Demolition safety and careful planning
Demolition safety is imperative when working on taking down a structure. The last thing a company need is having someone die while working on a site. And if certain safety regulations are not met there can be legal ramifications. Not to mention having your permits and business license removed because the standards where not met. Here are some of the important risks to watch out for when demolishing any type of large structure.
Collapse: changes to the structure’s original design as well as the unknown strength or weakness of certain construction materials can lead to the collapse of walls or floors during demolition. The best way to avoid this is to have an engineering survey done to determine the areas where premature collapse may occur. These weaker areas should then be shored or braced prior to demolition to ensure the safety of the workers.
Falls: falls are another major physical hazard offer presented on demolition sites. Wall openings should be protected by guardrails to a height of approximately 42 inches, and floor openings should be marked and covered with a material able to withstand the loads that will be imposed. It is also very important that all worker wear fall protection whenever working in high areas. If the worker is not wearing fall protection he or she will lose their job.
Dust: when demolishing a large structure many labourers can tell you that the process will produce a lot of dust. Breaking concrete and other building materials such as drywall release silica dust into the air, and exposure to these and other types of dust are harmful to workers. Dust build up can be greatly reduced through the use of engineering controls such as wet methods. This is the method where you spray the demolition site with water which will keep the dust from spreading. If you can not use the wet method ensure that all worker are wearing face protection if they are working around concrete and drywall dust.
Hazardous Materials: demolition of large structures such as buildings and homes do contain hazardous materials that can cause serious harm to one’s well-being. These materials such as exposed metal work can cause scrapes and even be punctured if not properly pointed out. If the metal is oxidized and one of your workers cut then self on it i.e. stepping on a rusty nail then they will need a tetanus shot and this can slow down the demolition process. Asbestos can also be present in a home, and this product can cause life-threatening illnesses such as lunch cancer. If your crew in unaware of how to handle the product be sure you contact an asbestos removal contractor. Lastly, if the building you’re working on has any lead-based paint make sure you worker are aware of it so that paint chip or particles do not interact with them.
Following all these steps will ensure that all your workers will be safe while the demolition process is in full swing. Not abiding by these safety outlines can also result in fines, or even worse the death of one of you employees.