Demolition environments risks & Hazards

Demolition environments risks & Hazards

Where any redundant building, structure plant has contaminated flammable materials, precautions must be observed to avoid fires and explosions. Specialist advice must be required to identify any residual materials and assess whether any contamination remains. Any residue of flammable materials must be made safe.  Deliberate burning of structures must not be used as a method of demolition. The burning of any waste materials, such as timber, on demolition sites must not be undertaken without approval of the local relevant authorities. 

Welding and cutting during the demolition phase

When welding or cutting at the demolition site, sparks will present a fire hazard. Any flammable materials should be identified during and fire risk assessed before this type of work is executed. The escape of explosive gases from accidental damage to pipes during the demolition process is yet another source for fire and explosions. All services, including gas, need to be identified identified during the pre-demolition survey.  Where services are shown on original plans  for the structure and site, but cannot be found, work should cease until further investigation determines the location of these services. 

Arson, Good housekeeping and security

Arson, especially when the site is unattended, is a further risk of fire. Adequate site security, particularly the boarding of empty window spaces, and good housekeeping of the sit, by removing and/or isolating flammable and combustible materials, will assist in reducing the risk or arson at a demolition site. Portable fire extinguishers and access to local fire hydrants should be maintained throughout the demolition process.

Welding and cutting during the demolition phase

Environmental airborne hazards in the form of pollution can be produced from petrol- or diesel-engine powered vehicles or machinery. This is a particular problem when the engines are poorly maintained or being overworked. Carbon monoxide from petrol- or diesel-driven plant is operated in enclosed areas. Finally, fuel storage tanks should be surrounded by a bund and standing vehicles and vessels should be provided with drip trays beneath them to prevent fuels from contaminating the ground and water courses.

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