A retail demolition project can involve bringing down and destroying a part of a building or an entire structure from floor to rooftop. There are expected hazards, like falling debris, fumes, and dust, but unknown factors like hidden asbestos can also present safety concerns. Demolition workers and their supervisors must plan for typical and unexpected dangers, share this information with their clients, and protect their employees and anyone else who might be at the site.
Here are some of the more common hazards found at retail demotion sites:
- Demolition site injuries. Any construction site can present risks for slipping, tripping, and falling from heights and same-level positions, due to ground vibrations, uneven surfaces, and debris.
- Clogged drainage systems. Throughout the demolition process, drainage systems can get blocked by dust and cause significant flooding.
- Weak construction materials. Concrete and other materials might be weaker than they appear, which can lead to collapse.
- Unknown design changes. A building’s original design may have been changed by an architect or other contractor, without documentation.
- Hidden hazardous materials. Besides asbestos, there could be other dangerous materials lurking within a structure. These need to be handled according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations.
The first step for planning an effective, efficient retail demolition project is to complete a thorough engineering survey. This includes locating utilities and preparing emergency response plans. All workers must be provided with and trained on the use of PPE (personal protective equipment), and if there are other retailers and people in the area, they must be informed in advance about the demolition and instructed on safety procedures.
If you would like to learn more about retail demolition, contact our team of safety-conscious professionals at Snead’s Outdoor Services.