Key safety issues during demolition

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Demolition is an inherently dangerous undertaking with an array of different risks to prepare for. These safety concerns are the reason why projects should only ever be done by trained, competent professionals. If you are planning this kind of job, regardless of the scale, you can call on Thompsons of Prudhoe for help. We have become one of the most recognised teams for demolition North East clients can work with.

The HSE sets out the key issues that contractors need to be prepared for when demolishing a structure. They include:

Falls from height – Alterations to the property can result in unprotected edges and openings, unstable surfaces, and instability. Any of these could end in a fall from a big enough height to cause serious injury. Safety precautions are needed, including utilising the right PPE and fall arrest equipment.

Falling materials – Flying debris and premature collapses can occur during demolition, putting people at risk of being struck. To prevent this, things like creating an exclusion zone, installing covered walkways, and using high reach plant machinery should be considered.

Uncontrolled collapse – The stability of a structure can be compromised during alteration. From the outset the work sequence should be organised to reduce the risk of this happening. Structural supports may also need to be used such as propping to provide stability.

Connected services – Water, gas, electricity and telecommunications services on a site can present big hazards. To prevent injury they should be located and properly isolated. Locations should be labelled so the amenities are not damaged.

Site traffic – Workers and plant equipment are likely to be freely moving around a site during the course of a project. This proximity increases the risk of accidents. To reduce this it is important to manage traffic effectively. Ensure that plant users will have good visibility and make sure that contractors have clear areas to walk in.

Hazardous materials – Before demolition begins a full survey should be done to locate any substances on the site that are hazardous. These should be removed before any alterations are done. Any materials that cannot be cleared should be managed carefully to prevent exposure and wider contamination.

Fire – A number of things can lead to fires breaking out on sites where demolition or structural alterations are taking place. For example tools that generate sparks, heat or flame could ignite materials. With this in mind fire safety needs to be planned carefully, ensuring that all escape routes are clear and alarm systems are in place.

Thompsons of Prudhoe has been involved in many projects over the years and has a fantastic track record for safety. We achieve this by planning carefully and relying on the extensive training our team have received.

If you would like help, the best team for demolition North East clients can call on is us. Get in touch today to find out more.