Lead Aware Times

Lead Aware Times Volume 1 No. 1 ( ISSN 1440-4966)

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The Demolition Process

Things Can Go Astray at Many Points in the Demolition Process

1. Decision to knock something down Ideally this is where the demolisher considers all the implications, including whether the building contains any lead, asbestos or other toxic substances. Too often people go from here to step four (minus rules) and only clean up safely if caught.
2. Check out local guidelines Ideally Council will have comprehensive requirements that include the relevant sections of the OH&S Act AND their own lead safe management measures. At this stage of course, as time equals money, a demolisher is not necessarily going to be the one to insist on the best. At this time the affected neighbour finds out how little protection they have, but they should ask to see the OH&S and Lead Management rules and ask specifically which ones the demolisher has to comply with.
3. Hire licensed contractor who agrees to abide by guidelines This is where even the most safety conscious demolisher can run into problems, in the absence of the licensing of lead abatement workers/contractors, ‘lead safe’ operators are hard to find.
4. Knock it down! (following the rules) Ideally this would NOT be the first time you knew about the building next door being demolished! At this time the people find they have little or no protection especially in relation to ‘lead safe’ work and even if there are some rules, no-one is enforcing them – where are WorkSafe and/or the Council when you need them?
5. Clean up safely If all was going well this would be an ongoing process as demolition occurs.
6. Safe disposal of waste All too often you are again on the phone trying to get someone to stop the uncovered trucks roaring down your street at all hours. Depending on the make up of the rubble, its safe disposal is governed by both Council and/or EPA waste disposal regulations.

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Last Updated 19 April 2012
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