5 things you need to know about the Demolition Code of Practice

Demolition is a scientific and highly regulated engineering discipline, underpinned in this country by the British Standard Code of Practice for Demolition (BS 6187). Here, RVA Group’s managing director Richard Vann explores five things you need to know about the industry cornerstone he was involved in developing…

  1. If you’re a demolition or dismantling professional, you need to be aware of EVERYTHING contained in this 168-page document, from front to back. If you’re a client organisation procuring the services of a demolition contractor or consultant, you require utmost confidence that the appointed project team has a comprehensive understanding of this code.
  2. BS 6817: 2011 outlines good practice when it comes to the partial or full decommissioning, dismantling and/or demolition of facilities, buildings and structures. Superseding the 2000 version of the standard, it offers recommendations that help to govern the successful and effective management of works. From establishing project responsibilities, to safe exclusion zones, the code delivers a detailed run down of the engineering discipline’s must-know guidelines.
  3. The code should be considered as setting merely the baseline standard for a demolition project, and in truth it provides only one planning element. The finer details come in the industry’s more specific regulations, such as the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, and so on.
  4. The Code is unsurprisingly detailed, but the updated 2011 document also reflects the evolving nature of the industry, and therefore the benefits that technological advancements and ongoing knowledge transfer can bring. It is consequently less prescriptive in content, to allow for innovation to be deployed by professionals with the relevant experience.
  5. The application of BS 6187 alone will not keep people safe on site. Think of it like The Highway Code – this rulebook tells you the do’s and don’ts of the road, and we all learn the content to pass our theory test, but it can’t teach you how to drive. The principles of the Demolition Code of Practice are therefore extremely important, but they need to be coupled with real world experience, if projects are to be delivered in a robust manner with maximum respect for EHS compliance and commercial integrity.

To discuss the content of this blog, or the safe, environmentally sound and commercially robust execution of your demolition project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.