Limiting the damage to the environment during the Kaikoura rebuild

In the aftermath of natural disasters and during carefully planned rebuilds and recovery projects, it’s vital that bad situations aren’t made worse.

The Government has already announced that last November’s 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake is likely to cost the country in the region of half a billion dollars, but while the work is still ongoing to reopen and safeguard SH1, rail lines, the harbour and the town’s infrastructure, it’s important that the environment doesn’t suffer further damage.

blue car and people unable to travel on the road because the road is cracked and split open
Photograph of the splits and cracks on the road following the incident

Although all companies work hard to minimise spills and machinery breakdowns, accidents will happen and create the risk of hazardous materials getting into the surrounding environment. And in the case of Kaikoura, where the environment is linked directly to its income and the livelihood of many of its inhabitants, controlling spills quickly and efficiently by being prepared with the proper products plays a key role in preventing additional costs, environmental damage, bad publicity and further risks to workers and machinery.

How pH7 have been involved

That’s why ph7 International has been involved in supplying spill response materials to companies working on the Kaikoura recovery project.  SpillTech spill kits cover a wide range of potential hazardous materials – but in the case of Kaikoura, the direct target has been ensuring oil, petrol, lubricants, diesel and hydraulic fluids don’t get into the environment from heavy-duty construction vehicles.  The kits contain absorbent pads, socks and pillows as well as personal safety gear such as coveralls, safety glasses, respirator and gloves.

Because of the large amount of work being carried out directly next to the coastline or waterways, ph7 have also been supplying absorbent floating booms which contain and absorb spills and also link together to create a continuous barrier around larger spills.

Sales Manager Mike Kitchin says ph7’s products had been supplied via one of their major re-sellers, Safety and Apparel.

“We have supplied a significant number of spill kits and booms because construction companies are extremely concerned about polluting the environment – and especially in an area like Kaikoura and the rebuild, containment has been a big issue,” he says.

“Primarily they’re concerned with hydraulic spills, so spill kits for oil ensure they are protecting waterways and the coast. The booms are used to contain oil spills on water where machinery may be working right on the coast or streams.

“Companies of course do everything they can to prevent spills in the first place, but it’s still very important to have products like booms and spill kits on standby in case they have a spill or their machinery failures.

“It’s already a bad situation that’s they’re trying to recover from, in terms of safety and hazardous material, it’s important to have the right products to hand to make sure it doesn’t get worse.”

ph7 International has a full range of products covering Secondary Containment, Spill Response and Stormwater Protection to ensure companies conform to HSNO legislation while protecting both their workers and the environment.

For more information about your HazChem and PPE requirements or to talk through how we can help, contact us on 0800 323 223, or via the website.

Share this article!