Demolition work is the demolition or dismantling of a building or structure, and a Demolition Work Plan (DWP) addresses how it's carried out safely.
A Demolition Work Plan is essential for demolition work.
Importantly, a Demolition Work Plan involves a number of key steps, which include:
- Overview of work
- Identification of hazards and risks
- Notification of authorities
And we’ve outlined these for you below.
A Demolition Work Plan outlines the demolition work scope. This includes where and when the work takes place, key personnel and their responsibilities.
Demolition Work Overview
Firstly, a Demolition Work Plan outlines the demolition work scope. This includes where and when the work takes place, key personnel and their responsibilities. Additionally, the type, height and overall size of the structure is documented, along with the time frame to complete the work.
In the overview, the Plan also notes pre-work considerations. This includes investigation into the site. Surrounding factors like public roads, or underground/above ground essential services like gas, water mains and/or power lines are assessed.
Hazards and Risks Identification
A DWP includes risk assessments. Importantly, risk assessments identify safety hazards, assess risks and determine appropriate control measures to carry out work safely.
In addition, a Demolition Work Plan identifies potential damage to the environment.
A Demolition Work Plan documents necessary site inductions.
Before demolition work commences, workers are inducted on site. Therefore, they are trained on the demolition process, as well as health and safety processes.
Depending on the demolition work, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) might be required to submit an application for approval to relevant authorities. Importantly, this includes a DWP.
Demolition work that specifically requires notification includes:
- demolition of a structure, or a part of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure, that is at least 6 metres in height.
- demolition work involving load shifting machinery on a suspended floor.
- demolition work involving explosives.
What are the main risks and hazards?
While unique hazards and risks apply to each demolition work site, we’ve listed the most common and some important questions to ask:
The structure or building to be demolished
- What is the structural integrity of the existing structure?
- Is it close to other buildings or structures?
What hazardous materials are on site?
- How will hazardous materials be eliminated from site?
- Is Asbestos present on site or within the structure?
- How will Asbestos be removed safely and in an environmentally-conscious way?
Emergency exits and workplace layout
- Is the worksite laid out in a way that allows easy access and egress?
Above-ground and underground essential services
- Are there power lines, water mains, gas lines, sewerage or other process lines either underground or above-ground?
- Will you require essential services to be switched off?
- How is this be managed?
- How will hazardous noise from demolition works be managed i.e. explosives and plant noise?
- What PPE is required or provided on site for workers and other personnel?
Demolition Work Plans outline the work involved, asses the site and its risks, document inductions and outline correct safety procedures. Demolition work is dangerous with many safety hazards and risks. Therefore, a Demolition Work Plan is extremely important to manage those risks.