Old paint pots — hazardous waste?

25 June 2019

I am concerned that old paint pots and tins containing a small amount of hazardous residue are being placed in our non-hazardous waste skip. The manager responsible argues that, because the amounts of residue are so small in relation to the total quantity of waste in the skip, they are bound to fall below the threshold concentrations for hazardous waste. Please can you advise.

Disposing of e-cigarette waste

4 June 2019

Many of our employees have switched from smoking to vaping. There is plenty of guidance available on the health and safety aspects, but how should we deal with waste e-cigarettes and discarded vaping equipment in a way that minimises harm to the environment? Are they recyclable?

Fire risk assessments and paintwork

28 May 2019

A fire risk assessment by an external consultant has recommended that we strip back all paintwork in our escape routes and redecorate. Why would they make such a recommendation and are we obliged to do this?

Using portable fire-fighting equipment

28 May 2019

I am aware that staff must be competent if they are required to use portable fire-fighting equipment and that this includes “sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities”. Could you outline what these “other qualities” are?

Visual alarm devices

28 May 2019

An external fire risk assessor has recommended that we install “visual alarm devices” (VADs) in an area of our premises due to high noise levels. We already have “sounder beacon devices” in place. Do we have to fit VADs?

Compostable packaging

28 May 2019

Our local authority operates an “open windrow” composting facility which takes garden waste, but not canteen waste. Would a plant like this be able to treat compostable packaging materials? We are thinking of switching from plastic to compostable packaging for the food products we sell but are concerned that the compostable packaging could end up in landfill if the local facility is unable to receive it.

Sick building syndrome

20 May 2019

A small group of employees believe that they are suffering from Sick Building Syndrome and they want us to take steps to address the issue. First, how can we be sure that it is not just hay fever or a similar allergy and, second, what changes can we make to improve the workplace environment?

Biodiversity net gain

23 April 2019

How will construction businesses be affected by the new requirement for biodiversity net gain?