Too often we see delayed or poor decisions being made when dealing with environmental incidents. Environmental incidents such as spills/release to waters, impact to soil, fires and vehicle damage can all be handled efficiently and cost effectively with the right information being obtained as soon as practical. In almost all cases, having photos or video footage in front of the right team members in your organisation can make incident and response management so much more effective.

By having a snapshot of what you are dealing with, allows immediate sharing of imagery for organisation eslalation purposes, dealings with regulators, engaging contractors to clean up, proactive media engagement, and planning for likley disruption to business as usual activities. Providing photos or videos to personnels supervisors or managers after an environmental incident (same for safety), should be present within operational procedures and emergency response guides. As an organisation, some legal sensitivities need to apply when authorising the sharing of footage relating to an incident, although in many cases, a delayed clean up or planning for remediation activities can far outweigh the costs of an unlikley legal hurdle by the sharing internally of such footage.

As an example, for every minute that passes without remedial or clean up activities in place, the following is likely to be escalating your commercial and regulatory impact from the incident:

Release to Waters/Spill – Continued migration of product into larger networks of wetlands, stormwater drainage and property. Every 10m3 of impact, you could add an average of $15,000.00-$20,000.00 just for the recovery, basic cleaning and disposal cost, without long term remediation activities.

Impact to Soil- Further seepage through the soil profile, likley impacting groundwater and in some cases drinking water supplies. Fuels and hazardous liquids find their way very quickly through soil profiles and infrastructure. With disposal prices always on the increase, the further the impact migrates, the more costs you incur by extra civil and landfill/treatment costs.

Fire related responses should be focused on reducing the stormwater impact of fire waters applied by the emergency services. Not only does the fire water add to your disposal volume, it very quickly aids in spreading the footprint of debris and fire water impact across a larger number of properties and assets. Engaging certified waste contractors with liquid tankers and personnel to deploy booms/block drains is a must.

Testing your internal incident management systems for various sized environmental and safety incidents can significantly increase response efficiencies, and therefore reducing reputational damage, community impacts and the costs of all post incident activities.

Avcon Projects has assisted most industry types across the country in managing their environmental obligations, specifically when it comes to environmental response and recovery activties. Avcon Projects aligns with reputable waste and resource recovery contractors to respond accordingly. Avcon Projects would be more than happy to meet in person, or discuss on the phone our experiences and where organisations can reduce its liabilities through sound preparedness activities.

www.avconprojects.com.au

 

Above- Avcon Projects has partnered with a reputable drone and media production company to assist in capturing response and project related media. We are in the process of implementing a national network of suppliers to capture incident photos/videos as soon as practical to make the remedial decision making process alot smoother/efficient. We are also providing customised environmental and spill awareness training videos.

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