OSHA Quick Card

Demolition Safety Tips

Demolition work involves many of the same hazards that arise during other construction activities. However, demolition also involves additional hazards due to a variety of other factors. Some of these include: lead-based paint, sharp or protruding objects and asbestos-containing material.

Prevent Falls
  • Brace or shore up the walls and floors of structures which have been damaged and which employees must enter.
  • Inspect personal protective equipment (PPE) before use.
  • Select, wear and use appropriate PPE for the task.
  • Inspect all stairs, passageways, and ladders; illuminate all stairways.
  • Shut off or cap all electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other service lines; notify appropriate utility companies.
  • Guard wall openings to a height of 42 inches; cover and secure floor openings with material able to withstand the loads likely to be imposed.
  • Floor openings used for material disposal must not be more than 25% of the total floor area.
  • Use enclosed chutes with gates on the discharge end to drop demolition material to the ground or into debris containers.
  • Demolition of exterior walls and floors must begin at the top of the structure and proceed downward.
  • Structural or load-supporting members on any floor must not be cut or removed until all stories above that floor have been removed.
  • All roof cornices or other ornamental stonework must be removed prior to pulling walls down.
  • Employees must not be permitted to work where structural collapse hazards exist until they are corrected by shoring, bracing, or other effective means.

For more complete information:
OSHA Occupational
Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Labor
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA

OSHA 3290-10N-05