What is a demolition method statement?

It is critical that a comprehensive demolition method statement is in place before the commencement of a demolition, deconstruction or a major refurbishment project. on some occasions, the exterior of a building has to be preserved intact whilst the interior is completely stripped of partitioning, flooring and internal walls ready for refurbishment or redevelopment. This work requires careful control and management and is known as Soft Strip. During this process, temporary propping and structural support systems may be required. Any demolition project will require the application of many issues including:    

  • Working at height including the safe use of scaffolding
  • Access and egress from the demolition site
  • The protection of third parties, such as children, and surrounding structures
  • The isolation of main services
  • The installation of temporary services such as electricity 
  • The identification and removal of asbestos
  • The use of demolition plant and equipment 
  • Effective communication between all workers on the demolition site
  • Effective emergency arrangements 
  • The management of waste materials, both on-site segregation and off-site disposal;
  • The effective coordination of all work activities 

A demolition risk assessment should be made by the demolition contractor undertaking the applicable works-this risk assessment will be used to draw up a method statement for inclusion in the health and safety plan. This statement is a safe system of work that identifies the sequence of work required to prevent accidental collapse of the structure.

A written demolition method statement will be required before demolition takes place. The method statement contents will include the following:

  • Details of the method of demolition to be used including the means of preventing premature collapse or the collapse of adjacent buildings and the safe removal of debris from upper levels to prevent overloading due to the debris; 
  • Establishment of exclusion zones and hard-hat areas; clearly marked and with safety barriers or hoardings;
  • The design and method of temporary supports;
  • Details of site access and security 
  • Details of the location of any underground or overhead services
  • Details of protection from falling materials arrangements
  • Details of equipment, including access equipment, required, and any hazardous substances to be used
  • Details and use of high-rise demolition machines and reinforced machine cabs that drivers are not injured  
  • Arrangements for the protection of the public and the construction workforce against noise and whether hazardous substances, such as asbestos or other dust, are likely to be released 
  • Details of the isolation methods for any services which may have been supplied to the site and any temporary services required on the site
  • Details of personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, which must be worn by all personnel on site 
  • First-aid arrangements, emergency and accidents arrangements
  • Arrangements for the separation and disposal of waste
  • Names of site management and those with responsibility for health and safety and the monitoring of the work 
  • The coordination of all work activities on the site; and the expected level of competence of site workers  

Additional risk assessments, such as COSHH, personal protective equipment and material handling, should be appended to the demolition method statement. The isolation of all services ( gas, electricity, and water) which feed the site is essential before any demolition takes place. Contact with the appropriate services provider will be necessary since sites often have a complex of feeds for many of their services. The local authority and surrounding properties also need to be informed tat services are to be isolated.

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