Health and Safety

Taking care with materials, equipment and work procedures and dealing with hazards.

Sediment and run-off

If loose materials and bare soil on site are wet by heavy rain or large amounts of water from any other source, it may become run-off, which can enter and clog waterways, drains and the stormwater system. It may also be carried onto adjacent properties.

Run-off can also carry harmful waste such as paints and chemicals which will cause damage to wildlife in waterways, and clog water drainage systems.

On this page:

  • preventing run-off
  • sediment control
  • pollution from concrete, asphalt and bitumen.

Preventing run-off

Methods of preventing soil erosion include:

  • avoiding doing earthworks during the wet season
  • using the natural ground contours to avoid earthworks if possible
  • designing using poles or piles rather than excavations
  • using tarpaulins or shotcrete to protect exposed soil
  • removing the minimum amount of vegetation possible
  • having one stabilised accessway onto the site only
  • diverting any water away from earthworks and onto stable ground (e.g. grass, semi-permeable or paved), other than what falls on it as rain
  • stabilising bare soil with mulch, paving, planting or grass as soon as possible
  • controlling the flow of water with channels or contour drains.

Sediment control

Control sediment run-off with:

  • vegetation
  • silt fences to screen and filter sediment
  • hay or straw bales to trap sediment
  • sediment ponds.

Keep silt control devices clear and ensure that cleared material cannot run into waterways or drains.

Pollution from concrete, asphalt and bitumen

Concrete, asphalt and bitumen run-off can be damaging if it gets into waterways. It occurs when:

  • new concrete, asphalt or bitumen is laid
  • concrete pouring/laying equipment is washed
  • concrete is waterblasted to expose aggregate.

Run-off from concrete, asphalt and bitumen must be contained on the site by:

  • diverting onto onsite grass or soil
  • containment in an appropriate storage tank if possible.

Updated: 04 September 2013