Safety in Demolition

Before work starts

  • Ensure you have been briefed and know exactly what you should be doing.
  • Make sure you follow the method statement and work as planned.
  • Ensure you know where demolition plant will be operating.
  • Plant used for demolition must have protected cabs.
  • Don’t enter a building if it appears to be unsafe.
  • Find out from your supervisor if there are any live services.
  • Find out if there are any hazardous materials in the structure, e.g. acids from industrial processes, asbestos from pipe lagging or biological hazards from old hospitals.


  • Don’t overload floors with materials, they will collapse
  • Don’t demolish walls and floors adjacent to other workers
  • Damp down to reduce dust. Face fitted FFP£ face masks must be worn when disturbing silica (stone and Concrete) dusts
  • Keep noise to a minimum
  • Signalers must be provided where machines are used adjacent to other workers or the public
  • Consider safe manual handling techniques
  • Many demolition accidents happen because materials haven’t been moved so work in a tidy manner at all times

During the demolition

  • Demolition must be supervised by a competent person.
  • Think about what may happen when the item you are working on is removed and highlight any concerns to your supervisor.
  • Ensure you wear your personal protective equipment.
  • Respirators are required in dusty conditions.
  • Work from correctly erected scaffold platforms or towers and hydraulic or crane-handled work baskets.
  • When cutting steel, secure gas bottles, use flashback arresters: store spare bottles in compounds; take care with hoses and provide a means of putting out fires.
  • Before burning rubbish on site, check that it’s permitted.
  • Replace damaged sheeting or hoardings designed to protect other workers or the public.
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