Demolition activities need careful planning and proper implementation to be successful.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a residential home, an office building, or a skyscraper that’s going to be torn down. A well-thought-out plan that is properly put into action will reduce, if not totally eliminate, demolition failures.
With that said, let’s look at some demolition failures and how they can be prevented.
The importance of properly discussing all the safety measures around the demolition site cannot be overemphasized.
Supervisors and managers should not assume that all workers already know all there is around the work area. It is always best to gather everyone before the start of the day and run through the days’ tasks and safety measures. Constant reminders help prevent memory lapses that could cause major fails.
In order to prevent miscommunication, make sure you are very clear with your instructions to the site manager. This way, they can communicate effectively with the workers.
It’s always good practice to perform a pre-construction site survey prior to the start of any demolition.
The project manager or whoever is assigned to do the survey does a walk-through around the entire site to look for design and structural modifications that are non-standard that may pose a potential danger to the workers.
For example, a circuit breaker that is hot-wired to be always on the ON position can easily be located by a proper walkthrough, preventing possible electrocution.
To prevent any problems arising, make sure your project manager does in fact do the site survey.
PPEs, or personal protective equipment, must always be worn by the workers around the demolition site.
Falling debris, equipment malfunctions, and human errors are all unexpected occurrences that could get anyone hurt. The PPEs are provided to protect the workers from these accidents and make sure that injuries are minimized, if not totally eliminated.
If you see any workers not wearing their PPE, tell the project manager.
Certain procedures should be made to ensure the structure is safe.
For example, It is important to construct proper wall braces on walls to avoid collapse. It is also important that all utilities such as electricity and water services are cut-off before starting any work around the area. Another example is that floor openings should be limited to no more than 25 percent of the total floor area to avoid total collapse.
Unfortunately, these precautions are sometimes overlooked and result in serious injuries and even death.
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