Breaking Good: How to Prepare for Demolition

Posted on: 16 November 2017

It's unusual to hire a demolition, so it's perfectly normal to be uncertain about what your role and responsibilities are.  Even once you've brought in a contractor, you should still consider yourself involved with the project, overseeing everything that's going on and ensuring you follow the steps below to keep the project running smoothly and in line with all local regulations – as well as efficiently and safely.

Check Paperwork

Companies and contractors carrying out demolition work in Australia are required to have licenses.  The only exception to this rule is for single-storey buildings, which do not require a license.  Licenses are available at classes I, II and III, the former of which is the most advanced and covers the most capabilities.  If the structure being demolished stands higher than 10m, you'll need contractors with a class I license.  A class III license covers only partial demolition of roofs.

Talk Safety

As an inherently dangerous activity, demolition should be taken with the utmost seriousness.  Your contractors should be willing and able to talk about their safety procedures and risk reduction policies.  If you don't feel confident that they put enough emphasis on safety, then choose another company.  It simply isn't worth the risk.

Notify Authorities

It is a legal requirement to notify your local authorities in advance when a demolition is taking place.  Different states have different guidelines regarding what kind of demolitions require notice, so in order to be safe, contact them anyway.  While you're in contact, you can check to make sure that your local area has no additional requirements to fulfil; different states and authorities do have different regulations, so it's important to check that you're complying with those.  Never assume that the contractor will take care of this; it's always better to report the demolition twice than not to report it at all.

Know Your Timescale

You may think of demolition as a quick process.  Certainly, some methods are almost instantaneous; others, however, can take weeks or months in complicated projects.  For example, manual demolition is much safer than using explosives, so is preferable to many contractors – but it will take significantly longer.  Make sure that you're communicating with your contractors so that both you and they understand the timeframe that you're working with.

In the end, it's all about due diligence – keeping an eye on local regulations, and championing safety on your site.  If you are conscientious with these things, then there should be limited scope for issues with your demolition. For more information, contact local demolition contractors.

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