As one of the top demolition contractors Nottingham has to offer, ProDEM know that one of the biggest continued challenges facing demolition projects is that of the prevention and control of potential dangers.
Demolition is a dangerous construction and, as such, needs strict attention payed at all times to ensure a safe working environment.
PREVENTION & CONTROL MEASURES – PART 1
We’re taking a look at risk assessment and the things you need to take into account before any work takes place to ensure a safe working environment for all involved.
A systematic approach from the outset of the project
Prepping for any demolition project should be taken incredibly seriously, and a systematic approach to risk prevention is vital from the start. Risk assessment should be taken out on the site to identify any potential hazards, who will be exposed to those hazards and to what extent.
A systematic approach means thinking about every aspect of the site and taking steps to limit the occurrence of a number of different risks.
Get a dedicated Health and Safety Co-ordinator
Having a dedicated health and safety co-ordinator is crucial. They will be able to guide the project with professional care to make it as safe and robust as possible before the work begins. They will help with all necessary training for workers, and be a good point of contact for all concerns that come up through initial site surveys.
Communication across the site is always important, so think about effective communication systems so workers can contact and inform each other, site officials, and anyone in charge of health and safety.
Risk assessment will mean collecting and analysing reports on the structure and the surrounding site. From this, most of the information pertaining to potential risks and hazards should be brought to light. After all the information is collected, inform your workers and give them a chance to have their own input, so they can influence their own working conditions before work begins.
Locate and disconnect systems connected to the site
Many sites will still have basic supplies still connected and running into and through the site. Gas, water and electricity are the main ones, but there may also be chemicals or fuel transported through buried pipes, sewer and drainage systems and overhead power or communication lines which all need to be taken into account.
All of these systems can pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the project, and should be identified and disconnected before work begins. If total disconnection is not possible, you should take measures to clearly mark all pipes, cables or power lines so that workers can spot and work around them at all times during the project.
The structure itself
One of the greatest dangers facing any demolition project is the potential for structural collapse. The initial risk assessment should identify all weak points of the structure, what work needs to be done in and around the structure, and how they impact each other. Measures should be taken to ensure that work won’t bring about a premature, uncontrolled collapse.
Use disposal chutes
Be aware of the weight placed at any time on floors above ground level – machinery, tools, debris and the workers themselves are all a factor. If necessary, allow for the implementation of extra structural supports around the structure. Disposal chutes for deconstructed materials will help relieve pressure and should be planned for ahead of time.
Traffic on site
Where possible, pedestrians and vehicles should be kept separate. Workers should wear correct PPE to maximise visibility while on foot, a rigid, thoroughly planned traffic management system should be implemented and cabs of vehicles should be reinforced – in case of falling debris.
Falls, drops and slips
Workers can be at risk of falls or collisions with falling objects. When planning the project, try to limit the amount of work taking place above ground level. Bring in machinery to allow workers access to higher floors while they themselves remain safely on the ground.
Signs and safety railings
If work above ground level is necessary, take every precaution to limit risks of falls. Strong safety railings, clear signage and safe and easy navigation between floors should be installed prior to work beginning. Your risk assessment should identify weak or fragile floors, and temporary platforms may need to be constructed to remove contact with potentially dangerous surfaces.
Also take time to make workers aware of personal precautions. Hard hats should always be worn, and heavy tools and machinery should be properly operated by competent and trained individuals.
Debris and rubble can create hazardous passages and should be quickly removed and cleared away to prevent trips or slips in areas expecting heavy foot traffic.
Be sure to check back next month where we cover the hazardous agents you might find around the site, and what should be done to mitigate their threat.
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ProDEM are proud to be one of the best demolition contractors Nottingham has to offer. We take every precaution to ensure that any demolition project we undertake, large or small, is performed to the strictest standards of safety and efficiency.
Our highly trained, experienced team work professionally at all times so if you need safe, effective and affordable demolition work carried out, get in touch with the friendly team at ProDEM today.