Safety Tips Construction

Exercise caution during a demolition project

Some serious hazards can be present during a demolition project – from maintaining the structural integrity of the building while workers are inside to the potential hazards created from lead-based paints, asbestos materials, sharp nails and debris. OSHA recommends the following steps to protect the safety of workers while demolition is taking place.

  • Inspect personal protective equipment prior to beginning the project, and be sure all workers are properly outfitted for the task.
  • Be sure any weakened entranceways or floors that employees will be required to use in the structure are adequately braced.
  • Inspect the structure, particularly staircases, and be sure all areas are properly illuminated.
  • Notify necessary utility companies of the project and make sure electric, gas, water and other service lines are shut off.
  • Demolition of floors and exterior walls should begin at the top of the structure and proceed downward.
  • Do not remove any structural or load-bearing walls until the floors above have been removed.
  • Be sure to remove cornices or ornamental stonework from the roof prior to tearing down the walls.
  • Floor openings for disposal should not constitute more than 25 percent of the floor space, and openings should be secured with material that can handle the required load.
  • Wall openings should be guarded to a height of 42 inches.
  • Drop demolition materials to the ground or into a waste disposal container through covered chutes with gates on the discharge end.
  • Employees should not be permitted to work until the structure has been safeguarded against structural collapse hazards.

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