Responding to a fire-damaged building is very different from responding to a bridge collapse. “It is impossible to train for the unknown – all we can do is to maintain our focus on safety, ensuring that all personnel are as prepared as they can be for any project which comes our way,” comments Jet Demolition Contracts Manager Kate Bester (NDip Civil Engineering).
“The benefit of 28 years’ experience in challenging demolition projects means that we are typically able to rapidly assess a compromised structure and to effectively work with other first responders to integrate demolition with supplementary services, while keeping all team members safe,” highlights Kate. Jet Demolition has responded to emergency situations all over the country and abroad.
Probably the most crucial aspect of demolition under emergency conditions is the ability to respond without introducing additional risk to an already compromised situation. When an unforeseen emergency arises, difficult considerations to be taken into account typically include any imminent danger to be mitigated immediately as well as alternative methods and approaches to what would have been implemented under non-emergency conditions. Also the team must assess how much time is available to make arrangements for onboarding and travel.
“Our default approach to any project is a cautious one with a keen focus on detail. In addition, we will not start working before risk-assessing the structure and area. Our entire team participates in this process, which is absolutely crucial in ensuring that there is full awareness and alignment of our intended approach,” explains Kate.
While assessing the site physically, preparatory instructions are relayed to head office, who in turn liaise with the safety teams, transporters and crew. This careful and concise liaison generally facilitates rapid response, with all persons continually briefed and informed as events unfold.
The most important aspect of the works in an emergency situation is to ensure that the team is well-prepared and wholly focused on the task at hand. “We adequately prepare for and look after staff welfare while on-site. We implement regular rest periods during projects of this nature, and ensure that a second, fully-staffed team is ready to relieve the first at shift changes,” she concludes.