Building demolition jobs require specialized demolition equipment, detailed planning, and most importantly, a focus on safety. In order to complete your project efficiently and effectively, and to avoid accidents, it’s important to follow certain guidelines and precautions.
Controlled Demolition: Tips and Best Practices
We put together a list of tips and best practices for building demolition that covers everything from personal protective equipment to waste management. This list will help you execute your project with precision and safety.
Wear the Right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The first step for handling building demolition safely and effectively is to make sure your crew wears the necessary protection. At the very least, they should be using hats, safety glasses, gloves, high visibility vests, and steel toed boots. It’s also important to use respiratory protection devices if you are working around dust, fumes, or other hazardous materials.
Use the Proper Demolition Equipment
Demolition excavators, hydraulic breakers, loaders, and other types of equipment and attachments are crucial components of successfully completing building demolition projects. You should only use hydraulic breakers, shears, and pulverizers that are designed to work with your demolition excavators or other carriers. All operators need to be well trained and should inspect their machines prior to starting work to check for visible signs of damage or abnormal wear. It’s also critical to determine the maximum height of the site you are demolishing and type of material you’re working with. That way, you’ll know if the job requires higher reaching demolition excavators or more robust hydraulic breakers.
Create a Detailed Safety Plan
Before starting your building demolition job, it is very important develop a comprehensive safety plan. This plan needs to have a thorough assessment of potential hazards, identification of safety protocols, and a clear outline of responsibilities and roles for every team member. Take into account things like hazardous materials, structural instability, nearby utilities, and any other risks associated with the particular site.
Complete a Site Assessment
Finishing a full site assessment prior to starting work is vital to recognize and avoid potential safety hazards. Inspect the structure thoroughly, assessing its stability, the presence of asbestos or other harmful materials, and any additional structural or environmental concerns. Knowing these risks will help you utilize the correct safety measures and equipment needed for building demolition.
Turn Off All Utilities
It’s crucial that you shut down all electricity, sewer, gas, water, and other utility lines. Plus, it’s important to notify all the applicable utility companies before starting any demolition work.
Begin at the Top and Work Down
When demolishing exterior walls and floors, the best strategy is to start at the top of the building and work your way down to the ground level. It’s also critical that you don’t remove any load bearing walls or beams until the floors above it are completely removed.
Prepare your Demolition Equipment for the Job
Taking down buildings and structures often requires large demolition equipment. It’s important that only trained operators are operating those machines, and that all demolition equipment is routinely checked for issues and properly maintained, in order to reduce the chances of an accident on the job. Follow all safety guidelines provided by manufacturers in your owner’s manual, and take advantage of all safety features such as seat belts, rollover protection, and safety guards.
Contain and Control Dust and Debris
Demolition projects create a lot of dust and debris that can cause serious health issues in workers and surrounding areas. Utilize effective strategies to control and minimize dust, such as wetting down surfaces, implementing dust suppression equipment, and enclosing the work area with appropriate barriers.
Handle Waste with Care
Building demolition can produce a lot of waste material. It’s very important to develop a waste management plan to ensure safe handling and disposal of debris, hazardous materials, and recyclable items. Always follow local regulations and guidelines with regards to waste disposal, recycling, and proper handling of hazardous substances.
Prioritizing Safety in Building Demolition Projects
A building demolition project is a complex and potentially hazardous job. These nine essential building demolition tips are not only important for the project itself, but also for the safety of your team and the surrounding environment.
If you have any questions about building demolition or using demolition equipment, then please contact our team at Columbus Equipment today!