Staying Safe on a Demolition Site
There were 39 fatal injuries to workers in the construction industry in 2020-21 and four to members of the public, according to data published by HSE. We all know that demolition sites are a hive of activity, with heavy materials and machinery around at all times, but these incidents need never happen. This means you have to take every possible step to stay safe on a demolition site.
This month at Hill Demolition, we’re giving you our top six tips to stay safe on a demolition site. So whether you work on the site or are visiting a site, you can factor in the following to avoid injury.
Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
This one should be pretty obvious, but it’s something that needs to be pushed constantly so that people don’t let their guard down. Personal protective equipment – known as PPE – covers a whole variety of wearable gear to keep you safe whether you’re working on or visiting a site. This can include:
- Hard hats
- Safety gloves
- Safety glasses
- High-visibility clothing
- Steel toe cap boots
- Ear protectors
- Dust masks
Keep the site as clear as possible
When we talk about keeping the site clear, we mean both in terms of the waste being generated, so that there are fewer trip hazards, but also in terms of people. For the former, it means having a waste management strategy in place. For the latter, that means only having people on site who absolutely need to be there and keeping people away from structurally unsafe areas until the necessary steps can be taken to make them safe.
Monitor noise, dust and vibration on site
A demolition site will, of course, come with noise, dust and vibration as natural byproducts of work being carried out. But the levels should be monitored to ensure they don’t exceed acceptable levels.
Constant loud noise can lead to damaged hearing, dust can pose a risk to respiratory health and working with vibrating equipment can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome. Your efforts to minimise all these risks for workers and the local community should form part of your site plan before any work begins.
Make sure an asbestos survey is carried out first
Asbestos surveys should be carried out before any demolition work begins. This ensures that any asbestos present can be dealt with properly by trained experts, allowing work to then proceed safely. If you disturb asbestos as part of demolition work because you’ve neglected this stage, it poses a huge health hazard to those working on the site and anyone close by in neighbouring properties.
Invest in training and qualifications
The best prevention for site accidents and injuries is to take preemptive action. This means investing in training and qualifications for anyone who may be expected on site. All staff on a demolition site should have the right level of qualifications, most of which will involve some form of health and safety training, but this doesn’t mean you can’t invest in further training and education to help better protect people.
Implement traffic management
If your site will see a lot of vehicles and machinery, make sure you’ve got a traffic management plan in place. This will help to control and monitor the number of vehicles on your site, allowing you to plan around reversing or slow-turning vehicles. You should also try to keep vehicles on the site separated from pedestrians with walkways, so that everyone has space to operate safely.
It only takes one accident to ruin the reputation of your business and ruin someone’s life, so when it comes to demolition works, leave it to the experts. At Hill Demolition, we’ve been handling the demolition and dismantling of buildings since 1968. That means we’re vastly experienced and work to the highest safety standards, something that has helped us gain our numerous industry accreditations, including CSCS and Constructionline Gold.
Call today to discuss our demolition services in London, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.