Demolition workers could face unanticipated hazards

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Personal Injury

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, demolition worksites in Delaware and across the country often hide deadly hazards. Working at the sites is a dangerous job, and employers have the challenging task of protecting the health and safety of employees. Demolition of buildings or structures could involve wrecking, destroying, razing and dismantling procedures. 

Hidden hazards 

OSHA lists the hazards as those that could be life-threatening but hidden within the structures. Included could be lead, silica, asbestos and many other heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Not knowing the potential weaknesses of post-concrete and other construction materials exacerbate the dangers. 

Safety precautions 

OSHA requires employers to take the following precautions for any demolition works, never losing sight of the fact that workers might encounter unanticipated hazards: 

Plan 

Many lives can be saved and severe injuries prevented by proper planning before demolition work commences. A crucial task is a survey carried out by a competent person whose skills include analysing the structure to identify potential weaknesses that could result in unplanned collapses. Furthermore, that person must assess any health risks posed by hazardous chemicals and heavy metals. 

Provide 

The employer must provide each worker with the necessary personal protective equipment based on the safety analysis of a designated competent person. Workers must also receive training in the correct use of the PPE, including fitting, maintaining and storing it. 

Train 

As a part of employers’ responsibilities to keep workers safe, comprehensive safety training must be provided to ensure demolition workers will recognize any hazards they might encounter. Such training must be offered in a language understood by the workers. 

Regardless of how strictly safety standards are followed throughout a demolition project, unexpected injuries will continue to occur. Injured victims in Delaware might find comfort knowing that the workers’ compensation insurance program will provide benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Those whose injuries cause long-term or permanent disabilities might receive additional benefits.