Demolition is not an easy line of work. It takes hard work, sweat, and sometimes a little blood to get a job done to the level you expect. Of the 5,250 fatal occupational injuries in the United States in 2018, 1,008 of them were construction workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But when demo contractors take the time to create strict safety standards, we can limit or completely erase the injuries accrued on our job sites. Therefore, when we remain safe, so do you and your project. With that in mind, here are a few of the best safety standards and why they are so valuable to both our team and your project.
What is OSHA and How Does it Influence Our Safety Decisions & Planning
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the standards they hold contractors to are the foundation of any safety measures implemented on a job site.
The OSHA Act gives employers two duties:
- A general duty to provide a hazard-free workplace
- And a duty to obey occupational safety and health standards adopted by OSHA
What those look like in practice can vary based on the type of work being done. For demo contractors, training employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs is an important part. Quality demo contractors should train their crews to be qualified to deal with workplace hazards in a safe way.
OSHA standards may also require subcontractors to coordinate their health and safety plans. This approach is incredibly useful on job sites, promoting efficiency, completeness, and uniformity across the job site for the duration of your project. For example, by setting a site-wide set of safety standards, a clear understanding of expectations authority by on-site personnel is ensured. In the event of an emergency, all personnel on the site will have the same knowledge when it comes to understanding the proper response actions to take.
At some large multi-employer worksites, there are even more programs such as pre-bid safety record qualification tests, safety performance evaluations, safety audits, and mandatory safe work plans to improve health and safety compliance among contractors.
Common Issues and How We Combat Them
Demo contractors face a few common problems on no matter what job site they are working. Here we take a more in depth look at a few of them and how great contractors reduce the risk for their team and your job site.
At Alpine Demolition, we often say there are no accidents when it comes to safety. There are many precautions contractors should take, including planning for any event. As a part of this process, demo contractors conduct regular site walk-throughs and hold safety meetings to determine what aspects of the safety plan could be improved.
Additional precautions against workplace accidents include keeping worksites clean from debris and hazards, using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), and installing and maintaining guard rails when necessary. Demo contractors should also always inspect their equipment for any signs of damage or malfunction before use.
By ensuring employees understand which tools to use for which jobs, and how to properly use those tools, demo contractors should be able to keep their workplaces safe and injury free.
Fire is always a possibility which demo contractors must take steps to mitigate. If your specific demo project involves oil or solvent soaked rags, contractors should leave them in the open to dry, or store them in air-tight, fire resistant containers.
Additionally, all electrical demolition should be performed by a licensed and reputable electrical contractor to make sure there are no accidents or avoidable errors made.
If a fire does begin, fully-functional fire extinguishers are always available on site and training has been given to every crew member on how to properly work them. As an extra precautionary measure, demo contractors should create custom fire emergency and evacuation plans for their teams.
Theft is a common occurrence on large job sites that can be frustrating and expensive when not addressed. To protect against theft, demo contractors should lock down all equipment and tools, expensive building materials like copper, and any vehicles when not in use.
It is also great practice to keep careful records of any equipment on the job site, labeling any assets to ensure they are returned to you if lost.
Additional theft deterrents which may be more common on high-risk sites include fencing, ignition locks or fuel shut offs, and security cameras. If theft is considered a major issue in the area, many contractors will even work with local law enforcement to patrol the area.
Protecting You from Liability and Loss
Before beginning any job, you should sign a contract with your demo team that explains exactly what work is included and what is not. When you are searching for the correct demo contractor, be sure to hire only licensed, certified, and well-trained experts. If you fail to fully carry out this important step, it could end up costing you in the long run.
Alpine Demolition Services
Founded in 2002, Alpine Demolition Services has always been dedicated to providing the highest safety standards in the demolition industry. Our EMR (Experience Modification Rating) is .78, well below the average score of 1 and a feat we work hard every day to achieve.
Working with the best demo contractors means working with the safest. At Alpine, safety isn’t just a slogan; it’s a way of life. Let’s get started on your project. Contact us today.