Risk can be to life, the environment and property. It can lead to prosecution under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) or other legislation.
To manage a risk it must first be known.
Things within our control
- How the road or landing is constructed.
- Where the road or landing is constructed.
- Where fill is placed.
- Where wood waste is disposed of.
- Where water control is located and water is directed.
- Whether earthworks meet specifications.
- Whether earthworks are constructed in suitable weather conditions.
- Whether disturbed sites are rehabilitated.
- The quality of maintenance.
Things that must be considered but are outside our control
- How steep or erosion prone the land is.
- Rainfall and storms.
- Who our neighbours are.
- The location of protected areas.
- The location of existing roads and bridges.
- The potential for landslides, slumps and earthflows.
- Native vegetation and fish habitat.
- How sensitive the environment is downstream.
- Laws and regulations (RMA, H&S Act etc).
A lot of risk comes down to HOW CLOSE you are to something
Think about how close you are to things like waterways, neighbours, bridges, culverts or protected sites.
Risk in road construction often comes from three things: water, water and water.
- Where did the water come from?
- What could water do to the earthworks? Will it cross areas of fill and cause erosion? Can it be diverted safely?
- Where will the water end up going? Will it carry sediment to streams or neighbouring property?
- If there’s heavy rainfall, will water control help keep the earthworks intact?
- This debris flow started from a series of fill slope failures that picked up logging debris as it moved down slope. Once in the waterway, the debris moved kilometres.
- Debris can be hugely damaging and dangerous.
- The damage is often difficult or impossible to fix.