In the construction industry, there is always going to be a time in which it becomes absolutely necessary to demolish a building. When it is determined that this is a necessary step, there are a number of procedures that need to be followed. They might seem annoying or irritating, but in truth, they have been established and enforced by OSHA(Occupational Safety & Health Administration) so as to keep us safe on the job at all times. In essence, the rules exist so that we can go home to see our friends and families at the end of the day.
It is impossible to cover every single regulation set forth by OSHA, but we will try to cover a few of the basics. By the time you are done reading this you will have a basic idea of what OSHA expects of you, and you will be able to implement this in your next demolition job. Some of these are common sense but bear with us.
1)Head Protection-OSHA requires all demolition workers to wear some sort of head protection. This protection needs to include a hard hat that is rated for the job at hand. There are actually many different types of hard hats, and you want to make sure you have one which can handle falling debris.
2)Respiratory Protection-In many cases you will work in an environment where the air is not safe to breathe. Typically these are areas in which the air is filled with saw dust, or even the deadly asbestos. Make sure you have equipped a mask so that you don’t have to worry about inhaling any harmful materials.
3)Fall Protection-Scaffolds, roofs, cranes, ladders, what more can we say? The first thing to worry about are ladders, and OSHA requires that they are placed a certain distance away from walls when in use. In other words, you should not be doing a vertical climb during your demolition.
Scaffolding is yet another important part and is even more dangerous. You need to, first of all, make sure it is secured properly, and secondly make sure you have some sort of fall protection in place. A harness of some sort would be acceptable so that if you do fall, you won’t fall very far.
4)Training-We cannot stress enough that you need to train your demolition workers. There are many construction companies working under the table that doesn’t bother to train their workers, and this is a growing problem. It is dangerous and can lead to severe accidents.
5)Chutes-Chutes can be used to dispose of trash, but understand that if they are placed at more than a forty-five degrees angle, they must be enclosed. This is to protect both your workers and any pedestrians that may be walking by. There is just too much of a chance of an accident with an open chute.
These are a few of the safety rules that OSHA has set forth. Those who work in construction and demolition will come to know that name well, and though they might be annoyed by all the pesky rules, they will eventually come to understand that OSHA only exists to protect them. All of these rules have a purpose, and every person will have to come to terms with that at some point or another.