Demolition means the dismantling, breaking, or destroying of any fixed building or any parts of a structure. Every building structure naturally has a limited validity that depends upon the ground properties, material properties, structural design, erection quality, weather conditions, and others, etc. Once the structure exceeds its validity then it is no more considered as safe to occupy or even surround by. Hence, the building must be reconstructed or demolished if required.
However, demolition of a building or a structure should not only be done on the basis of validity of completion but also depends upon the modifications required to construct any other model of structure. Since demolition is one of the most hazardous process, you must involve industrial demolition contractors in Melbourne to analyze the conditions like whether it is suitable to demolish a building depending upon its vicinity areas, ground structures and strength.
A detailed survey and study should be done before commencing the demolition work. A proper plan should be made before demolition that includes the way where the various parts of the building to be demolished are supported and how far the demolition will affect the safety of the surrounding structures.
Points to be taken care of during planning for demolition:
- Location of the building that has to be demolished.
- Total time required to complete the demolition process.
- Type of structure of the building.
- Ground properties and strength of the adjacent building.
- Complete procedure for demolition.
- Equipment and tools required for demolition.
- Perfect knowledge of handling any hazardous material.
- Methods required to handle the final debris.
Risk assessment: A competent and experienced team must carry out risk assessment regularly. Proper training on safe systems of work, importance and usage of PPE, demolishing plan, sequence of operation, hazardous material handling and disposal, operation methodology and emergency response plan should be given to the workers associated with the operations before and during the process of demolition.
Training: The staff connected with the operations must be properly trained before and during the demolition process on maintaining safety during work , importance and usage of PPE, demolishing plan, sequence of operation, emergency response plan, disposal and proper handling of hazardous materials.
Restricted area: Restricted area is one of the most important concern during demolition. Watchmen should be deployed in order to insulate the people from caution zone and a buffer zone or site hoardings must be created around the demolition area.
Supervision: A qualified and a professional person must carry out supervision in order to reduce the chances of things becoming worse through continuous monitoring performed by an experienced engineer.
Advanced technology: Limited but effective utilization of advanced technology can be made where applicable in the demolition of a building or any structure in reverse order of construction. Some temporary props can be installed to the adjacent structures to support the unstable walls.
Housekeeping: housekeeping helps to prevent the undesired walls or floors to collapse. Make your surroundings as safe as possible like removal of debris as it is the most commonly found waste in the demolition operation through the adaptation of housekeeping.
Lighting and ventilation: The building owner/contractor in the worksite should provide adequate lighting and ventilation as there are trip and material fall hazards associated with the demolition process. The worksite must have an artificial as well as natural lighting.
Personal protective equipment: The owner must supply personal protective equipment like safety helmets, gloves, goggles, boots, safety belts and respiratory mask to the works that are associated with the demolition process.
Emergency equipment: Workers should have an easy access to emergency equipment like fire hose reel, fire extinguisher and first aid box.
Rules and regulations: All the applicable statutory rules and regulations must be followed and adhered to during the demolition process.
Responsibility: The owner of the building or the contractor must be held responsible for providing protection against all kinds of damages that occur to environment, people’s health and property during demolition.
Methodology: It is always advised to wet the walls or materials before breaking and lowering in order to control the formation and dispersion of dust.
Preplanning and precautions before any demolition work:
- An engineering survey of the structures/ buildings/ equipment should be made, by a competent person in order to determine the structural integrity and the possibility of unplanned collapse of any portion of the structure, building or any equipment before allowing any worker to start with the demolition process. There should be a similar checking of any adjacent structure where an employee would have been exposed and the employer must have an evidence in writing that such a task is performed under supervision.
- Ensure to have a proper document or a letter in order to perform the demolition task for any building, structure or equipment, etc. Schematic sketches for the key plan and elevations should be prepared showing the different buildings and structures to be demolished.
- Ensure that the adequacy & stability of parts to be demolished are retained. The contractors or consultants should prepare and finalize a definite plan of procedure with the executing or supervising department for the demolition task.
- An ambulance should be permanently deployed to the demolition site.
- Soak pit and septic tanks should be completely clean before starting the demolition of any civil building structure.
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