Author Archives: David Edwards

Flood Misconceptions Cause Unnecessary Damage to Life and Property

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Sara
Floods are a relatively common natural disaster in Australia, yet over the decades, building codes around the country haven't been revised to fully mitigate against the damage caused by flooding. Unlike other natural disasters such as cyclones, bushfires, and earthquakes, the country hasn't fully embraced the lessons that we've learned from past floods. In response to the disaster of Cyclone Tracy in 1974, the whole country adopted new wind codes, which have saved countless buildings from damage during subsequent cyclones. Similar regulations have been put in place regionally and nationally in the wake of bushfire disasters, and in anticipation of earthquakes, but measures regarding floods are lagging behind.

Sick Building Syndrome – Is it in your workplace?

Sara
The quality of indoor air is a major concern in most workplaces. Poor air quality can affect the health, wellness, performance, and productivity of your employees. If you don't pay attention to the indoor air quality at your offices, your employees could be affected by a phenomenon known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).   What’s Sick Building Syndrome? Well, the term SBS is universally used to describe cases where multiple occupants of a building experience serious health issues or considerable discomfort, which seem to be related to the time they spent in that particular building. In cases of SBS, a specific illness or causal agent can’t be identified (If specific illnesses can be identified, the term Building Related Illness (BRI) is used instead).

The Role of Quality Cleaning Practices in Environmental Health

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Sara

Why is Sanitation Important? Sanitation is vital to the safety of any work facility; whether it is an office setting or a manufacturing plant. Certain areas need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove potentially harmful bacteria. In some instances, sanitation is required by law and is crucial to the safe operation of a facility, such as in a hospital or senior-care centre. How do you know which areas to sanitise? Sanitation should be done in areas that experience a great deal of touch or contact with people, food, and objects. What are the Steps Involved in Cleaning and Sanitising? The first step is to identify the areas that need to be cleaned on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

The Importance of Sanitation in Aged Care Environments

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Sara
Reducing the likelihood of illness and infection in aged-care facilities is vital. Maintaining an aged-care environment that is consistently clean and sanitised is the first line of defense in protecting the health of this vulnerable population of residents. Not only does proper hygeinic practices and procedures reduce the risk of spreading infections and making seniors sick, but it also helps to keep the staff who work in these facilities healthy so they can provide these much-needed services. What is Involved in Ensuring Aged-Care Facilities are being Cleaned Properly? When it comes to ensuring seniors are well cared for, cleaning and sanitizing are an important part of the process.

The Role Environmental Consultants play in Supporting Air Quality

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This can require the monitoring of air quality and odour in the workplace, gas sample laboratory analyses including soil vapour assessments; meteorological monitoring, modelling and data analysis; air and odour dispersion modelling and impact assessment; the assessment of regional climate and its variability; and the clear and concise reporting and communication of complex ideas and outcomes, to all stakeholders. An example of this kind of work in action is shown in the video below, where Melbourne based environmental consulting company Atma Environmental demonstrate the application of soil vapour testing, to measure the seeping of volatile contaminants present in soil or groundwater, into the atmosphere, which can be particularly dangerous in buildings and enclosed spaces.

Geotechnical Engineering and Structural Foundations

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Sara
All manner of infrastructure, including houses, high rise office towers, roads, bridges, dams and tunnels need their proposed site, and sometimes the surrounding areas, to be analyzed to ensure their construction plans meet required engineering standards. The foundations of any piece of infrastructure transmit the weight bearing load from the structure to the earth. As you can imagine, it is critical that the foundations are strong enough to hold the weight of the building, even under irregular conditions like flood and earthquakes. The primary considerations for foundation support are bearing capacity, settlement, and ground movement beneath the foundations. Bearing capacity is the ability of the site soils to support the loads imposed by buildings or structures.

What’s the Difference between Environmental and Ecological Consulting?

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Sara
Ecological and environmental consulting are closely related disciplines. The main difference between the two is that the Environmental Consulting is a more overarching field that incorporates many elements of Earth and life sciences, to understand various natural processes. Ecology, on the other hand, is usually more focused on how organisms interact with each other and with their immediate surroundings. An important difference between ecology and environmental science is the goal of research in each discipline. Unlike environmental scientists, ecologists tend to focus their research on very specific populations of living things, such as a certain type of grass or a group of fishes.

How to become an Environmental Consultant

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In the longer term, employment prospects for environmental consultants are likely to expand in developing economies in regions like India, China and South America. The strongest growth areas in consultancy are forecast to be climate change/emissions management and waste management and sustainability, followed closely by environmental impact assessment and contaminated land. Environmental Consultant Salary The salary level of environmental consultants can vary greatly depending on your level of education, experience, your niche of expertise and where you work, but at the time of writing, a reasonable expectation is between $75,000 to 150,000, depending on your experience and seniority.

Why Australia Needs National Legislation to Regulate Ecological & Environmental Consultants.

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Sara

We need to regulate We need to ensure consultants are competent and ethical, and we need the ability to sanction them and ultimately ban them for repeated and/or serious offences. Let’s get some faith restored in the assessment process for the protection of a Australians. I am also an environmental consultant who wants to be able to report what I see rather than being lent on by clients to 'turn a blind eye', and threatened with non-payment if I ignore my duty to report without prejudice.

Contaminated Land Consulting

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Sara
One particular niche of environmental consulting is Contaminated Land Management. A specialised contaminated land management consultant is required when property is rezoned from a commercial zone to a residential zone, or if a request has been made to remove land from the Contaminated Sites Register. Contaminated Land Consultants are often required required by property developers when they are buying (or selling) land suitable for commercial or residential development. For property owners and land developers, the most important thing to understand about purchasing land that is potentially contaminated is the risks involved. Frtom a legal standpoint, land owners are responsible for the remediation of contamination on their land.