So in our latest blog, we talked about some basic introductory things in regards to demolition. Basically everything mentioned in that post, was focusing more on the consumer that is debating the need of a demolition VS a remodeling construction project. I won’t repeat myself in today’s blog by mentioning what we discussed yesterday.
Today’s article will focus more on the contractor: the demolition company to take part in the project.
And today’s topic is safety. Note that although what I am about to say will focus on the demolition professionals, you – the home owner – keep an eye out to make sure your demolition guy is aware of these basic parameters of safety. As an article I read the other day suggests, more and more constructions are taking place in 2017. So consumers need to be aware of sloppy and lazy construction companies.
So let’s jump right in…
There is no doubt, among all demolition and construction professionals, that safety is the #1 objective in every operation. Both the safety of the customer and the safety of the workforce. I am not going to worry too much about buildings, because you don’t see buildings being rushed to the hospital by an ambulance. So first of all, you all need to make sure that the whole crew is trained appropriately. Not only will that spare some very unfortunate incidents in regards to civilians, but it will also protect themselves.
Do not rush your labor force into the more technical or gigantic operations. Start them off with a small excavator that is trying to tear down a silo. Or start with a swimming pool that needs to be removed, or something like that. And then, as they gain experience they can climb the latter and get into greater size projects. Also, when you decide to use explosives, make sure you are getting a bomb expert who is going to work closely to the engineer-architect to place the charges at the right parts of the building. Imagine blowing up a 10 story building, and that collapsing on the street, instead of going straight down to the ground.
Speaking of streets: make sure you close all the perimeters around and no civilians are allowed. Get in contact with local law enforcement and make sure the area is secured and no vehicles nor people are around the demolition site. Also, if you are planning on working on a really large project that may need explosives, make sure you get in contact with local media (radio, TV stations etc) so that all people in that area are aware of what’s about to happen. They can go onto their work that morning, but they must be aware that there is an active demolition site, and flying pieces of debris may be in the air.
When you go into a building using an excavator, please make sure you are following all protocol and guidelines on things like the distance from the rest of the construction, the starting point of the demolition process and any other details you will need to look at. It would be stupid to start tearing down a structure of a building that is supporting something else on top. You are risking the lives of the operators and even your machinery equipment (but we aren’t talking about that right now.) Speaking of operators, make sure everyone is clean inside out: no booze, no drugs. Nothing that can influence their judgement and use of the large bulldozer. Everyone the night before should be well rested and focused on the task at hand. Not only is your customer paying you big money to take care of all those tons of cement and brick: you will be paying big bucks if you screw up and someone gets hurt (plus the hustle of going to court and all that good stuff.)
Believe me, being a little bit more cautious is never an irrational behavior. It is better that you are over protective and careful, than being more sloppy and paying a big price at the end. A very good friend of mine who also operates a demolition company (out in Georgia) had a very serious and complicated situation with the law in regards to safety. He started cutting corners and sooner than he knew it, he would have to pay for civil damages for his employees because of a stupid mistake he made on the deconstruction site. There is no better feeling, than going to bed at night, and knowing that you did your absolute best to make the site as safe as possible for everyone! It’s also your job…
My intention isn’t to preach to you guys, but rather help you realize the importance of the situation. If it isn’t for the people that can get hurt, apply safety to avoid legal implications. I read every day of some demolition company that is paying the price for some lawsuit a consumer won or a next door neighbor. It always pays to be well prepared and safe in everything that you do. Service your excavators and bulldozers plus all the other machinery you will be using. No sense going cheap on perhaps a few of the most important tools you have.