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Poison prevention

The row of site huts bordering the fenced off Factory Farm compound look like any other, until notices referring to 'contamination area' and 'leave all clothing here' reveal that one of them doubles as a decontamination lock controlling all access to the piling area. Both Bachy Soletanche and main contractor Eurolink had to register as licensed tip operators. This resulted in a raft of safety and environmental demands in consultation with both the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

The discomfort for the 12 man piling workforce of always having to wear protective clothing and full face masks encouraged Bachy to reduce the shifts from the standard 10 hour to just four.

But for the men themselves, timing can be more personal, as just a visit to the loo demands planning 20 minutes in advance to negotiate the decontamination hut.

All waste from the compound is bagged and leaves in sealed skips. A dozen air monitors around the site perimeter, plus more tagged on to clothes, constantly record contamination levels.

Such precautions seem to have proved their worth. The maximum recorded asbestos readings around the site perimeter of 0.004 fibres/ml of air are less than half the permitted safe limit.

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