Moving Up To The Big Time: Safety Precautions For Your Company's First Apartment Building Demolition Job

26 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If your demolition firm has just won its first bid to do a major demo job in the city, then it's important to understand the safety precautions that you will need to employ. Small tear down jobs that you might have done in the past (houses, single story strip malls, etc.) will not have prepared you for the unique troubles that come along with doing apartment building demolition in a populated area. You will need to employ safety measures, such as barricade fencing, that are not necessary with a single story tear down. Also, you will be using a crane, which is a serious piece of machinery and needs to be treated with respect. Here's the new safety precautions that you will need to deal with during your first time tearing down an apartment building.

Perimeter Fencing

A perimeter fence is crucial to preventing pedestrian injuries. On previous jobs you might have been dealing with a structure that was far off the sidewalk, such as a strip mall or home in the suburbs that is recessed from the street. Apartment buildings in the city are right on the sidewalk, so pedestrians might wander right into your area of work. A barricade fence will prevent this. The fence should be solid, not chain link or mesh wire. Small bits of concrete can go flying during the demolition process, and they will travel through the holes in mesh fencing. Chose a solid plywood fence.

Correct Scaffolding Setup

If you've never dealt with a demo process that handled structures larger than a single story, they you will not have dealt with scaffolding. You cannot use ladders for multi-story demolition work. It's not safe to have the workers on ladders, nor is it efficient. The workers will constantly have to re-position the ladders. This is why every professional demolition company has scaffolding. When buying your scaffolding (or renting it) look for a scaffolding setup that has steel plates on the bottom support legs. The plates should have holes that you can place anchor bolts in and secure the plate to the ground. This will stabilize the scaffolding and prevent it from tipping over. Not all scaffolding comes with these stabilizer plates, so make sure you are not getting a painter's scaffold (which often don't have these plates). You want a heavy duty demolition or steelworker grade scaffolding.

Crane Inspection

Cranes are an integral part of any large scale construction project. It's likely that you will be renting the crane from a supply company. After the crane is delivered to your site, you should have a third party come and inspect it. The last thing you want is for there to be a malfunction while you are transporting steel support beams several stories above ground level. A collapse could occur, which would not only ruin your project, but would also incur serious legal costs if there were damages to outside property or people.

You will need to use the crane to remove support beams if the structure is being dismantled during the demolition. If you are working with a wood and brick frame building, you will still need a crane. The crane will be used to operate the wrecking ball. In a tight space, such as you will find with a city apartment building, it's vital that the crane operator be able to control the movement precisely. So make sure the controls are operating at 100 percent and have the device inspected before letting loose the wrecking ball.

For more information, contact local professionals like All Ship & Cargo Surveys Ltd.