Demolition isn’t a job anyone with a hammer can do. There are very specific methods and procedures demolition contractors need to be well versed in to be safe. Accidents can still happen even with this specialized training. In fact, between 2009 and 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued almost 1,000 citations for violating construction demolition standards. To avoid accidents, you have to know the common risk factors on a job site.
The Unpredictability of Demolition
In an ideal world, demolition contractors would know exactly how the building was built and be aware of any changes to the structural design that aren’t in the original blueprints. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, which can make demolition unpredictable. The biggest sources of unpredictability on a demolition job site are:
Structural design variations made on the fly during construction
Any kind of change to the structure’s original design
Unknown structural materials that require specialized treatment, such as asbestos, silica, lead, and hazardous materials
Hazards created during the demolition process
Addressing Risk Factors
To equip demolition contractors with the tools they need to stay safe, OSHA created Subpart T of 29 CFR Part 1926. Within these rules, OSHA creates a framework of safety standards for common tasks performed on a demolition project, including:
- Preparatory operations.
- Stairs, passageways, and ladders.
- Removal of materials through floor openings.
- Removal of walls, masonry sections, and chimneys.
- Manual removal of floors.
- Removal of walls, floors, and material with equipment.
- Removal of steel construction.
- Mechanical demolition.
- Selective demolition by explosives.
It’s important for demolition contractors to keep safety top of mind and watch out for common demolition hazards. At DT Specialized Services, we have a track record of safety and will continue to strive to be one of the safest demolition contractors in the area.