The role of demolition experts in asbestos handling for commercial projects: Protecting health and safety

Commercial demolition projects require much of the same considerations as residential demolition on a base level, however the scope is far more significant and access to areas can be more complex. This is particularly so for asbestos assessment, removal and disposal, due to the sheer volume of potential asbestos-affected materials being far more than residential (pending date range of build). To ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding environment, the role of demolition experts in asbestos handling is of paramount importance.

The need for demolition experts on asbestos-risk commercial sites

Demolition of asbestos materials can be an extremely hazardous, and even deadly, process if it’s not done safely and thoroughly by highly experienced and knowledgeable professionals. However, it’s as important to have an expert through the pre- and post- demolition processes to ensure the utmost safety, as it is the demolition itself. 

Risk Assessment 

Demolition experts and skilled asbestos professionals conduct a risk assessment of commercial sites to evaluate materials and the structural hurdles that might interfere with safe removal. These assessments identify asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and determine the extent of asbestos across the entire site. Through this risk assessment, determinations of best ways forward can be strategies, mitigating risks of demolition and removal. 

Safe Removal Techniques

Demolition experts are highly skilled in the safe and legal removal of asbestos, with techniques that can’t (and certainly shouldn’t) be attempted by anyone who isn’t certified in asbestos management. 

The techniques used are wet methods and containment barriers, and specialised tools to extract ACMs without causing disruption to the fibres in a way that releases them into the atmosphere. 

Wet methods involve controlled application of water (or other wetting agent) to stop the release of asbestos fibres into the air. The dense moisture weighs down and binds fibres, while also keeping them separate from neighbouring, non-contaminated, materials close by. 

The specialised safe extraction tools are designed specifically for asbestos removal, engineered to mitigate material disturbance as much as possible (which is very different to typical demolition tools). Hand tools equipped with carefully calibrated suction mechanisms allow experts to delicately lift and remove materials containing asbestos. Power tools High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are also in the demolition expert’s toolkit. 

Safe Disposal

Asbestos has legal boundaries about how and where it is disposed of, due to its highly hazardous status. Demolition experts are licensed to facilitate the removal of asbestos within the area regulations stated by state and local authorities. 

The importance of demolition experts when dealing with asbestos in commercial projects is significant. Their specialised knowledge ensures that commercial buildings containing asbestos are taken down safely, without risking the health of workers or nearby communities. This is achieved through careful assessment of risks, using the right techniques for removal, following the rules, and keeping a close watch throughout the process. Demolition experts have a crucial role in safeguarding health and safety while also contributing to the progress of commercial projects.