There is a lot of time and resources that are used up during the construction of a building and hence there is also some considerations that are taken when demolition of a building takes place. Demolishing a building is not as easy as you may think, there is a lot of detailed and careful planning that is done before any structure can be demolished. Whether it is a household project or a corporate, demolition services ought to be engaged and this is done by conservative pursuits and inquiring minds.
What is the meaning of demolition work?
Demolition is the engineering or the science of efficiently and safely tearing down any man-made structures and building. Demolition work refers to any kind of work or project that deals with the dismantling or demolition of a structure or some part of a structure that is related to a structure’s physical bearing or that is load-bearing.
For buildings such as houses that are small and are 2-3 stories high, the process of demolition is a simple one and it can either be done manually by pulling down the building or it can be done mechanically by use of large hydraulic equipment. For buildings that are large, there is a need for a wrecking ball and these are effective tools against masonry although they may be less efficient and cannot be controlled easily.
Demolition work often involves non-load bearing elements and load-bearing elements that do the stripping of internal fitting and fixtures. During demolition work, there some risks to both property and people that need to be put into consideration. Demolition work can sometimes expose both the public and the workers to risks that may result in death or injury. These kinds of risks will always exist whether the work is carried at heights or at an underground level and if the work is carried out in grounds that are above, there is a need for a fall protection equipment.
Demolishers should not only consider the proximity of the structures to building that are adjacent and several other assets that may be affected by the demolition work but also they ought to consider the condition of the structure.
Demolition work that is notifiable
If you are undertaking PCBU or you are undertaking a business, you need to notify SafeWork five days prior to the commencement of the work if the demolition work involves:
- Demolition of part of a structure or a structure that is load-bearing or may be related to the structure’s physical integrity, which has a height of at least 6 meters.
- Suspended floor or load shifting machinery.
How do you manage the risk associated with demolition work?
In order for demolition work to be carried out safely, careful planning should be done and undertaking a risk assessment is the best way that you can manage the risks that are related to demolition work. The process of risk assessment involves these four-step:
- Identification of the problem: This is done by walking around the area of work and searching for any hazards that are related to the demolition work and also by consulting with your workers on any possible hazards that they may be aware of. It is also necessary that you check demolition injuries that have occurred previously.
- Determination of the seriousness of the problem: After the identification of the hazards, it is crucial that you undertake a risk assessment since this is important in helping you determine the control measures that ought to be used. Things such as the local weather conditions, the layout of the working area, number of people involved, the structure that is to be demolished and the method of demolition to be used should be put into consideration.
- Decision making on the steps to be carried out in relation to the problems: There is a hierarchy of control which is ranked from protection and reliability of the highest level to the lowest level. When managing risk, it is a requirement that you work through the given hierarchy. The highest control measure that needs to be carried out involves the elimination of the hazard and any related risk and if that is not possible minimizing the risk is control measure that should be taken.
- Reviewing the risk controls: This is a way of ensuring the controls that have been put into place are working as planned. Reviewing of the control measures that have been used should be done regularly to ensure that they remain effective throughout the demolition work process.
There is a need for preemptive coverage for each demolition project that is carried out regardless of the situation to cover the loss and injuries associated with the demolition work as a way of protecting individuals during the entire process. Certified personnel should always be on-site to ensure complete safety for each process undertaken.