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Monitoring & metering


Boundary Monitoring


Identifying hazards and ensuring compliance


Instrumentation Monthly recently caught up with Tim Turney, global marketing manager at occupational health and workplace hazard monitoring expert Casella, about the use of boundary monitoring to identify potential hazards, ensure compliance and protect workers from health risks.


What is site boundary monitoring, and Where is it used?


Site boundary or ‘fence line’ monitoring is used widely on construction sites and other high- risk locations including demolition projects, mines and quarries and environmental remediation sites. Boundary monitoring units are set up on the exterior perimeter of the worksite to monitor for potential hazards that might cause compliance issues for the site, or present a health risk to workers and site neighbours. It is an essential part of the safety and risk management ecosystem of these sites, and helps control and mitigate potential environmental, health, and reputational risks.


What hazards can be monitored for?


Hazards that are typically monitored for include excess levels of dust, noise, vibration and, in some cases, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Volatile organic compounds include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term


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adverse health effects, and if these are present on a site or work their way into soil or groundwater they can present a hazard to future development or remediation of a work site or property.


Why is site boundary monitoring important?


There are two main aspects to this – health and compliance. From a compliance point of view, there are stringent legal and environmental controls surrounding levels of noise, dust and vibration that construction projects cannot exceed. Local environmental health bodies will require work sites to prove their regulatory and legal compliance through accurate reporting and data sets for given hazards over specific time periods. Site-wide compliance is vital across the


construction and demolition industries. Civic and legal responsibility to measure site emissions is backed by legislation and governing authorities. In the UK, sites will need to comply with their section 61 notices. These are a proactive measure that can save a contractor or developer time and money,


improve environmental performance and prevent prosecution by keeping sites compliant with law and legislation. Site monitoring must be recorded and reported on, and action taken if limits are exceeded – sites must be able to evidence compliance and maintain their reputations, and local communities must be considered. Alongside the human cost to health, fines of up to £20,000 ($30,000) per violation are possible if preventable noise and dust exceed agreed emissions levels, not to mention the long-term potential costs of a damaged business reputation.


What kinds of monitoring equipment are available?


There are a variety of different solutions available for site boundary monitoring. Many are dedicated to specific individual hazards, including dedicated dust, noise or vibration monitoring systems. While a variety of different monitoring solutions can be employed and combined to give a full picture of site emissions and risks, increasingly project managers and occupational hygienists are turning to combined solutions, such as the Casella Guardian2.


April 2021 Instrumentation Monthly


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