ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR ODOUR MANAGEMENT DURING A NATIONAL LOCKDOWN
For many of us, the world has become much smaller for – at least – the next three weeks, and potentially the foreseeable future. Whilst we all look to adjust to this new ‘normal’, the Silsoe Odours team would like to share some alternative strategies for odour management. We have created several practical ‘top tips’, which you may find helpful during this time of national lockdown. You can utilise these tips whilst working from home, or indeed on site if you are in a key industry but lacking access to your usual odour analysis facilities.
ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR ODOUR MANAGEMENT
Clearly, your approach to odour management at the moment will differ, depending on the ‘state-of-play’ at your company. If you belong to a key industry, like utilities or food production, then things may well be ‘business as usual’ in many respects. However, for many others your usual daily activities may be vastly changed and your employees now working from home. With this in mind, we’ll deal with each situation separately.
Stick to your Odour Management Plan
If you work for a key industry, your day job may remain largely unchanged. Notwithstanding additional worry and, most probably, heightened levels of demand. If you’re already following best practice, you should have an odour management plan in place. This lays down procedures for monitoring and assessing your odour emissions. The plan should include things like regular equipment checks, odour monitoring using sniff surveys and regular odour risk assessments. Assuming your current operating capacity allows, you should ensure your team sticks to these practices. You could very well save a great deal of time and effort later should an odour problem arise.
Or create a new one!
Of course, if you don’t have an odour management plan in place, you need one! If you have staff restricted to working from home, now is a great time to really focus on putting this together. Our team here at Silsoe Odours can help you think about what this would look like. Just give us a call on 01525 860222 if you need some support.
Engage with the Community
When odour affects people in their homes, it can become contentious quickly. This is where you will usually begin to see complaints. Naturally, most of us are currently spending a lot more time in our homes. Once cabin fever sets in, little niggles can become bigger in our minds. So, it’s possible that complaints will multiply in a way we haven’t seen before. You’ll find that if you proactively engage with the local community early on, they will usually be more understanding should issues arise. Explain what you’re doing to limit your odour impact. Provide contact information for a key person to listen to concerns – perhaps a staff member confined to home working. React, respond and communicate what you’ve done about these concerns where you can. And finally, keep a record of everything you’re doing. Courts and regulators look favourably on companies who can demonstrate positive action.
What is clear is that our current situation is unprecedented, both in the UK and across the world. The goalposts are constantly changing and to that end, nobody really has a clear idea of when these sanctions will be lifted. It’s also possible that they will be lifted only to be put in place again at a later date if the situation worsens once again. Therefore, you may wish to think about how your internal team can cope with their odour management responsibilities should this happen. Once social distancing rules are lifted, it would be a good idea to send two or three members of the team for odour sensitivity testing.
WORKING FROM HOME
If you’re working from home at the moment, you probably fall into one of two categories. Firstly, you may work for a key industry but are self-isolating, or are not needed on site. Or secondly, you may work in an industry where the government has asked for your doors to close.
If you fall in the first category, take a look at the tips above. There are several alternative strategies for odour management you can help with. Nominate yourself as a key contact for the community. Listen to their concerns if necessary and be proactive about telling people the positive steps your company is taking to minimise odour emissions. Create or review your site’s odour management plan. If one already exists, look at where you can make improvements. And look at how you can futureproof your site’s odour monitoring, perhaps by organising some odour sensitivity tests for key members of your team.
If you fall in the second category, here are some more tips you may find useful…
Developers and planners
The reality is that for the time being – and potentially the foreseeable future – planning applications are probably going to take a lot longer to move through the system. Setting aside the frustrations you will undoubtedly feel around this, there are positive steps you can take. We know from experience that the paperwork details often cause delays. Take this time to check your house is in order and that you have all the specifics you need. Don’t neglect your noise and odour report. You will need one! Review what you need to do to put this together. Speak to our team if you’re not sure – we’re still available on 01525 860222. You can take all the steps needed to plan the next steps in your application. So, when the government lifts social distancing restrictions, you’ll be in a great position to move quickly and efficiently.
Commercial kitchens and restaurants
We know this is a massively difficult time for all involved in this industry and our thoughts go out to all of you. For those of you who like to fill your time, now is a good chance to review your odour mitigation procedures. Specifically, you can take a close look at your odour abatement equipment. Think about whether it’s effective for your current operation and whether it will stand the test of time. If you would like advice on any potential changes you need to make, please do give us a call on 01525 860222.
ODOUR MANAGEMENT – ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR YOUR OPERATION
We understand that odour management may not be at the top of your priority list at the moment. However, we hope that you will find these alternative strategies useful. If you need more detailed support that is specific to your operation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are still working (at home!) and you can reach us on our usual telephone number – 01525 860222.
Finally, keep well and stay safe. We hope to see you all very soon.
If you would like to take a look at some official guidance relating to odour, here are a few good starting points:
European Standard BS EN13725:2003
You’ll need to purchase this one – click here for a link to the BSI shop
Institute of Air Quality Management
Guidance on the assessment of odour for planning – July 2018 version
Odour Study Day (CPD-Certified, IAQM-Endorsed & CIWEM Accredited Odour Training)
If you’d like to find out more about odour management, you may want to take a look at attending the next Odour Study Day training course