In today’s post, we’ll conclude our ongoing series discussing what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls “construction in reverse,” meaning the demolition process.
To reiterate, our motivation in discussing this important topic over the last several weeks has been to help developers, contractors and others understand that demolition encompasses more than just tearing down and picking up the pieces. Indeed, failure to undertake the necessary planning can expose workers to all manner of risks from falls and burns to electrocution and chemical inhalation.
Personal Protective Equipment
According to OSHA’s instructive guidelines, those looking to raze a particular structure must not only determine if there are potential dangers present ahead of time, but also equip workers with the necessary personal protective equipment based on their assessment.
This could include everything from protective clothing designed to shield eyes, hands, face or feet, to hearing protection, respiratory protection and personal fall arrest systems.
Furthermore, developers or contractors should understand that their duties extend beyond just supplying this equipment, as they will also need to ensure that employees are trained on everything from selecting, fitting and using the equipment to inspecting, maintaining and storing it.
In keeping with this idea of mandatory training, OSHA indicates that those planning demolition work are legally obligated to provide workers with proper instruction regarding how to identify and remove, or identify and avoid those hazards associated with their assigned duties.
It’s also worth noting that additional OSHA training may be required depending upon the nature of the work being performed, and that any training provided on any topic must be understandable to all workers in terms of both vocabulary and language.
Please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you have questions or concerns relating to any sort of construction law matter or dispute.