6 Tips for Keeping Demolition Safe
While many myths about the demolition industry abound, the idea that the practice is inherently dangerous still holds true today. When heavy machinery and destruction are combined, there are obvious risks involved. While the demolition industry in Australia is legislated to promote safety above all else, there is always potential for disaster. For those considering entering the industry, or those simply wanting to make their workplace safer for others, there are a few simple ways to make demolition safe.
Properly trained staff
In this day and age, the idea that a new recruit would start on the job without the proper training is abhorrent. It goes without saying that safety training should go hand-in-hand with other induction certification and training for new recruits. This kind of training is also important for more senior staff, who may be new to the firm. It is easy to assume that senior staff and management would be well versed in safety protocol, however, that is not to say that they understand the procedures and safety expectations of their new workplace. A formalised safety training should be undertaken by each member of staff, despite their experience level.
Making safety a shared responsibility
While the major hazards of any site will be experienced at the pointy end of the process, it’s not only those operating the heavy machinery who need to be concerned with safety. Simple, small hazards can be the difference between a safe worksite and a serious accident. Whether it be office and admin staff, or visiting contractors, creating a culture of safety-consciousness throughout the workforce will go a long way to preventing minor and major incidents from occurring. When safety is everyone’s responsibility, few are likely to forget it.
Regular machinery checks/audits
It goes without saying that a large proportion of demolition site accidents involve machinery. Faulty equipment can not only hold up the job, but has the potential to create havoc for workers on site. Ensuring that equipment is regularly maintained and audited for safety can reduce the likelihood of accident and injury significantly (not to mention, keep your job running on time.)
Training, training, and re-training
Just as well-maintained machinery is more likely to perform, so too are well-trained staff. While it is important to train all new recruits, it is equally imperative to re-train at regular intervals. A brush-up on safety procedures, as well as updates on new policies, is an essential part of maintaining a culture of safety-consciousness.
Plan for hazards (job safety analysis)
A proper JSA (job safety analysis) should be conducted before every demolition job is undertaken, of course. A key part of properly assessing the risk involved with any demolition task is planning for hazards, and having real, trainable, manageable solutions for these potential hazards in place. All staff should be aware of what to do in an emergency, or in the event of an accident, and should be aware of how to act, who to notify, and how to minimise the risk to themselves and others.
Lead by example
Just as safety is everyone’s concern on a demolition site, safety practices should always be observed by senior management and visiting contractors. Leading by example involves all staff, from the most senior company executive, to the newly-appointed labourer, wearing the appropriate safety gear at all times, being familiar with the safety procedures and hazard reduction policies, and conducting themselves in a safety-conscious manner at all times.
While demolition may be an inherently risky business, following these simple and effective guidelines will ensure that incidents are less likely to occur.