A demolition work is any kind of work that involves the complete dismantling of a structure or part of a structure. The structure can either be temporary or permanent, immovable or moveable like towers, storage tanks, sheds, buildings, storage towers and chimney stacks. When demolishing an element of a structure that is load bearing, it will be labeled as ‘high risk construction work’. When the demolition work involves high-risk construction work, you must prepare a Safe Work Method Statement.
Demolition work that requires a report under the WHS Regulation include
The demolition process is much simpler for small structures like houses that consist of a maximum of three stories. The man-made structure is flattened either manually or mechanically through the use of sizable hydraulic equipment such as bulldozers, excavators and cranes. Meanwhile, for larger structures, a wrecking ball may be required. A wrecking ball is a heavy ball made of metal that is swung by a crane to hit a building for the purpose of demolishing it. Wrecking balls are highly effective when used against stonework but it has a couple of disadvantages. One, wrecking balls are difficult to control and two; they are less effective compared to modern methods. Today, the latest methods make use of rotating hydraulic shears as well as silenced rock-breakers that are affixed to excavators to penetrate through concrete, steel and wood.
Make sure you comply all the needed requirements before you start the demolition work.
Demolition work has its own fair share of hazards. Identifying what these are can help manage the risks. The following are potential hazards of demolition work:
After you have identified the hazards, your next step is to perform a thorough risk assessment. A risk assessment is crucial to help you establish the control measures you are going to use to reduce the risk of potential hazards. This is a requirement when you are working with explosives and/or asbestos.
When evaluating the risks involved in demolition work, you should take into account the following:
Control measures for demolition hazards must have a ranking. The ranking must be from the highest reliability and protection to the lowest. The said ranking is commonly known as the hierarchy of control.
You should strive to remove the hazard but if this is not feasible then you should at least reduce the risk by one or a combination of the following:
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must obtain a demolition work licence as required by the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation.
There are specific legal requirements needed before demolition work:
1. OBTAIN A NOTICE OF DEMOLITION WORK – WHS REGULATION 2011, S142 (1) AND (2)
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that intends to pursue the following types of demolition work must present a written notice to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland at least five days before the work begins.
The notice must be done using Form 65: Notification of licensed asbestos removal work, demolition work or emergency demolition.
2. OBTAIN A NOTICE DEMOLITION WORK BY AN EMERGENCY SERVICE ORGANISATION – WHS REGULATION 2011, S142 (2), (3), (4)
All emergency service organisations must provide a notice of demolition work (s142 (2), (3) and (4) as soon as possible. It can be done before or after the demolition work is carried out, when the demolition work is carried out while providing first aid to a person.
3. MUST HAVE A LICENCE TO CARRY OUT DEMOLITION WORK – WHS REGULATION 2011, S143
A PCBU or a direct worker must not be allowed to carry out demolition work unless they are licensed to perform demolition work.
4. NOMINATED COMPETENT PERSON MUST BE AVAILABLE AND PRESENT DURING DEMOLITION WORK – WHS REGULATION
Whoever is nominated under a demolition licence must be present to supervise the workers who will carry out the demolition work.
5. TRAINING FOR WORKERS – WHS REGULATION 2011, S144(2)
The PCBU that holds the licence to perform the demolition work must train the workers to ensure that the demolition work is done proficiently and safely.
6. CONSTRUCTION WORK – WHS REGULATION 2011 CHAPTER 6 CONSTRUCTION WORK
Under WHS Regulation, demolition work is regarded as construction work therefore it must be carried out in compliance with the strict regulations.
7. SAFE WORK METHOD STATEMENTS – WHS REGULATION 2011, S291 AND S299
The safe work method statements are strictly necessary for all high risk construction work.
8. NOTIFIABLE INCIDENTS – WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 2011, S35, S36, S37, S38 AND S39
Complete or partial collapse of a building is considered a dangerous incident. It is imperative that you notify the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland right away.