Every type of construction work has to deal with some unprecedented risks and safety issues during project execution. Demolition is, however, particularly prone to a range of health and safety risks due to its rather unsettled nature. So, if you struggle to control health and safety-concerned matters in your company, this article will definitely point you in the right direction!
Unplanned structure collapse, falling debris, loading hazardous materials - these are just a few of the safety risks associated with demolition. Let’s be honest, it’s no secret that this industry is one of the most perilous ones out there and site workers do often put their lives at risk. Since their safety is every contractor’s working on a demolition project responsibility, they should protect them at all costs from any hazards. This is why health and safety on site should be treated as the top priority of any successful demolition company!
As on every construction worksite, the risk levels are very high. Your demolition company must be facing the following problems:
Falls from height - during demolition and dismantling, a worker can be injured falling from edges through fragile surfaces or partly destroyed floors.
Uncontrolled collapse - accidental collapse of the structure can hurt any construction worker.
Noise and vibration - frequent exposure to loud noise can permanently damage a demolition worker’s hearing and can be an obstacle when communicating with others on site; vibrating hand tools can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).
Injury from falling materials - falling demolition materials and flying debris can injure not only the workers but also passers-by.
Fire - it can appear where hot work (using any tools that generate spark, flame or heat) is being done.
Risks from connected services - before demolition work commences, all gas, water, electricity and telecommunications services must be either disconnected or isolated.
Hazardous materials - dust, asbestos, respirable crystalline silica (RCS) are all considered dangerous on site. It also happens that there is contamination on site, which hasn’t been cleared yet, such as: flammable liquids, microbiological hazards, paints or acids.
However dangerous and unpredictable, the hazards of demolition work can be both reduced and controlled. In order to prevent danger on site and provide a safe working environment for your employees, you must take into account the following issues:
Site workers must follow the instructions and plans given to them by those in charge of the work and ensure that their colleagues do too.
Barriers or hoardings should be used to clearly mark exclusion zones and dangerous areas. On top of that, using high-reach machines as well as reinforcing machine cabs to keep drivers safe is recommended.
Site managers must ensure workers are supervised and are following safe working practices.
It very often happens that the companies with well-organised H&S processes, focus more on reporting events and issues they had to deal with up until now and drawing conclusions based on them.
So, what happens when there is an incident on-site? How to make sure it won’t be repeated in the future? At Archdesk, we provide a tool called Forms that helps you keep all information about such incidents digitally without the need to enter data manually. You can submit an Accident, incident investigation report, where you enter all the important details regarding the event, such as: type of occurrence, its severity, its impact on environment and on other workers’ safety, occurrence details, witnesses and outcome.
All documentation used in your company can be added to our system and each document can have its own approval process, which redirects the information to the right person. On top of that, such a form may trigger actions in the system saying for instance that we could add a process to our workflow management, which will tell us precisely how to deal with a given problem. It is possible to access the form directly from the system or via a link from a phone or tablet.
While submitting such a form about an accident on-site, there is a specific process you must follow:
Accident, incident & near miss report received
Risk Control & Action Plan
When it comes to Risk Control & Action Plan, it is a document that is generated at the end and which focuses on the next steps. It analyses which risk control measures should be implemented in the long and short term to prevent similar incidents from happening again and verifies which risk assessments and safe working procedures need to be reviewed and updated. In other words, each incident is turned into some sort of action plan so that such a situation does not happen again. Finally, the findings of this investigation must be communicated to the managers - a project manager or a managing director. At the end, there are automatic summary reports being made, which inform us on the frequency and type of incidents occurring on-site.
If you are looking for the right tool that will help you face repercussions of unprecedented events on a demolition site, Forms will be a perfect match for you!
Visit us here to find out more!
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