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Created 29 Sep 2004, 16:45 by Ai Solutions in the CDM forum.

What are the safety considerations with an emphasis to CDM for demolition and underpinning?

#63 Ai Solutions posted on 29 September 2004, 16:45

The question above was originally posed via our Ask A Guru feature and this response from 2004 was by either Dave Carr or Michael Stokes.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994

The following health and safety issues should be considered when carrying out Demolition:

  • Falls from height
    Loose and/or unstable material, access and inadequate support.
  • Falls through fragile material
    Roof materials.
  • Live services
    Underground services, overhead cables or fixed plant on site.
  • Collapse of excavations
    Buried obstructions, underground voids, unexpected ground conditions, water table.
  • Uncontrolled collapse
    Structural stability of partially demolished building.
  • Noise/vibration/dust
    Breaking up of building fabric with mechanical breakers, asbestos, and silica.
  • Flooding/fire/explosion
    From underground or above ground services.
  • Health hazards
    Toxic waste, decomposing materials causing gaseous emissions, asbestos, microbiological agents.
  • Manual handling
    Heavy items of building fabric.


  • Structural instability
    Inadequate stability of the structure and risk to workers and occupants of the building.
  • Crushed/trapped
    Narrow spaces and low headroom for manoeuvring heavy plant and materials.
  • Manual handling
    Handling of casings, reinforcement, trench sheets and concrete in confined spaces.
  • Working environment
    Noise, vibration, fumes, use of tools in confined spaces.
  • Buried/overhead services
    Gas, electricity, water. Risk of damage by drilling, pile driving, impact, vibration, settlement.
  • Health hazards
    Contact with contaminated arisings/groundwater, cement, concrete, adhesives, dust and fumes.
  • Collapse of excavations
    Insufficient support resulting in collapse with risk of entrapment or falls, sudden inflow of water/flooding.

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