Demolishing a building can be a dangerous process. Here are two safety precautions those who provide demolition services must take when carrying out this type of work.
Minimise dust inhalation
The inhalation of any type of dust can result in lung irritation and can exacerbate a person's existing lung conditions (such as asthma, for example). However, the types of dust often generated by demolition work can be particularly harmful when inhaled.
For instance, asbestos (a collective term for a group of specific minerals) can still be found in many parts of older buildings. If asbestos particles become airborne (as they are likely to do when a structure is being demolished) and labourers on the site inhale these particles, their risk of developing lung cancer later in life will drastically increase.
Similarly, if labourers are exposed to particles of silica (a substance that can be found in wall plastering and other areas of a building), they may be at risk of developing silicosis (a serious lung condition).
As such, demolition services must take steps to minimise the amount of dust that is released into the air during the process of demolishing a building.
One effective way to do this is to use heavy-duty pressure washers to hose down the building before beginning the demolition work. If the structure is wet, less dust will be flung into the air when it is destroyed.
It is also advisable for the managers of these projects to provide labourers with respiratory masks to further reduce the amount of dust that they inhale during the course of the work day.
Protect workers and passers-by from falling debris
The large, heavy chunks of debris that fall to the ground during the demolition process can kill or severely injure those standing within a few metres of the building. As such, it is crucial for site managers to take steps to protect both workers and passersby from this debris.
The best way to protect the individuals who will be performing the demolition work is to ensure that the cab of the equipment they will be sitting in features reinforced glass that will not shatter easily if subjected to the force of a falling object.
To ensure the safety of workers on the ground, the site manager should set up signs to clarify which areas of the demolition site are hard-hat zones (i.e. places where workers must wear protective headgear to shield themselves from falling debris).
Setting up large barriers around the edges of the demolition site is the most effective way to prevent passersby from accidentally wandering into the demolition area and being injured.