While construction itself can have its dangers, demolition can be far more dangerous if safety guidelines are overlooked. When buildings and materials are being broken down, the slightest mistake can result in serious injury.
However, as long as you follow basic safety tips and make sure every individual on the demolition site does the same, you should be able to come out of the project with no injuries whatsoever.
In this blog, we go over the top seven tips for helping you prevent injury during demolition projects.
1. Use the Right Tools Properly
Each employee should receive training in the proper use of every piece of equipment. It’s wise to review correct tool usage before beginning the demolition so everyone has the techniques fresh in their memory. It is equally important to make sure each tool is the right one for the job and functions normally. If a tool is old or otherwise unsuitable for the task at hand, replace it instead of trying to use it.
2. Use Only Experienced and Reliable Employees
Especially when handling explosives or heavy or sharp tools, only allow trained and trustworthy employees to do the work. An inexperienced employee may make assumptions or faulty judgements that can endanger not only his or her life but everyone else’s as well. Every employee should be fully qualified and mature enough to be careful and responsible throughout every task.
3. Wear the Right Safety Gear
All individuals on the demolition site, whether they’re your employees or not, should always wear the appropriate safety gear. Safety gear should not be removed for any reason until a person leaves the work site. Necessary safety gear includes hard hats, face masks, work boots and gloves. Safety gear should be made from tough materials; for example, wear leather gloves and steel-toed boots.
4. Thoroughly Check the Building Before Beginning
Before beginning the demolition, walk through the entire building. Check every room, closet and hallway. Make sure that everything and everyone has made it out of the building safely. Make no assumptions. You should have all employees check in when they leave the site, but don’t let that list be the only indicator you have that the building is clear.
5. Limit and Monitor Re-Entry After Demolition Begins
If someone needs to enter the building, first ensure the reason for doing so is valid and essential. If the entry is justified, brace the walkways and ceilings throughout the building. If an accident occurs, these braces will provide the extra support needed. The braces may also help prevent a collapse.
6. Allow Only Authorized Employees On-Site During Clean-Up
After the demolition and during clean-up, only authorized employees should remain on-site. These employees should include only those trained to operate the heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, necessary for clean-up. Employees without this training should leave the site.
7. Have A Plan
Perhaps the most important safety tip for demolitions is to have a detailed plan. Have a plan of action and a detailed project schedule. Ensure that each employee knows the contents of the safety plan. Your plan should also include what to do in case of emergencies. When an emergency does happen, it can be easy to panic and forget the right course of action, but by outlining a plan and teaching that plan to your employees, you reduce the chances of injury.
Refer back to these tips regularly throughout the demolition process. Follow the safety guidelines of the tools and equipment you use, and follow the demolition laws of your area. Never take shortcuts or make assumptions. Do not rush the process, even when deadlines are approaching. The safety of you and your employees should be your number one concern.