I catch the Blue Mountains express train from Penrith to Redfern. I decided not to drive to work today because I much rather prefer to catch public transport, I use this time to relax, listen to some music, watch Netflix and fit in some reading. Once I arrive at Redfern it’s only a short bus trip to our worksite in Mascot.
I’m usually one of the first on day shift to arrive, I say my hellos and have a quick catch up with one of the night shift supervisors who is just finishing up his reports before going home, we discuss last night’s works and any environmental issues he has onsite. After this I quickly log into my computer and check my emails, the Environmental Coordinator, who is working 2 pm – 2 am this week has sent through a changeover email discussing last night’s noise monitoring results. I quickly send off this week’s weather report to our team making sure to warn everyone about the upcoming wet weather event this weekend so they can plan their works accordingly.
The first meeting of the day is our daily pre-start in the crib shed (lunchroom) all the tradies working onsite are present as well as the engineers and supervisors. We quickly run through the day’s activities before heading into our weekly toolbox discussion. Today I will be discussing this week’s environmental topic which is concrete pouring and reaffirm our expectations regarding wastewater and washout procedures.
I return back to my desk and continue working on updating our Waste Register from yesterday’s load outs, it’s important to track all our excavated material from the moment it leaves our gates to when it enters the weighbridge at the waste facility. I also use this time to have myself some breakfast, today's menu includes raw rolled oats, almond milk and banana (#healthy) and a rather large cup of coffee. On my way out of the kitchen I have a brief discussion with the Construction Manager about updating one of my Site Environmental Plans to include the second stage of roadworks, the deadline for environmental approval is fast approaching so I add this task to my daily schedule.
The Safety Manager has let me know that he has finished with the first section of today’s site induction and it’s now my turn to conduct the environmental section for the new workers onsite. Although I am not a big fan of public speaking I do enjoy talking to people about the environment and I use this opportunity to talk about the environmental challenges and expectations on our project. A few of the new subcontractors have raised some questions about what to do if they come across any unexpected heritage finds while they work, I reaffirm our stop work procedure and give some successful examples that we have had previously.
One of our environmental consultants has just given me a call to let me know that she has arrived onsite, she is here to conduct surface water sampling around the site as part of our monitoring program. I greet her in the office and we both head off onsite and have a discussion about the sampling locations and some of the recent changes to the worksites.
After getting back from my meeting with the consultant I quickly check my email and see that the Environmental Manager has requested I review a waste classification report that we have just received from another environmental consultant. Reviewing this report includes looking at the chemical analysis of the material and ensuring that the heavy metals and other pollutants will not exceed the limits that most waste facilities have; knowing which facility you can and cannot send your material to is an important step in responsible waste management and helps ensure we are compliant with EPA’s expectations.
After quickly responding to my manager I head off to a weekly meeting with the Utilities team. The Utility Engineers will discuss upcoming works, program and particular aspects associated with Safety, Quality and Environmental matters. During this time, the Community, Quality, Safety and Environmental representatives will provide support regarding planned works to ensure the delivery of these works can be undertaken.
After a pretty busy morning I quickly throw on my Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and grab the site ute as it’s time for me to begin my site wide inspection for the day. I travel from worksite to worksite to review our environmental controls and get up to speed with the works that are currently underway. If I notice any issues or areas of improvement I will have a discussion with the site supervisor to talk about what needs to be done, at the end of the day I’m not here to dictate how things need to be done but only to offer advice, guidance and technical knowledge for our supervisors, engineers and subcontractors.
Once the inspection is completed, I write up my inspection report and ensure I have communicated verbally all the identified actions with the responsible supervisor. I then return to the office and give the Environmental Manager a quick overview of my findings so he is aware of any potential issues onsite.
I grab a quick bite to eat (lunch number 1) and proceed to work on updating the Environmental Site Plan for the second stage of roadworks we are about to begin. Once I’ve added in all my environmental controls I forward the plan to the Environmental Coordinator for her review.
After sending my work plans off for review I begin to prepare for my 1 o’clock meeting, every day at 1pm everyone from John Holland gets together, this goes for about 15-30mins and during this time engineers responsible for each work area will discuss this week’s work schedule. During the meeting, I take notes for the Environmental Coordinator about upcoming night works including tonight’s activities.
I grab a quick bite (lunch number 2) before I have a catch up with the Environmental Coordinator who has just come in for her night shift. We discuss about the notes I have written down from the 1pm team meeting and also run a few ideas and questions I have for her regarding some of the draft management plans I have been working on.
After spending most of my day onsite and in meetings, I decide to spend the remainder of my day working on the draft Environmental Management Plans. In order to do this I need to review the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and associated documents to ensure that I understand the environmental aspect, impact and proposed mitigation measures to be incorporated into the management plans.
I finish up any outstanding works before I call it a day. I catch a bus back to Redfern station and then a train back out west to Penrith. This trip is pretty relaxing for me as I get to catch up on some Netflix.
I arrive at Penrith station and although I am exhausted from the day I still decided to head to the gym for a quick workout. Some nights I give this a miss if I am working back but it is good to get in a quick exercise session before calling it a night.