Demolition Projects: Changing Workplaces with Changing Hazards Hazard Alert

Topic: Demolition Projects: Changing Workplaces with Changing Hazards
Date Issued: February 21, 2012 Date Revised:

A worker crushed his hand when the pipe he was cutting with a torch suddenly fell, pinning his hand between the upper and lower sections. A section of the pipe he was working on had been removed the previous day, reducing the structural integrity of the lower section.

Demolition project sites are constantly changing and, as a result, so do the hazards. Workplaces that change from hour to hour present a challenge for employers and employees alike. Proper job planning and hazard assessment can prevent injuries.

Examples of demolition hazards include:

  • Material and debris removal through floor and roof openings.
  • Inadequate shoring to maintain the structural integrity of buildings.
  • Improper identification of utility locations.
  • Inadequate signage and lighting.
  • Use of hand and power tools and welding equipment.
  • Catch platforms and falling materials.

WorkSafeNB Recommends the Following Preventive Action

  • Have detailed demolition plans.
  • Hold regular tool box safety meetings and encourage participation.
  • Conduct frequent and regular worksite inspections.
  • Ensure supervisors are able to identify and control hazards.
  • Ensure employees are properly trained and instructed in their required tasks.
  • Reduce exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead and PCBs.
  • Perform hazard identification and job task analysis for each new challenge.
  • Provide the personal protective equipment required by the Regulation.


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