Top Demolition Hazards Risking Missouri Workers’ Safety

Demolitions are inherently risky, but understanding the risks involved puts you in a better position to minimize your risk of injury.


The US boasts a thriving construction industry, contributing around $1.8 trillion to the country’s economy in 2022 alone. Aside from the grueling task of putting up skyscrapers and other large structures, construction workers are also tasked wite tearing them down.  Demolitions are a crucial aspect of the construction industry, paving the way for modern and more efficient projects.

Demolitions are inherently risky, but understanding the risks involved puts you in a better position to minimize your risk of injury. This article will highlight some of the top hazards of demolition work and how to avoid them.

Falling Debris

Debris falling from above is one of the most significant risks of any demolition project. Blocks, tiles, purlins, and other debris could fall from high and injure workers below. The severity of the injury could vary from a simple bruise to a concussion or amputation.

The risk magnifies when sharp, hard objects are involved. Workers should consider wearing hard hats and protective eyewear to shield them from falling debris. The employers should also use safety nets around the structure to capture falling objects. 

Falling From Great Heights

The top-down approach is the most preferred demolition method for high-rise buildings and structures. With this approach, workers start demolition from the top, then gradually descend until completion. This puts workers at risk of falling from above and injuring themselves.

The use of harnesses and lanyards is incredibly effective at mitigating such accidents. Employers should also consider using safety nets around the building to catch workers in freefall.

Dust and Fumes

The pulverization and combustion of construction materials during demolition releases microscopic particles into the air, leading to dust and fumes. Inhaling these particles could irritate your respiratory system and lead to complications. This is especially true for silica and asbestos dust. 

Dust suppression techniques are among the most effective ways to prevent this risk. These techniques include water sprays and misting systems. Employers should also ensure proper ventilation and enforce wearing gas masks to avoid inhaling toxic substances.

Premature Collapse

Nothing is more devastating than a building collapsing prematurely, leaving many workers trapped under the rubble, injured, and sometimes dead. This usually results from improper planning, using the wrong sequence, or natural phenomena. Either way, the results are catastrophic.


Demolition is a noisy event. Prolonged exposure to noise over 70 decibels for too long could damage your hearing, while noise above 120 decibels can immediately damage your ears. Hearing protection like ear muffs and plugs is generally your best bet against hearing damage.

St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to demolition work in Missouri, protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve is crucial. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we understand the complexities of workers’ compensation claims related to construction and demolition accidents. Don’t let the aftermath of a workplace injury overwhelm you. Call us today for a free consultation, and let our experienced team guide provide you the support you need. Act now and ensure your case is in the hands of a team that fights tirelessly for workers’ safety and well-being.

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Updated: November 8, 2023