Health and Safety Considerations for the Investigation of Contaminated Land

Michael D Joyce Associates LLP

The management of occupational health and safety is imperative for this policy's success and the company therefore expects all employees, to treat health and safety matters with paramount importance. Employees should take steps to meet their responsibility by taking care of their own health and safety and that of others through their acts and omissions, co-operating with the company  and reporting any accidents, etc. 

It is the policy of this company to take all reasonable precautions for the prevention of accidents and dangerous occurrences. It shall also provide adequate resources to meet the above objectives.  All accidents or near miss accidents must be reported. 

This policy, its organisation and arrangements, will be reviewed regularly, modified and updated as necessary and employees notified of amendments. It shall be communicated to all employees and other contractors, and shall be made available to interested parties, including the public, upon request. 

This document sets out the general ways in which Michael D Joyce Associates LLP undertakes to comply with relevant Health and Safety Legislation, although each site is specific.


Site works will consist of either trial pitting, window sampling, dynamic probing, boring, rotary coring or openhole drilling depending upon the nature of each particular survey.  It should be noted that this health and safety plan is limited to ground investigation work only and ceases to apply once ground investigation works are completed.  Work will be carried out in accordance with BS5930: Code of Practice for Site Investigation (2015) and BS10175: Code of Practice for the Investigation of Potentially Contaminated Sites (2013), BS 6031: Code of Practice for Earthworks and Michael D Joyce Associates LLP’s Protocol for Site Investigation, which is attached as Appendices A and B.  In addition, contractors are required to observe Michael D Joyce Associates LLP’s Environmental Policy Statement.   A provisional programme will be advised in advance of the siteworks commencing.

A full risk assessment will be carried out by Michael D Joyce Associates LLP in advance of any works.  Any risks will be advised to all contractors prior to sitework commencing.  If work is carried out on land used by a third party the health and safety requirement of the third party must be observed, in so far as they affect our works.  If the site requires an induction process, this must be carried out by all personnel.

All trial pits and boreholes will be located to avoid services in so far as these can be ascertained.  All exploratory hole locations are to be checked by a Cable Avoidance Tool, and are to be commenced by a hand dug inspection pit if they are located near known services, whilst observing the requirements of the relevant Statutory Undertakers.  No excavations should be entered unless it is safe to do so.  Under no circumstances should trial pits or excavations greater than 1.2m deep be entered unless they have been adequately shored by an experienced contractor, and tested for the presence of any asphyxiating or explosive gases.  In addition, when trial pitting all personnel should stand a safe distance from the trial pit and should minimise standing adjacent to the long side of the trial pit where collapse is more likely.

Exploratory holes will be located to avoid accident potential with traffic and to avoid disruption.  All personnel are to wear high visibility jackets at all times.  If the work is to be carried out on a public highway, prior to approval will be required and all applicable requirements will be observed.

All personnel are to wear appropriate protective equipment (PPE).  PPE is also to be worn for all exploratory work.  This will include head protection and safety boots.  Gloves, overalls and eye protection (if splashing) are to be worn where necessary particularly if contaminated materials are seen or suspected.  Hands are to be washed prior to eating and using the toilet.  Cuts must be cleaned and dressed immediately.  Where contamination is possible any materials in direct contact with the skin should be removed.

No exploratory holes are to be left unattended unless securely fenced off or steel covers placed over them.  None are to be left open overnight and all should be backfilled as soon as practicable.

Every effort is to be made to minimise dust and noise resulting from the operations. 

All equipment is to be operated in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, and all personal shall have been trained and be experienced in their operation.  In the case of drilling, drillers shall be accredited by the British Drilling Association. 

Smoking is not permitted on site. 

If any toilet or canteen facilities are available on site these will be advised in advance.  If not the site staff must assume that they are not available and make their own provisions.  The site staff are to carry basic first aid medical equipment. 

Contractors are to comply with all current health and safety legislation.  Drilling and boring work is also to be carried out in accordance with the British Drilling Association's Code of Safe Drilling Practice (1992) and the British Drilling Association's Guidance Notes for the Safe Drilling of Landfills and Contaminated Land, and the AGS Safety Manual for Investigation Sites (1992).  In addition, the following legislation and guidance should be followed so far as it is applicable.  The list is not exhaustive. 

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992

Operations Regulations 1992

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992

The Workplace Regulations 1992

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 1988

Site Investigation Practice (1982) by Michael D Joyce, Chapter 14 

All rotary drilling rigs will be inspected to ensure that the rotating parts of the rig are protected by a guard and that at least one emergency stop button is provided. 

Where staff are engaged on site investigation field work cognisance shall be taken of Chapter 14 of "Site Investigation Practice" by Michael D Joyce as attached.  Special care shall be taken when working with backacters and adjacent to open trial pits or trenches.  No smoking is to be allowed on site.  No entry to any trial pit over 1.2m deep shall be effected without proper support or other means of ensuring stability.  Employees shall also comply with the "Safety Manual for Investigation Sites" published by the Association of Geotechnical Specialists and the "Code of Safe Drilling Practice" published by the British Drilling Association.  Full details are provided in Michael D Joyce Associates LLP Health and Safety Plan for Ground Investigations.

"Michael D Joyce Associates LLP is committed to the implementation of measures that are designed to minimise the risks, as far as is reasonably practicable, to the occupational health and safety of employees, and others who could be adversely affected by company actions or services. This is primarily in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  We are proud of the fact that in the whole 36 years of operation, we are 100% accident free.  In addition, all site staff should have an up-to-date Profesional Qualified Person’s Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card."