Specific Hazards and Control Measures for Demolition Work

Specific Hazards and Control Measures for Demolition Work

Demolition Hazards

Demolition covers not just the demolition of buildings to make place for new construction, but also minor maintenance and repair projects such as the dismantling of parts of structures (for example, one part of a steel-framed building) or the removal of walls (e.g. to create open-plan rooms).

With a few exceptions, the hazards connected with demolition are fairly similar to those encountered in other types of construction activity.


Demolition hazards vary depending on the nature of the work, but typical hazards include:

  • The premature collapse of structures.
  • Work at height.
  • Plant and machinery.
  • Contact with live overheads.
  • Contact with buried services.
  • Movement of vehicles.
  • Noise and vibration.
  • Hazardous substances from previous use of the building.
  • Biological hazards from vermin or stagnant water.
  • Sharp objects, including glass and nails from the demolition, or syringes left by trespassers.
  • Manual handling.

Demolition Controls

Control measures include:

  • Careful assessment and planning of the work to reduce hazards whenever possible, such as using a long-reach equipment or a crane and ball to demolish in a way that keeps personnel away from the surrounding area.
  • Work at height must be eliminated or controlled.
  • Structural surveys to determine the structure’s strength and stability, as well as the strength and stability of neighbouring structures; propping and supporting may be required to avoid collapse.
  • determining the strength and stability of floors in order to guarantee that plant, machinery, and debris placed on them do not exceed their tolerance.
  • Services have been disconnected (e.g. gas, electricity, water).
  • Before demolishing, any hazardous materials, such as asbestos, must be removed and disposed of.
  • Creating a buffer zone around the location using fencing or hoardings to keep unauthorised visitors out.
  • Using a water spray to dampen the area and reduce dust production.

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