Safety is a top priority at Elder Demolition. We make it our mission to go above and beyond the standards outlined for demolition companies in Oregon. In addition to investing in the safest, most effective demolition equipment, all our employees receive ongoing education and training to stay up to date with the latest standards. Our superb safety track record is a source of pride and one we maintain to keep.
Elder Demolition’s culture of safety is an essential component of reducing and preventing hazards. Employees aren’t just encouraged to work toward change; they know how to take action when it’s needed. As a member of the Associated General Contractors, we also have access to safety-related resources.
Safety-related activities our workers participate in include:
- Full physical evaluation
- Drug testing
- Annual hearing tests
- Wearing protective gear
- Annual training in asbestos, lead awareness and fall protection for operators, laborers and foremen
- 40-hour HAZWOPER certification
- Training on how to use specialized equipment safely
- Training related to maintaining worker health, such as preventing heat-related illnesses
Oregon Demolition Safety Best Practices
Demolishing a building requires as much care, expertise and skills as constructing one. Oregon demolition workers, however, take extra precautions because of hazards on a site that might be unknown, such as changes in a structure’s design, hazardous materials hidden in structural members, and the strength of construction materials.
The National Demolition Association, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and other entities outline best practices for Portland demolition contractors to follow to ensure employees stay safe and to protect the health and safety of the communities we serve. These practices include:
- Extensive advance planning: Planning a Portland demolition project includes steps such as completing engineering surveys to assess the condition of a structure, locating utilities, fire prevention, and assessing safety- and health-related risks.
- Providing workers with the right protective equipment: The personal protective equipment a demolition worker may use includes hearing protection, personal fall arrest systems, protective clothing, respiration protection, and protection for the eyes, head, feet, hands and face.OSHA states it’s not enough to simply provide protective equipment. Therefore, Elder Demolition provides extensive training regarding using safety equipment effectively and identifying worksite hazards.
- Hazardous material identification: Some construction materials contain hazardous materials, such as asbestos or lead. Before tearing down a building, Oregon demolition contractors must identify the materials and work with site remediation experts to safely remove them.
Elder Demolition follows all state and local guidelines:
- Preparatory operations
- The use and removal of stairs, passageways and ladders
- Safe chute use
- Removing materials from openings in the floor
- Removing floors manually
- Removing chimneys, masonry section and walls safely
- Using equipment to remove floors, walls and other materials safely
- Storing waste materials
- The safe dismantling and removal of steel construction
- Safe mechanical demolition techniques
- Labeling recycling containers
- Selective demolition using explosives
- Controlling exposure to hazardous materials
Additional Safety-Related Processes Elder Demolition Employs
Hazardous Material Management
Elder Demolition is an EPA lead-certified Oregon demolition contractor that collaborates with a variety of partners that specialize in the cleanup of hazardous materials. All our superintendents are trained in hazardous waste emergency response protocols. Because projects occur on the sites of paper mills, chemical plants, and other industrial structures with chemical and environmental hazards, we go the extra mile to ensure the safety of all involved.
Using specialized demolition equipment not only makes a site safer for our demolition team and the community, it also presents a prime opportunity to save energy and conserve resources. Approximately half of construction, remodeling and demolition waste ends up in landfills, occupying about 25 percent of Portland’s landfill space. Elder believes the industry can do better.
Everything that’s built, remodeled or demolished has an environmental impact. Just as it’s vital to protect the safety of workers and the public, it’s important to protect the planet’s health. For this reason, our company works closely with clients to help them take advantage of opportunities to recycle, reuse and resell building materials.
Construction sites are loud. Elder Demolition follows noise regulations established by the City of Portland. We also take steps to control noise, such as working at certain times of the day, providing workers with hearing protection, performing audiometric testing, and monitoring equipment.
Plants and soil absorb water, acting like a natural filtration system. When there is a lack of plants and soil, like in concrete-filled cities, stormwater and wastewater can end up in local watersheds. As the water flows, it picks up contaminants that pollute the environment. Elder follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide to preparing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan to control hazardous runoff from its sites.
Dust is a particle that’s less than 500 microns in diameter. On an Oregon demolition site, it’s more than a nuisance—it’s a safety hazard as particles may contain asbestos, respirable crystalline silica, lead, animal droppings, and fungal spores. Elder Demolition employs a variety of dust control technologies and techniques to minimize and contain the hazardous particles.
When you work with Elder, you can trust that we’ll go above and beyond to keep your site safe. Speak to a demolition specialist today by calling 503-760-6330 or contacting us online to discuss your project and get answers to your safety-related questions.