Step 6 – Risk Assessment and Method Statement

Before any demolition or structural alteration work can begin on your project, first you will need to identify any potential hazards which may harm the workforce and surrounding areas. A thorough risk assessment should be completed that will help to highlight these problem areas which can then be used to create a method statement.

How should a risk assessment be carried out?

By doing a risk assessment, it gives you a chance to assess the key risks and outline how they can then be minimised during the project. As well as this, you should be assessing the impact on the surrounding buildings and road network to ensure minimum disruption.

You should carry the assessment out by first looking at the hazard and the likelihood of it causing harm or injury during the project. After that, outline how you are going to reduce or mitigate the possibility of any damage happening.

What should be assessed?

A demolition risk assessment should look at potential dangers and risks for the following:

  • Falls from height – includes risks of workers falling from edges, though fragile surfaces, openings, and partly demolished floors
  • Fire – includes risks from tools that cause sparks, heat, or flames
  • Hazardous materials – includes asbestos, dust, respirable crystalline silica, paints, acids, microbiological hazards, flammable liquids, and unlabelled drums
  • Uncontrolled collapses – consider the age of the structure, its use, nearby buildings, and type of construction
  • Falling materials – includes flying debris and premature structural collapse
  • Vibrations and noise – includes hand tools and machinery
  • Connected services – includes electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications
  • Worker involvement – includes awareness of the risks and precautions of the worksite


Each of the above should be recorded with a risk level and the likelihood of it occurring. These risk levels are usually indicated as:


  • Low risk
  • Medium risk
  • High risk


There is no set way that you should carry out and record a risk assessment, however, it should always be modified for the complexity of the demolition work being undertaken. The Health and Safety Executive allows access to a Construction Phase Plan that can be used to help you plan and organise the job whilst ensuring the project is carried out without risks to health and safety.


Writing the Method Statement

Once the risk assessment has been completed, a method statement should be written to describe the safety precautions you will need to put into place in order to control the identified risks and carry out work safely.

Each method statement should be a bespoke methodology for the current project and will take into account the protection of the workforce, the public and maintaining the structural integrity of the building whilst the demolition is carried out.

Even more, the method statements should not just suggest control measures; they should detail exactly how you are going to implement them. It should be written as clearly as possible so that the statement can be used as easy as a checklist for the needed safety precautions.

It’s important to note that if tasks are carried out in new locations or require new equipment, the statement should be reviewed and where necessary, rewritten to make sure the health and safety requirements are still relevant. This document is proof that you are carrying out tasks safely and legally so accuracy should be a priority for all projects.


What you should include

A method statement should set out the task in a logical, step-by-step manner so that clear instructions can be given to the workers. It is common for them to be put into four sections, for example:

Section 1 –  header information used to provide information to your staff or prospective clients, the following bullet points can be used for this.


  • Title and a brief description of the task
  • Company details
  • Location of where the task will be carried out, including address
  • Name of the person who completed the method statement
  • Full description of the work to be carried out including step by step guide
  • Work equipment and tools required


Section 2 – a summary of the main hazards and as a result, the control measures that must be implemented.


Section 3 – a description of the task in more detail:

  • Staff & training
  • Permits to work
  • Machinery shutdown and lock off procedures
  • Site Access and Egress
  • Material Handling
  • Scaffold & Access to height
  • Background and preparation
  • Welfare and first aid


Section 4 – the step by step guide which provides more detail on the steps that must be taken for the project to be carried out safely.


As every demolition project comes with its own risks, it’s important to make sure you hire professionals with the experience to know what to look for during risk assessments. Weaver Demolition’s dedicated and highly competent team have over 50 years experience in the demolition industry and can offer advice for this and all other stages of your project. For more information, please contact us here.



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

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