Demolition is the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure or any part thereof. The method most widely used in building demolition is called mechanical demolition, which involves the use of specialized equipment such as excavators equipped with tools for crushing concrete and shearing steel.
High-rise structures may be brought down using implosion methods using specialized explosives. Finally, specialized demolition may require the use of hand-held pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical power tools to break up, cut, chip, and drill on smaller projects.
To combat the hazards associated with demolition work, it is important that the employer establish an effective Demolition Safety Program. 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.
Check out this short audio clip by Dan Clark of the theSafetyBrief.com. Demolition safety is more complicated than in standard construction. Old structures can be weak and unpredictable. Listen to hear tips on demolitions.
Before the start of every demolition job, the demolition contractor should take a number of steps to safeguard the health and safety of workers at the job site.
These preparatory operations involve the overall planning of the demolition job, including:
The contractor should also plan for:
The safety of all workers on the job site should be a prime consideration.
The development of a safety report specific to the demolition project is critical to planning the project. The safety report should include, but is not limited to, the following components:
The most common citation issued was for failure to conduct an engineering survey to determine the condition of the structure prior to demolition. This includes determining whether an unplanned collapse of the building or any adjacent structure would injure those working in the vicinity. The demolition contractor must maintain a written copy of this survey.
The engineering survey provides the demolition contractor with the opportunity to evaluate the job in its entirety. The purpose of the engineering survey is to determine the condition of the framing, floors, and walls so that measures can be taken, if necessary, to prevent the premature collapse of any portion of the structure. All of the following should be addressed in the survey:
The engineering survey should result in a formal (written) report that should include each of the following sections:
See this sample of a Building Demolition Plan that includes a comprehensive engineering survey at Attachment B
One of the most important elements of the pre-job planning is the location of all utility services. Make sure all electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other services lines are shut off, capped, or otherwise controlled, at or outside the building before demolition work is started. Other best practices include the following:
Under the OSH Act, Public Law 91-596, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must instruct employees how to recognize and avoid or remove hazards that may cause an injury or illness based on their assigned duties. Certain OSHA construction standards require that employees receive training in specific topics. Employers must provide this safety training in a language and vocabulary their workers can understand.
Employees working on demolition projects may need training in topics including:
Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.
Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.