Safety has always been and will always be the most important part of construction and demolition sites. This is because, ensuring that everything is safe and up to all industry requirements is the fastest way to get the job done, as well as keep everyone happy and healthy. Having up-to-date equipment and taking necessary precautions ensures that you are doing all you can to keep your worksite safe during a demolition.
Demolition involves many of the same hazards that come with other construction jobs or activities. However, there is added hazards in demolition due to many unknown factors like deviations from the structure’s original design, approved or unapproved modifications that altered the original design, materials hidden in structural members, unknown strengths or weaknesses of damaged materials, and more. Not to mention, demolition zone involves the collapse of a structure, which can be incredibly dangerous. There are a few simple things that you should always do for a demolition to oversee the safety of the project.
- Perform written engineering survey
- Brace or shore the walls and floors of the structure
- Inspect and maintain all stairs, passageways, and ladders
- Properly illuminate all stairways
- shut off or cap all electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other service lines outside of building
- Notify appropriate utility companies and temporarily relocate and protect any essential utilities
- Determine and test types of hazardous chemicals, gases, explosives, and flammable materials
- Survey for asbestos or other hazardous materials
- Guard wall openings to a height of 42 inches
- Cover and secure floor openings to withstand loads likely to be imposed
- Use enclosed chutes with gates on the discharge end to drop materials to ground
- Design and construct shoots that will withstand the loads imposed without falling
- Post signs at each level of structures — warning of hazards of falling materials
Top 4 Overall Safety Tips
Properly Trained and Dressed Employees
Employees must always be knowledgeable in all aspects of their work. Each and every employee must understand what equipment should be used during a demolition and how to properly protect themselves with safety equipment and ensure that it’s being worn at all times during the demolition. Proper attire includes hard hat, mask, gloves, steel-toe work boots, and safety vest. Do a sweep before you begin demolition to ensure employees’ safety and check that all equipment is ready and up-to-date to perform the task ahead. Only trained employees should handle any dangerous or explosive materials. Certified employees have experience to handle any demolition situation and prevent accidents on-site.
Doing a final sweep before demolition begins is absolutely crucial. Sweep every room on every floor, including closets, bathrooms, hallways, and crawl spaces to be sure that everyone and everything is out of the building. Check to see that each worker is out of the building and at a safe distance before the demolition begins. Also, make sure the building itself is being monitored by employees so that no unauthorized people get too close to the site. Form a team that can be in charge of the final sweep that can report to the site manager before the demolition takes place.
Bracing ceilings and walkways is a vital safety tip for any demolition. If anyone needs to enter the building for one reason or another, it is necessary that every ceiling and walkway is braced. This provides extra support in case of an accident. Bracing prevents a large number of accidents, injuries, and even deaths.
Clearing the debris isn’t always an easy task, but it is one that needs to be done quickly after a demolition. Employees should be equipped with the proper equipment to clean up any and all debris once the demolition is over. This equipment includes gloves, masks, boots for their protection, as well as any heavier equipment that needs to be used to clear the mess. You need to ensure that only authorized and trained employees are present during cleanup and demolition.
Keeping your demolition and construction site safe is not always easy, but it is necessary. Luckily, we have all the right heavy equipment to assist you in any project you’re working on. See our full list of available cranes.