Demolition of load-bearing structures and health-endangering materials

Demolition is common before rebuilding, but also when one is going to construct completely new buildings and facilities. Sometimes an entire building is demolished, or just a part of it. Both require good planning so that it is not dangerous.

From a work environment perspective, it is important to know about the construction of a building in order to know how it can safely be demolished. Background documents are needed which show that the stability and load capacity is sufficient during all stages of the demolition. Often one needs to produce technical drawings and carry out different tests beforehand, in order to be able to do a reliable risk assessment of, for example, stability and whether there is health-endangering material in the structure.

It can also be important to know what type of activity occurred at the place beforehand. In addition there can be contaminated land. Inventory and investigation must therefore be carried out by experienced consultants.

Description of the demolition

From the investigations and the tests, a specific description of the demolition must be made. The description becomes both background material for the instructions to the employees, and a part of the work environment plan. The description should, for example, contain information about:

  • the construction of the object
  • material inventory of the object
  • in which order the demolition will take place
  • specific safety and stabilising measures in the different demolition stages
  • specific descriptions regarding health-endangering material, with how the work must be carried out and how the material should safely be dealt with from a work environment perspective
  • work that can entail risks of infection and hazardous exposure
  • which personal safety equipment should be used for the different work
  • description of how the work should be carried out in order to prevent risks regarding musculoskeletal ergonomics, noise and vibrations.

During demolitions, there must also be planning for unknown risks that could occur. Demolitions must always be led by an experienced and competent person. Demolitions may not be carried out alone. Employers, developers and building work environment coordinators have a responsibility to investigate whether there can be risks in connection with a demolition.

Asbestos and quartz (dust) are the most commonly occurring risks during demolitions. Several accidents caused by collapse and falls from height during demolitions have also occurred. In general, the work is often carried out with deficient planning regarding musculoskeletal ergonomics, noise and vibrations.

Building and civil engineering work, (AFS1999:3Eng), provisions

Omslagsbild: AFS
The provisions are aimed towards all who have responsibility for building and civil engineering work, including developers. They contain, among other things, regulations about the transport of material at construction sites, roof work, roadwork and safety nets.
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Last updated 2016-04-26