Structure demolition projects are risky for the most part. Extra safety precautions should be put in place to avoid exposure to hazardous materials, casualties, and damage to property by falling debris. Rigging of equipment before and after the demolition project is also a process that should be approached carefully to prevent accidents and injuries as a result of improper planning and careless mistakes when securing equipment. Here are some guidelines that can help maintain safety when rigging equipment and demolishing structures.
Pre-demolition safety precautions
In most demolition projects that involve tall buildings, a wrecking ball is usually hung from a crane and used to demolish the building to a height that's manageable for the demolition equipment and workers. The ball should be properly attached to the lifting hook of the crane at the specified points using strong cable or wire ropes. Inspect the cables for any signs of physical wear before using them, and ensure that the wrecking ball is properly secured to the crane.
Demolition equipment rigging
Ensure the following precautions are observed when rigging demolition equipment on the site:
- Determine the weight and center of gravity of equipment to ensure a safe lift and prevent toppling over due to imbalance.
- When dealing with equipment that requires a critical lift, that is, equipment whose weight is almost proportional to that of the rigging equipment, you should come up with a solid lift plan. Inspect the dimensions of the load, set up safety precautions to avoid failure of the crane and ensure the crane is positioned on stable, even ground.
- Check the slings and chains to ensure they are not worn or cracked.
- Inspect the clasps and hooks for any signs of deformation that could compromise the lift.
Demolition safety observations
Collapsing materials and debris can cause injuries to demolition workers and riggers. To avoid such incidences, you should set up safety guidelines and procedures which should be known to all the workers on the site. You can take these measures to ensure the safety of workers:
- Inspect the site for any hazards and correct them before workers can begin demolitions.
- Interior parts of the building should be adequately lit to avoid falls and injuries.
- Workers should not be allowed to work around the area where debris is falling.
- Workers should steer clear of the crane's working area during rigging in case equipment falls due to instability or crane failure.
- Structural components of the building should only be removed after all the walls and floors have been demolished to prevent collapse.
Demolition is a risky project that requires implementation of safety procedures during rigging of equipment and the entire project. Hiring professional riggers for the project can minimize or eliminate safety concerns, hazards, and casualties associated with the incorrect rigging of equipment.