Demolition Operation Safety to Protect Workers

Demolition Operation Safety to Protect Workers

Demolition work which is essential in many construction projects, poses significant risks to workers and the environment. It is crucial to implement comprehensive safety measures to ensure safety and mitigate these hazards. Engaging in thorough planning, equipping workers with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), providing essential training, and adhering strictly to regulation standards can effectively control and eliminate the dangers associated with demolition activities.

Demolition Operation Hazards

Demolition is the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure or any part thereof. Demolition work involves many of the hazards associated with construction. However, demolition involves additional hazards due to unknown factors which makes demolition work particularly dangerous. These may include:

  • Changes from the structure’s design introduced during construction;
  • Approved or unapproved modifications that altered the original design;
  • Materials hidden within structural members, such as lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling;
  • Unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete;
  • Hazards created by the demolition methods used.

To combat these, everyone at a demolition worksite must be fully aware of the hazards they may encounter and the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves and their employees.

Demolition hazards are addressed in specific standards for the construction industry.

Safety Plan in Demolition Operation

Proper planning is essential to ensure a demolition operation is conducted with no accidents or injuries. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • An engineering survey completed by a competent person before any demolition work takes place. This should include the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse.
  • Locating, securing, and/or relocating any nearby utilities. 
  • Fire prevention and evacuation plan.
  • First Aid and Emergency Medical Services.
  • An assessment of health hazards completed before any demolition work takes place.
  • Permit to Work (PTW) should be approved before doing operation

Providing the right protection and equipment

The employer must determine what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be required. In demolition operations, PPE may include:

  • Eye, face, head, hand, foot protection
  • Respiratory protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)
  • Other protective clothing (for example, cutting or welding operations)

It is not enough to provide PPE. Employees must be trained on the selection, use, fitting, inspection, maintenance, and storage of PPE. Train all employees about hazards and how to use the equipment safely

WSH-PEER Solutions

WSH-PEER provides digitalization solutions for permit-to-work processes in demolition operations, enhancing workplace safety and health. Our innovative platform ensures compliance, streamlines workflows, and reduces risks, fostering a safer and more efficient demolition environment.

The demolition checklist conducts a check on documents such as required permits, appointed Civl Professional Engineer, Demolition Plans, appointed supervisor, trainings for involved personnel, equipment checks & certifications etc.

A pre-operation check to ensure proper barricades, overhead protections, catch platforms, removal of glass/claddings/gas/electricity/water and several other checks are alo required by this checklists.

Lastly, a during/post ops checks are also documented such as properly reinforcement, manual/mechanical demolition checklists, proper disposal of debris, PPE checks and environmental/health checks.

Check here for more details

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