Safety Issues During Residential Demolition

Posted on: 21 February 2020

Safety is a critical consideration when demolishing a house. Failure to take adequate safety measures could cause accidents and injuries at the site. The article below discusses the various safety issues you should address before demolishing your home.

Dangerous Materials

Your house should be inspected for the presence of hazardous materials such as lead-based paints and asbestos. Homes constructed before the asbestos ban may contain friable and non-friable asbestos in the roof, walls, floor, insulation fillings and boilers. Lead-based paints can be removed with a low-temperature heat gun, with an electric sander or through wet scraping.  

Underground lines

Your contractor should locate gas, water and drainage lines below the surface. He or she should take adequate measures to prevent damage to these lines. For instance, he or she could erect flags to ensure earthmover operators do not drive through the lines. If this is impossible, you will have to move these utilities. 

Overhead Risks

Electrical cables, branches and streetlights are the most common overhead risks. They may hinder the operation of plant equipment or electrocute operators. While trees can be cut, you will have to determine a suitable method of avoiding electrical cables and streetlights.


Control noise pollution by working during the day when people are away at work. Alternatively, you could set up noise barriers or use equipment with noise reduction systems. Dust can be controlled by dampening the house before demolitions or using water curtains. 

Falling Objects

If the property is next to a busy street or your neighbour's compound, you may be concerned about falling objects. Counter this problem by deconstructing the upper floors. Alternatively, you could install a plastic safety pulse net around the building.

Access to the site

Neighbours, passers-by and other unauthorised personnel would want to visit the site to witness the demolitions. These people could be exposed to various risks such as slips, electrocution or plant equipment accidents. Barricade the site to prevent access by unauthorised personnel. If they have to visit the site, they should have personal protective clothing and be escorted by the site supervisor. 

Plant Equipment Accidents

Plant equipment could collide as they demolish the structure. Operators should be aware of their blind spots. They should also be in constant communication with each other and other personnel at the site. 

The demolition plan should address how the contractor will counter demolition risks. He or she should also have adequate insurance coverage to ensure people are compensated in case injuries and property damage occur during the demolition process. For more information, contact a residential demolition service.