Avoid The Hazards Of Demolition Jobs With These Tips

Construction workers are exposed to a variety of hazards that must be anticipated and mitigated before any project begins. That goes double for demolition work as it not only involves the typical hazards one might see at a constructions site, but also carries additional hazards of workers being exposed to materials such as asbestos, lead based paint. Additionally, the unpredictability of how a structure might react to the deconstruction process and the resulting debris can also pose unique hazards. To safeguard against accidents and injuries when performing demolition, use these safety tips from OSHA:

  • Brace or shore up the walls and floors of structures which have been damaged and which employees must enter.
  • Inspect personal protective equipment (PPE) before use.
  • Select, wear and use appropriate PPE for the task.
  • Inspect all stairs, passageways, and ladders; illuminate all stairways.
  • Shut off or cap all electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other service lines; notify appropriate utility companies.
  • Guard wall openings to a height of 42 inches; cover and secure floor openings with material able to withstand the loads likely to be imposed.
  • Floor openings used for material disposal must not be more than 25% of the total floor area.
  • Use enclosed chutes with gates on the discharge end to drop demolition material to the ground or into debris containers.
  • Demolition of exterior walls and floors must begin at the top of the structure and proceed downward.
  • Structural or load-supporting members on any floor must not be cut or removed until all stories above that floor have been removed.
  • All roof cornices or other ornamental stonework must be removed prior to pulling walls down.
  • Employees must not be permitted to work where structural collapse hazards exist until they are corrected by shoring, bracing or other effective means.