Last edited 20 May 2020

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WatsonandWatson Other Consultant Website

Achieve Safety in Demolition

Health and safety has never been more important and with many businesses looking to improve on their health and safety skills and risk assessments due to the current outbreak of Covid-19, we wanted to share our tips, especially in the construction industry and how safety can be achieved in demolition.


[edit] Workers should receive quality health and safety training

This is true for most industries, not just in construction but it’s an important factor in many environments and should be vital for any individual using heavy machinery, equipment or even leading a team.

When it comes to demolition, training is key. Anyone handling explosive and dangerous materials should know exactly what they are doing and be able to assess outcomes and potential hazards before going away with the demolition.

Having adequate training in this area will help to prevent serious accidents, which could be fatal especially if they are dealing with explosives.

The types of training individuals would receive for these types of jobs and environments are usually covered when receiving qualifications such as: IOSH, CITB, Working at Height, Risk Assessing as well as many others.

[edit] Wearing PPE is not an option

You wouldn’t walk into a room full of dust and sand without the right equipment, so employees shouldn’t work in similar conditions without the right safety equipment. Even the 5-part PPE is standard for these types of situations and environments, which includes: Hard hat, high visibility vest, gloves, safety goggles and steel toe cap boots.

In some cases these items should be worn all time and if you want to ensure the safety every individual on site, this 5-part PPE should be at the top of list.

[edit] Ensuring the site is clean throughout

Even long before the cleanup phase has begun; keeping sites clean and safe throughout the entire process should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, workers and site managers included.

Having a clean site is standard amongst most health and safety regulations and should be implemented especially on demolition sites to ensure the safety of workers.

A safe site should ensure that every individual can access fresh drinking water and washing facilities as well as hot water and a clean and safe environment for cooking equipment and even storage space to prevent PPE from being over-worn or damaged.

[edit] Double checking during a final sweep

Before the actual demolition begins, it’s always a good idea to complete one final sweep throughout the entire building, in every room including any small storage areas, toilets, corridors and hallways. This will ensure that there is nobody left in the building and that every room is completely empty, even of furniture and items.

Even during the demolition process, there should be an adequate amount of workers securing the surrounding area to make sure no one gets too close to the site once it starts being demolished as this is a huge risk to health and safety.

This additional gate keeping of the site should include managing pedestrians and vehicles to ensure there is sufficient access for vehicles and walkways that do not interfere with the site. Keeping a one-way flow of traffic will prevent the need for any reversing of vehicles, which could cause problems if there isn’t a clear enough view for drivers to do so.

[edit] Cleaning the site is vital to keep standards high

Once the demolition is complete, the next stage should be a clean-up phase, for many reasons. I don’t need to tell you this, but after a building has been demolished there is an incredible amount of debris and workers will need to cleanup and dispose of properly – step two should not be skipped for this!

Wearing PPE during the cleanup stage is absolutely vital! With debris, comes plenty of dust, sand and the potential for asbestos – which should actually be removed before the site is even demolished and in some cases, the demolition should not go ahead until all asbestos is removed.

--WatsonandWatson 12:37, 20 May 2020 (BST)

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