How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ’s

Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the May 8-12, 2017. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.

Certificate of Participation

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.

Demolition: Construction in Reverse, with Additional Hazards.

OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers often face a somber task as they identify and document the violation of safety and health standards which lead up to the latest worker tragedy. Demolition worker impaled on rebar. Worker electrocuted during demolition work.  Two demolition workers die of burns after flash fire at warehouse. Employee in aerial lift killed when roof collapses. However, the hazards of demolition work can be controlled and eliminated with the proper planning, the right personal protective equipment, necessary training, and compliance with OSHA standards. This Safety & Health Topics page is dedicated to the demolition workers who died on the job.

Demolition is the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure or any part thereof. Demolition work involves many of the hazards associated with construction. However, demolition involves additional hazards due to unknown factors which makes demolition work particularly dangerous. These may include:

  • Changes from the structure’s design introduced during construction;
  • Approved or unapproved modifications that altered the original design;
  • Materials hidden within structural members, such as lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling;
  • Unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete;
  • Hazards created by the demolition methods used.

To combat these, everyone at a demolition worksite must be fully aware of the hazards they may encounter and the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves and their employees.

Demolition hazards are addressed in specific standards for the construction industry.

For More Information Visit the New OSHA Demolition Page

Hazards

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

Proper planning is essential to ensure a demolition operation is conducted with no accidents or injuries. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • An engineering survey completed by a competent person before any demolition work takes place. This should include the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse.
  • Locating, securing, and/or relocating any nearby utilities
  • Fire prevention and evacuation plan
  • First Aid and Emergency Medical Services
  • An assessment of health hazards completed before any demolition work takes place
PROVIDE the right protection and equipment

The employer must determine what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be required.  In demolition operations, PPE may include:

  • Eye, face, head, hand, foot protection
  • Respiratory protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)
  • Other protective clothing (for example, cutting or welding operations)

It is not enough to provide PPE. Employees must be trained on the selection, use, fitting, inspection, maintenance, and storage of PPE.

TRAIN all employees about hazards and how to use the equipment safely

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Public Law 91-596, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must instruct employees how to recognize and avoid or remove hazards that may cause an injury or illness based on their assigned duties. Certain OSHA construction standards require that employees receive training in specific topics. Employers must provide this safety training in a language and vocabulary their workers can understand.

Employer Responsibilities

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Public Law 91-596, each employer is responsible for the safety and health of its workers and for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers.

OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers. The OSHA at a Glance (PDF*) publication provides information on the strategies and programs OSHA uses to promote worker safety and health. For additional information on Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Compliance Assistance PageWorkers Page and Publications.

Share Your Story With Us

If you want to share information with OSHA about demolition safety such as a best practice, permitting requirements, or safer work method, please send your email to oshademolition@dol.gov.