In our previous post, we started discussing how the demolition process entails much more than just swinging a wrecking ball, wielding some sledgehammers and picking up the pieces. Indeed, we explored how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls demolition “construction in reverse,” and has even created some instructive guidelines to help mitigate the risks associated with the process.
In today’s post, we’ll start taking at closer look at these guidelines as they pertain to planning for demolition work.
According to OSHA, any demolition work should be preceded by an engineering survey conducted by a qualified individual who can assess the overall condition of the structure being torn down and, by extension, help prevent any unplanned collapses.
Similarly, OSHA advises that those planning demolition work should also undertake some manner of health assessment prior to the commencement of work in order to identify any hazardous materials hidden within the structure that may necessitate special handling such as asbestos or silica.
Next, OSHA indicates that those performing demolition work should take care to identify and secure any utilities located in close proximity to the site before starting work and, if necessary, contact the necessary entities for assistance. For example, a call to the power company should be made to identify any buried gas lines before excavation work associated with the demolition is undertaken.
As a final component to planning for safe demolition work, OSHA advises the creation of a fire prevention and evacuation plan, and, equally important, the creation of policies and procedures outlining the provision of first aid and emergency medical care in the event of an accident.
In our final post on this topic, we’ll examine the personal protective equipment and training that OSHA says can go a long way toward controlling or eliminating the hazards associated with demolition work.
If you have question or concerns related to a construction law matter, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.