Thursday, December 11, 2014
Nobody likes to talk about biohazards but the reality is that improperly remediated hazards can endanger lives and pose potential liability for property managers and landlords. In order to discuss proper remediation we must first define and understand biohazards. Biohazards consist of bacteria, viruses and other infections substances that can cause mild to fatal disease in humans and other living organisms. A common form of transmittal for these bacteria, viruses and other infections substances is through bodily fluids of both humans and animals, as well as insects and bugs. For this reason, blood and other bodily fluids, and insect/bug infestations are commonly referred to as biohazards. Examples of potential biohazards that property managers/landlords may confront include:

  • Human blood from accidents, suicides or crime scenes
  • Bodily fluids/bodies from deceased tenants
  • Animal remains from deceased animals of tenants or strays
  • Insect/bug infestations
  • Potential bodily fluids left behind from hoarders
  • Potential bodily fluids left behind where drugs have been manufactured (may also contain other hazardous substances that require proper handling)
  • Unknown substances that may be left behind from gross filth
In any of these situations property managers/landlord must be very careful to ensure that proper steps are taken to fully remediate the situation and eliminate any hazards/health risks to current and future tenants, visitors, pets, etc. Some common mistakes include:

  • Failure to Clean under carpet
  • Failure to check for “hidden” areas with contamination
  • Failure to remove wall board when saturated
  • Failure to clean attics and ceilings from fumes
  • Failure to account for splatter
  • Failure to clean plumbing and other piping
  • Failure to eliminate the original cause of contamination
It order to provide your tenants and their pets with a healthy and safe environment it is critical that proper steps are taken when biohazards are discovered. For assistance contact GSGES at 310-371-5300.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014
An important part of any “Green” building plan is a comprehensive waste minimization plan. It’s not uncommon to walk on a construction site and see literally hundreds of items that could be recycled or reused.  The challenge is how to collect and process the materials in a way that minimizes waste while remaining economically feasible for the builder.  In order to accomplish this a few key components to consider when devising a waste minimization plan are:

  • Coordinated Cleanings – it’s critical that there are multiple cleanings of construction sites which are coordinated with the trades.  For example, a full cleaning should be conducted when the framers are finishing up but before the next trade begins.  This makes it easier to collect materials leftover by the framers (wood or metal) for recycling.  It can save substantial time and prevent the need to constantly sort material in order to recycle them.
  • Separate Common Trash – make sure there are clearly marked containers for common trash. This reduces the need to sort common trash from recyclable materials and is good housekeeping for safety and appearance purposes.
  • Vendor Selection – when selecting a vendor to provide construction cleanup services ensure they are committed to minimizing wastes through the recycling and reuse of the maximum potential amount of wastes possible.  Ensure the vendor has a formal waste minimization plan based on the services they provide.
Waste minimization in the construction industry is an important part of our responsibility to environmental sustainability. GSG Environmental Services maintains a comprehensive waste minimization plan to effectively help our customers meet their goals regarding environmental responsibility.
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