground conditions suit the jacking method (i.e. cohesive soils), which generate
only a fraction of the noise of conventional hammer-driving, piling. When breaking out pavements can
methods other than pneumatic breakers and drills be used? Consider chemical splitters or falling weight
• Reduce the need for noisy assembly practices, e.g. fabricate offsite.
• Keep noisy plant as far away as possible from public areas.
• Adopt working hours to restrict noisy activities to certain periods of the day.
• Route construction vehicles to take into account the need to reduce noise and vibration.
• Keep haul roads well maintained.
• Use mufflers or silencers to reduce noise transmitted along pipes and ducts.
• Minimise the drop height into hoppers, lorries or other plant (reducing the drop height by a factor of 10
reduces noise by about 10 dB).
• Consider using rubber linings on tippers in noise-sensitive sites.
Noise levels from individual plant items can vary considerably depending on how they are configured and
used. Careful selection of plant is essential when noise is important. To minimise the noise from your site
plant, observe the following rules:
• Use only plant conforming with relevant standards and directives on emissions. Older plant, although still
legal to use, may not have such identification; as it may be noisier than modern plant, avoid using it in
noise-sensitive areas.
• When operating plant, use noise-control equipment such as jackets on pneumatic drills, covers
on compressors, shrouds on piling rigs and cranes. If in doubt about what is appropriate ask the
manufacturer. Hoods and doors on compressors and cranes etc. should not only be closed but also be
tightly fitting and well sealed. A partly closed door is of little use. Consider placing additional screening
around the plant such as plywood screens (see Screening explantation below).
• Electrically-powered plant is quieter than diesel or petrol-driven plant.
• Operate plant properly so that it does not cause excessive noise. Shut down plant when it is not in use.
• Maintain plant properly - adequate lubrication to reduce squeaks and the tightening of loose nuts and
bolts to minimise rattles are part of routine maintenance.
• Provide effective silencers for plant, e.g. pneumatic percussive tools.
• Fix rotating or impacting machines on anti-vibration mountings.
• Ensure that audible warning systems (including reversing alarms) are switched to the minimum setting
required by the Health and Safety Executive. Consider the use of alternative systems (e.g. cab-mounted
CCTV) where appropriate. Traffic routes that avoid reversing onsite will minimise the impact. Use tannoy
systems only when necessary.
Be aware that noise from some plant, such as compressors, may be emitted more in some directions than
others, therefore consider the orientation of static plant. If you put plant next to a solid surface (e.g. a wall)
the noise will be reflected away from the surface and increased by 3 dB(A).
Screens can reduce noise levels from a site considerably at a relatively low cost. Factors affecting the
efficiency of a screen include distance from the source and from the receiver of noise, density of material
used, height and length, the presence of holes and its position relative to noise-reflecting surfaces.
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Noise screens can consist of topographical features as well as artificial materials (trees do little to reduce
noise). To be effective an artificial screen should have a density of at least 7 kg/m2 of surface area. This
equates to 12mm thickness of plywood. A site hoarding can therefore have a screening effect, although its
value is diminished if it is distant from the source and receptor. If the hoarding is acting as a noise screen,
worksite gates should be opened for the minimum amount of time to allow the passage of vehicles.
Checklist - Design and Placement of Screens
• Where possible, place sources of noise away from sensitive areas.
• Avoid sound-traps that amplify noise.
• Almost any solidly-built screen is better than none.
• Erect the screen close to the source of noise.
• Build the screen from stout materials, with panels stiffened to prevent drumming.
• For the most effective results build the screen about 1 metre above the highest sightline.
• Seal all gaps and openings, including gaps at the bottom of the screen.
• Glaze any public observation openings in perimeter hoardings with perspex (protected with wire mesh or
similar) if sensitive areas are closer than the height of the hoarding.
• Consider placing additional screens close to sensitive areas but not parallel to nearby walls.
Why Vibration is Important
Although rare, high vibration levels over sustained periods can cause damage to buildings and sensitive
equipment within buildings, such as computers. Lower levels can cause nuisance to residents. The degree of
annoyance depends on the activity, the persons affected and the vibration intensity. It is likely local residents
will complain about any perceived vibrations as soon as they become noticeable.
Vibration may also cause disruption to wildlife, and damage to geological, geomorphological and
archaeological sites. The level at which this occurs is site-specific.
Since the effects of high-frequency vibration are less than those of low-frequency ones, it is worth seeking
ways to change the frequency if a problem is being caused. This usually requires specialist advice; ask plant
manufacturers for their help.
Please note a sensitivity survey may not be required in all instances. This should be referenced in your
How to Avoid Vibration Problems
There are three primary aims in the management of vibration onsite:
• To avoid causing damage to nearby structures.
• To avoid causing annoyance and concerns.
• To avoid being falsely accused of causing damage.
The following four steps will help in addressing each of these aims:
STEP 1Monitor Conditions Before Works Start
Before starting construction, it may be necessary to survey sensitive locations and structures if there is
significant risk of causing an effect. The survey should include a detailed record of:
• Existing cracks and their widths;
• Level and plumb survey, including damp-proof course;
• Measurements of tilting walls or bulges;
• Other existing damage including loose or broken tiles, pipes, gullies or plaster.
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Photographic records and the installation of measurable tell-tale devices are also helpful to establish alleged
or actual damage. In some situations it will be necessary to strengthen vulnerable offsite structures before
vibrations start.
Sensitive locations to survey and monitor before and during construction may include:
• Schools;
• Hospitals and nursing homes;
• Historic buildings;
• Museums;
• Laboratories;
• Precision machine workshops;
• Sensitive plant or equipment used by local companies;
• Housing;
• Buildings in poor condition;
• Brittle/ancient underground services, including tunnels.
STEP 2Inform Neighbours
Vibration causes anxiety and annoyance to residents mostly because they fear that it will cause damage. It
is therefore useful to explain to them that damage only occurs at vibration levels many times greater than
those that can be felt from the construction site.
Informing neighbours of the potential for vibration allows the site staff to learn of any particularly sensitive
issues that may be time-dependent and that may be resolved by limiting hours of work.
Manufacturers should be able to advise on the level of vibration that might harm computer installations.
STEP 3Minimise Effects During Works
Reducing vibrations during the works is difficult to achieve because there maybe a fundamental side-effect
of the process being undertaken.
To reduce vibrations, the methods being proposed will need to be re-evaluated. For example, piling is well
known for causing vibration effects, but driven casings cause greater effects than vibrated casings. When
evaluating how to reduce vibrations consider the following:
• High-frequency vibration causes less damage than low-frequency vibration;
• Isolating plant;
• Plant placed on a heavy base causes less vibration than plant on a lighter base, e.g. suspended slabs;
• Vibrations travel less distance in unsaturated ground. If groundwater levels fluctuate (e.g. in tidal regions),
carry out works during lower tides.
STEP 4Monitor Vibration Levels During Works
To be effective, vibration-level monitoring needs to be carried out by trained staff or by external specialists.
However, it may be necessary for site staff to discuss with building occupants where vibration monitoring
can be conducted. The two main rules for monitoring at properties during operations are:
• Measure inside rooms when assessing nuisance;
• Measure on the structure outside when assessing damage (doorsteps are a good location).
With sensitive structures, continued visual monitoring and measurement of crack widths is the best way to
determine whether damage is being caused.
It is important to refer to the commonly-used standards for measuring vibration; specialist advice may be
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5.5 Dust, Emissions and Odours
Why Dust, Emissions and Odours are Important
Dust, emissions and odours arising from a site will annoy neighbours and can even cause health risks at high
concentrations. There is also the potential for legal action, which will have cost and programme implications.
Dust, emissions and odours can be particularly hazardous to site staff in confined spaces, so seek information
on controls from the company health and safety officers.
Today's dust is tomorrow's sediment. Cover stockpiles, or exposed areas and control dust from surface
cutting, especially in built-up areas where dust may annoy residents.
Dust is generally considered to be any airborne solid matter up to about 2 mm in size. Particle sizes can vary
considerably, depending on their origin, and the smallest particles can be breathed in. Human health effects
of airborne dust are generally associated with particles less than approximately 10 microns (PM10). Some
dust, such as limestone dust, is chemically active.
Larger particles (typically greater than 20 microns) are generally found to be the source of nuisance dust as
they can soil property and affect visibility.
Annoyance to Neighbours
Dust, emissions and odours disturb site neighbours. Annoyance is caused when residents have to re-clean
washing that has been hanging out and when they have to wash cars, curtains and windows. Windblown
dust can be unsightly over long distances in scenic areas. In exceptional circumstances, dust can affect health
by, for example, causing eye irritation. Asthma can be exacerbated by exposure to respirable dust.
How to Avoid Problems
With dust, emissions and odour a good rule of thumb is that there should be no nuisance caused beyond
the boundary. Regulators tend to become involved only once problems have been created and complaints
received. To avoid causing complaints, the site should operate a management system that ensures that:
• Dust, emissions and odour from general operations are minimised through adoption of good working
• Special consideration for control measures is given in circumstances where general good practice may not
be sufficient to avoid causing problems.
It is also valuable to keep a record of daily dust conditions and mitigation measures taken in case disputes arise.
Checklist - Avoiding Dust Generation
Haul Routes
• Select suitable haul routes away from sensitive sites if possible.
• Pave heavily-used areas, or use geotextiles e.g. around batching plant or haul routes. Sweep these regularly.
• Provide a length of paved road or a stabilised construction entrance (TP90) before the exit from the site.
• Reduce the width of haul roads (while still allowing two-way traffic) to minimise surface area from which dust
may be produced.
• Sweep paved access roads (while still allowing two-way traffic) and public roads regularly using a vacuum
• Limit vehicle speeds - the slower the vehicles, the less dust generated.
• Damp down (see over).
• Use enclosed chutes for dropping to ground-level demolition materials that have the potential to cause
dust and regularly dampen the chutes.
• Locate crushing plant away from sensitive sites - consider siting within buildings (e.g. buildings within the
site that will not be demolished or those to be demolished last).
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• Clean the wheels of vehicles leaving the site so that mud is not spread on surrounding roads - dry mud
turns to dust.
• Ensure that exhausts do not discharge directly to the ground.
Earthworks and Excavations
• Revegetate or seal temporary or completed earthworks as soon as possible.
• Keep earthworks damp - try to programme to avoid exceptionally dry weather.
Materials Handling and Storage
• Locate stockpiles out of the wind (or provide wind breaks) to minimise the potential for dust generation.
• Keep the stockpiles to the minimum practicable height and use gentle slopes.
• Compact and bind stockpile surfaces (in extreme cases). Revegetate long-term stockpiles. Cover small
stockpiles with geotextile cloth.
• Minimise the storage time of materials onsite.
• Store materials away from the site boundary and downwind of sensitive areas.
• Ensure that all dust-generating materials transported to and from site are covered by tarpaulin.
• Minimise the height of fall of materials.
• Avoid spillage, and clean up as soon as possible.
• Damp down (see below).
Concrete Batching and Pouring
• Mix large quantities of concrete or bentonite slurries in enclosed/shielded areas.
• Before concrete pours, vacuum dirt in formwork rather than blowing it out.
• Keep large concrete pours clean after they have gone off. They generate large quantities of dust.
• Minimise cutting and grinding onsite.
• On cutters and saws, use equipment and techniques such as dust extractors to minimise dust. Consider a
wet cutting saw or use vacuum extraction.
• Spray water during cutting of paving slabs to minimise dust.
• Dispose of any washwater appropriately.
Damp Down using Water
The most effective application of water in suppressing dust is by using a fine spray, but the efficiency
depends on the speed of the bowser. Repeat spray regularly and frequently, especially during warm and
sunny weather when water will evaporate quickly. Consider spraying:
• Unpaved work areas subject to traffic or wind.
• Structures and buildings during demolition.
• Sand, spool and aggregate stockpiles (this has only a temporary and slight effect).
• During loading and unloading of dust-generating materials.
If you are abstracting water from a watercourse, ensure that you have obtained permission.
Sometimes excavations uncover evidence of historic Maori or colonial European activities. It is against the
law to damage or destroy historic structures from before the year 1900, unless you have approval from the
Historic Places Trust. Shell banks may be middens.
Why is Archaeology Important?
Archaeological remains are irreplaceable and are a valuable part of our national heritage. Encountering
unexpected archaeological finds can affect both project programme and costs.
• Delays and costs can occur when works have to be stopped to allow for archaeological excavation.
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• Damage caused to scheduled sites or monuments can result in prosecution and significant programme delays
while the damage is assessed, and while scheduled monument consent is applied for to carry out repairs.
Managing Archaeology Onsite
If it is likely that archaeological or historical features will be found during a project, the Auckland Transport will
probably have commissioned some work on the site. Ask the council for the information they hold about the
Even if an investigation has been carried out, there may still be a potential for unexpected finds to
be uncovered during construction. The contractor's responsibilities and liabilities will depend on the
particular contract and the site manager should be aware of these. The contractor is not expected to be an
archaeological expert but must do the following:
• Follow the contractual obligations, e.g. providing attendances and/or access to professional
• Protect known archaeological and heritage sites.
• Report any significant finds arising during construction.
Comply with Contract and Planning Conditions
Identify any contractual obligations and conditions that may be attached to the Historic Places Trust
permission (see above). Ask the client for any information that they hold on the site.
Protect Known Archaeological and Historical Features
Ensure that the proposed method of working complies with any obligations identified. Works that are located
close to a site of archaeological or cultural significance can have a damaging impact. For example, vibration
could cause cracking and subsidence in listed buildings; access roads could disturb historic areas.
Be Prepared for Unexpected Finds
Whether or not known archaeological or historical features have been identified on your site, there is still the
potential for unexpected finds to be uncovered during works. Materials to look out for during excavations
include burnt or blackened materials, brick or tile fragments, coins, pottery or bone fragments, skeletons,
timber joints or post holes, brick or stone foundations, and infilled shell deposit ditches.
If Any Finds Are Encountered
• Stop work immediately in the area.
• Protect the find by fencing/blocking it off and contact the site manager.
• Contact the Principal's Contract Manager who will contact the Historic Places Trust, iwi and other relevant
stakeholders as appropriate. If bones are uncovered, the Police must be notified.
• Do not resume work until instructed by the Principal's Contract Manager.
Other Considerations
Damage to Property and Infrastructure Assets
Your work plans can help you minimise the damage your work does to other property, such as grass verges,
footpaths, vegetation and underground services.
Soil Erosion and Land Undermining
Vegetation removal, dewatering and vibration can cause erosion, soil cracking and land instability on and
around your worksite.
Exhaust Fumes from Vehicles and Machinery
Consider turning engines off when not in use, placing them downwind of neighbours, and consider lowemission machinery when replacing assets. Do not allow fumes to go up into a tree canopy as this can
damage the tree.
Section Six
Working Safer & Smarter
Additional Resources
Additional Resources
Working Safer & Smarter
Here is a list of environmental topics you could cover at regular toolbox meetings:
• Consent conditions
• Lime and concrete
• Permitted activity standards
• Erosion and sediment control
• Environmental risks of key tasks
• Storm response
• How to use the spill kit
• Dust control/noise
• Responding to public complaints
• Emergency response
• Waste storage and disposal
• Safe handling of chemicals and paint
• What to do if you find archaeological evidence
• Works in/or around trees
• Dewatering or pumping
• Refuelling and maintenance
• Waste management
• New initiatives and bright ideas
Identifying Training Needs
Training frequency
Safety and environmental induction
Site/project specific induction
At start of project
Site-specific environmental induction,
Contractor or other
consent conditions, permitted activities, approved provider e.g.
environmental controls
Roading NZ
supervisors and
As required when
personnel changes
Erosion and sediment control training
External trainers
Site supervisors,
Emergency response training
Random spill exercise
Contact your relevant industry association for specific training information e.g. Roading New Zealand.
6.2 Helpful Contacts
NZ Historic Places Trust: 307 8896
Roading New Zealand: 448 2143
EECA, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority: 0800 358 676
ERMA, the Environmental Risk Management Authority: 04 473 8426
Ministry for the Environment Sustainable Business Team: 913 1640
NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD): 525 9727
Sustainable Business Network (SBN): 920 2400
Gas Emergency call centre: 0800 764 764.
Bituminous Materials Used in Roading - Code of Practice for Safe Handling (BCA 9904). 2000. Pavement and
Bitumen Contractors' Association, PO Box 12013, Wellington.
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Working Safer & Smarter
Working Safer & Smarter
Working Safely Guidelines
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