Step 5 – Health & Safety Assessment

During every demolition project, health and safety is vital in protecting the wellbeing of workers as well as the general public. Due to the overall danger of demolition and the risk of exposure to things such as dust, asbestos, moving plant and partially demolished structures being extremely high, the law is strict and requires a Health and Safety Assessment to be carried out to assess all possible risks.

The purpose of the assessment is to help all parties plan, organise and monitor health and safety throughout the life of a project. Projects need to take into consideration the size of the demolition site, the type of machinery that will be required to complete the job and whether there is a risk from uncovering hazardous materials.

Assessing what equipment is needed

Depending on the nature of each demolition, different equipment will be required to maintain project accuracy and manage the overall safety for those involved. The assessment should highlight the most appropriate choices of equipment and assess whether there are any space and logistical constraints to consider.

Equipment for large-scale demolition

Larger-scale projects generally require a wider array of specialist equipment such as high-reach demolition excavators, standard excavators in different configurations, and often cranes where elements of dismantling and/or protection is required. Providing the correct and appropriate equipment for a project is vital to ensure safe demolition, as well as timely and co-ordinated delivery.This is widely referred to as mechanical demolition.
In order to transport the machinery to and from the site, low loaders will need to be used, and therefore site access will need to be planned in advance.

Due to the large amount of debris that will need to be removed from this type of demolition, HGV’s will also be essential; however, to reduce the environmental impact, on-site recycling equipment such as mobile concrete crushing units are key to maximise opportunity for re-use of material on site.

Occasionally, it may be necessary to use explosive techniques for large-scale projects such as a block of flats or structures that are deemed too unsafe to enter. In these circumstances, a specialist contractor with experience should be used who will then be able to provide the necessary equipment and implement the correct methodology for the controlled demolition.

Equipment for small-scale demolition

For small-scale demolitions, it is possible to complete the job by hand, mechanical demolition or both. The basic power tools that will be needed regardless include a hydraulic excavator, cutting torches, jackhammers and hand tools such as shovels and lever bars. Other basic equipment such as tower scaffolds, MEWP’s and wheelbarrows should be obtained to help workers reach where needed and ease the removal of site debris.

Completion of a COSHH Assessment

During demolition work, toxic, hazardous and chemical substances are very likely to be present. A Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Assessment concentrates on identifying hazardous substances, what precautions and control measures should be in place and the best form of removal to protect workers health and safety.

Eight steps will need to be followed when complying with COSHH:

Step 1 – Assess the risks to health from the hazardous substances used or created by your work.

Step 2 – Decide what precautions are required and do not carry out work which might expose workers to hazardous substances.

Step 3 – Prevent or control the exposure to hazardous substances, if this is not possible you must control the exposure.

Step 4 – Make sure any control measures are used and maintained.

Step 5 – Monitor the exposure of the substance to workers where a risk assessment has deemed it necessary.

Step 6 – Carry out health surveillance where your risk assessment has shown it to be necessary.

Step 7 – Draw up plans to deal with emergencies such as spillages etc.

Step 8 – Make sure workers are properly informed, trained and supervised.

An experienced contractor will be able to guide you through the the Health & Safety Assessment process to limit all potential risks. Each project is unique and requires a specific approach to ensure safe delivery.

As an audited member of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, Weaver can guarantee a well-managed and safe demolition project. Established in 1968, our dedicated and highly competent team have over 50 years experience in the demolition industry and can offer advice on how best to proceed. Combined with a large fleet of specialist company owned plant and equipment, you can be rest-assured your project is in good hands. For more information, please contact us here.

Demolition services in the South West, Cornwall & Devon since 1968

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