Invasive Species: Beware of the Giant Hogweed!
As we reach the summer months, invasive plant species like Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam can be a big problem on site. They can spread quickly and cause severe damage to the environment, including out-competing other plants and eroding river banks.
“A few years back, we went to one site in the Midlands and at the end of March there was half an inch of knotweed showing,” says Chris Swainston, Geotechnics’ Principal Environmental Engineer. “We did the intrusive works and then came back to do the monitoring a month and a half afterwards. Around May-June, the knotweed was as high as my head over an area of about 100 square metres. It shoots up everywhere”.
“The problem with knotweed is that it doesn’t reproduce by flowers and seeds - it regenerates. A part larger than your thumbnail can potentially create a new plant. As a consequence, you really do not want to take any knotweed off site. That’s why it’s an offence to knowingly spread it anywhere else: it is very invasive, and it is very expensive and difficult to remove when it takes hold”.
As well as harming the environment, some species can cause long-lasting injury. “Giant hogweed is problematic because of the effects it can have if you brush up against it,” says Chris. “If you do that, you can be subject to photo sensitive dermatitis”. This can result in extremely painful blisters that can recur over several years.
That is why our latest GO SAFE campaign is raising awareness of invasive species on site. Look out for our new blogs and posters to find out how you can stay safe. We are also developing a pocket guide to invasive species to go out to Geotechnics staff to make them aware of the dangers.
Our new poster will be in our offices and on our sites very soon! Click on the image to download a PDF version.
- Accreditations & Standards
- Case Studies
- GO SAFE
- Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
- GO SAFE: FAQ on PPE
- PPE: Your Last Line of Defence
- A Night in the Life (Infographic)
- Night Shifts and Mental Health
- Working at Night: How to Manage Your Sleep Schedule for Night Shifts
- The Night Shift: Introducing our New GO SAFE Campaign
- Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow
- Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow: Introducing our New GO SAFE Campaign
- Invasive Species: Introducing our GO SAFE Pocket Guide
- Invasive Species: Beware of the Giant Hogweed!
- Power to the People
- How to Keep Your Phone Battery Alive for Longer
- Lone Working: Lone, But Not Alone
- Healthy Eating: The #GOSAFE Guide [Infographic]
- Healthy Eating: Introducing our New #GOSAFE Campaign
- The Handy Guide to Vibration White Finger - Video
- Vibration: Know Your Limits [Infographic]
- Not Shaken, Not Stirred: Introducing our New #GOSAFE Campaign on Vibration
- Checklist: What Should I Do If I Find Asbestos On Site?
- Asbestos: The #GOSAFE Guide
- Are you Asbestos Aware? Introducing our new #GOSAFE campaign...
- Site Investigation
- Staff Spotlight
- 2018 Nov
- 2018 Aug
- 2018 Jul
- 2018 Jun
- 2018 May
- 2018 Apr
- 2018 Mar
- 2018 Feb
- 2018 Jan
- 2017 Dec
- 2017 Nov
- 2017 Oct
- 2017 Sep
- 2017 Aug
- 2017 Jul
- 2017 Jun
- 2017 May
- 2017 Apr
- 2017 Mar
- 2017 Feb
- 2017 Jan
- 2016 Dec
- 2016 Nov
- 2016 Oct
- 2016 Sep
- 2016 Aug
- 2016 Mar