When thinking about starting a remodeling project or noticing a new building going up on your block, there are several concerns about the general environment and its safety. These range from the environmental impact (large or small scale) of any project as well as things such as traffic flow, air quality, wildlife displacement, etc. When a large construction or road project is in the works, there is often a period of time that traffic is diverted. This is necessary so that the construction workers are able to move materials and equipment in and out of the active site as well as to protect their safety. These detours can be disruptive and irritating for the neighbors of an active construction site, but thankfully are only temporary.
Vegetation and wildlife safety
Of other concerns are the impact on vegetation and wildlife. These impacts can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the scope of the project. Zoning ordinances usually address the need for studies if there is an expected and significant disruption to plant or animal life in the area.
Another concern for public safety is how the air and water will be affected by the natural byproducts of an active construction site. When a project involves lead or asbestos removal, strict protocols are in force to protect the workers as well as those nearby from accidental and potentially harmful exposure. These materials can create a dust which is very harmful when inhaled or ingested. (Before one reacts to the improbability of ingesting the dust – imagine dust being airborne and landing upon your food.)
Proper containment of these substances is critical for proper air quality control and to maintain construction site safety. Some experts recommend using high quality filters in HVAC systems and changing them two-four times per month if your home or workplace is near a construction site with a lot of airborne dust.
Most of the danger to the neighboring water supply occurs when debris or chemicals find their way into naturally occurring runoff. This can be easily managed onsite with a variety of protective measures, such as dams, sediment fences, ditches or by using an inlet filter to filter debris, sediment or even absorb chemicals. Thankfully, most construction companies comply with the guidelines that are established by OSHA and various city ordinances to keep their sites safe. When one does not, it can create many problems for those who do.