There comes a time in virtually every man-made structure's life when it needs to bedemolished. As with any work in construction, safety should be paramount and every employee should be properly trained and aware of the health and safety regulations. If you think about it, demolishing a building is or can be quite dangerous and falling masonry could cause serious accidents or even death. A proper assessment should be done before beginning the project so that you are aware of potential dangers or problems.
What you need to do
The law says that all demolition, dismantling and structural alteration should be carefully planned and carried out by competent practitioners. Key issues are:
- Falls from height
- Injury from falling materials
- Uncontrolled collapse
- Risks from connected services
- Traffic management
- Hazardous materials
- Noise and vibration
- Worker involvement
What you need to know
A systematic approach to demolition projects is a team effort between many people, who all have responsibilities:
- Clients must appoint dutyholders who are competent and adequately resourced.
- Clients must provide those who need it (eg, designers, contractors, CDM Co-ordinators) with pre-construction information that can reasonably be obtained. A range of surveys and reports will be needed - for example, to check for presence of asbestos; structural stability of site and nearby structures; the location of above and below ground live services in the work area; etc. These should be done before work begins and not be left for the principal contractor to organise once the demolition work has started.
- CDM Co-ordinators plan effective site management that keeps people (site workers and the public) as far as possible from the risks. They should give principal contractors as much information as possible.
- Principal contractors co-ordinate and manage health and safety issues during the demolition project.
- Site managers supervise workers and ensure they are following safe working practice.Sub-contractors and site workers must understand and follow the precautions and ensure that their colleagues do too. Click here to continue