Demolition, according to OSHA, is the dismantling, razing, destroying, or wrecking of any building or structure or any part thereof. It is also a common cause of workplace injuries due to the dangers and hazards that come along with the job. Having proper safety procedures in place is vital to keeping workers safe.
The following is a list of tips and suggestions to avoid getting hurt while working on a demolition project. First and foremost, there should be a plan in place before any demolition project is started. So, before you begin destroying and wrecking structures there are things that must be done to ensure it is safe to begin work.
- Maintain a Clean Job Site : A messy job site with too many things in the way creates for more problems and a higher chance of an accident occurring. Keep your site clean and remove debris as you work so you don’t have to do it all at the end.
- Shut off Utilities : Turn off all electricity, sewer, gas, water, and other utility lines before starting.
- Start at the Top : The safest approach when demolishing exterior walls and floors is to start at the top of the building and work your way down.
- Remove Asbestos : No demolition should be started until all asbestos has been safely removed. Specialized contractors should be contacted to safely remove asbestos and any other hazardous materials.
- Clear all Walkways : Make sure workers can navigate the site freely and create pathways that are out of danger zones.
Next, In order to minimize the chance of accidents and injuries from arising during the job, there must always be proper planning, personal protective equipment, and training in place.
Plan ahead to get the job done safely. Having a proper plan helps not only to keep everyone on the same page, but also helps to ensure that there are protocols to follow in a situation where danger arises. Here are some ways you can prepare for a demolition job and have a proper plan of action in place :
- An engineering survey completed by a competent person before any demolition work takes place. This should include the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse.
- Locating, securing, and/or relocating any nearby utilities. For help, call 811 before you dig.
- Fire prevention and evacuation plan.
- First Aid and Emergency Medical Services.
- An assessment of health hazards completed before any demolition work takes place.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment can play a great role when it comes to protecting yourself from an injury and wearing the right gear can make all the difference. The following protection gear should be worn when working on a demolition project :
- Hard Hat
- Safety Goggles
- Hearing Protection
- Leather Gloves
- High Visibility Shirt
- Safety Vest
- Work Pants
- Safety Toe Work Boots
Being trained once on safety procedures is not enough — It’s important to refresh and review trainings so workers stay top of mind on how to keep safe. It is recommended that all employees participate in annual baseline refresher trainings.
If you have recently suffered an injury working on a demolition project or any construction worksite, contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation with one of attorney experienced in construction work injuries. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.
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