Reconstruction/Deconstruction/Safety

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Prior to beginning work at a site, an evaluation of the structural integrity of the building as well as potential hazards should be made and the dangers should be managed.

Structural Integrity[edit]

Signs of poor structural integrity:

  • Walls slanted, tilted or bowed
  • Building tilted
  • Severe cracks in walls or ceilings
  • Evidence of building movement
  • Floors uneven or slanted
  • Structural support beams or pillars moved or missing
  • Excessive floor or ceiling loading such as trees on roof or wet debris piled high
  • Detached or weakened stairways

Note: Buildings that appear to be unsound should not be entered.

Potential Hazards[edit]

Upon evaluation, note the following hazards:

  • Mercury
  • Live electrical wire
  • Remaining floodwater
  • Potential for trips and falls
    • Water and debris may hide trip and fall hazards
    • Falls from heights
    • Holes in flooring
    • Slippery surfaces
    • Excessive floor debris
  • Confined spaces/poor ventilation
  • Wildlife
  • Sharp edges
    • Protruding nails
    • Broken glass
    • Bent or broken metal
  • Potential overhead dangers
    • Trapped water
    • Unstable ceiling material
    • Unsecured fixtures
  • Threatening/violent occupants
  • Gases
    • Oxygen deficiency
    • Explosive gases
    • Toxic gases
  • Airborne particulates
    • Dust
    • Asbestos
    • Lead
    • Mold

Risk Mitigation[edit]

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)[edit]

Suggested PPE:

  • 3M Half-face respirator with p100 filters
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Tyvek suit (optional)
  • Safety goggles (optional)

Proper usage and instruction for PPE:

  • Respirator Wear: Always make sure that the 3M Half-face respirator has a good fit. One way to test this is while in normal wear put both hands covering the vents and suck in. This should tighten the mask and create a sucking feeling to your face. If you don't have this feeling you should resecure the mask on your face.
  • Tyvek Suit Wear: Make sure that the tyvek suit is loose enough that you can move around comfortably without it binding. But remember you do not want it to be so large that it gets caught on everything you walk past.

Management of health[edit]

  • Hydration
    • try to drink twice as much as you think you need
  • Sanitation
    • Rinse your hands then sanitize before touching anything
    • Do not touch your face or food with unsanitized hands
  • Nutrition
    • Even if you are not hungry eat something its hard work you need the energy(no meal skiping)

Securing the work site[edit]

Danger: Solution:
Poor structural integrity Do not enter house, mark visibly as unsound or dangerous, report to supervisor
Live electrical wire in structure Turn off main electrical switch in breaker box
Live electrical wire outside of structure Contact energy company and do not approach live wire
Tripping and falling Clear paths prior to continuing work. Secure or mark holes or uneven flooring.
Confined spaces/poor ventilation Do not work extended periods of time in such spaces, if there are windows try to open them so that some fresh air can circulate.
Wildlife Do not approach and assume as dangerous. For larger wildlife, contact animal control
Sharp edges Mark or remove prior to continuing work
Overhead dangers Remove prior to continuing work
Threatening or violent occupants Do not confront. Alert supervisor and authorities (if necessary) and leave premises
Make sure water to the house is off Around the outside of the building there will be a pipe coming out of the ground to a spigot then into the building. If you look at the base of the pipe you will find a valve(you might have to dig a little) close the valve.
Mercury The most common places to find mercury is in old thermostats. You can just remove the mercury from the thermostat and put it in a container, and place it in the EPA pile. If there is a mercury spill evacuate the house and call the EPA

Safe work practices[edit]

  • Always be aware!
    • Know where coworkers are in relation to you
    • Be mindful of surroundings at all time
    • Listen for the sound of a generator if there is a trailer near where you are working the electric could still be on
    • Make sure that the gas meter has pulled and if not make sure that the meter reads zero or that there is a plug and or the pipe is disconnected from the house
  • Tools and Equipment
    • Do not attempt use of equipment without prior experience or guidance from more experienced coworker
    • Use great caution when swinging, hammering, or operating machinery
    • If you are not using a tool i.e.: a hammer or crowbar do not place it on the ground, use window sills or hang them. Keep track off all your tools what you have and how many of them
  • Cleanup
    • Unplug all electrical equipment after use
    • sweep up all dust and debris
    • Have two separate people make a tools sweep through the house one after the other
    • Return all tools to designated storage areas/containers
  • Sanitation
    • Wash(always rinse your hands first)/sanitize hands before eating/handling food
    • Do not rub eyes or touch face while working
  • Hydration
    • Continue hydrating throughout the day
    • Take as many breaks as needed
    • immediately cease work when feeling dizzy or experiencing headaches and notify site manager
    • Drink at least a bottle of water every hour
  • Alleviation
    • Ask your site manager if there is a port-a-pot near your work site

First Aid and Emergency Care[edit]

First Aid[edit]

If you seek outside medical attention, make sure to report to your supervisor and fill out an incident report

If a person is having pain of any sort, trouble breathing, etc - the acronym OPQRST can be used to ask the appropriate questions:
Onset (When did it start?)
Provocation (Does anything make it better or worse?)
Quality (Can you describe the pain?)
Radiation (Does it move or stay in the same place?)
Severity (On a scale from 1-10 what is your pain?)
Time (How long has it been going on?)

Cuts and Scrapes:
If wound is severe:

  • Always wear gloves when helping others
  • Stop the bleeding by:
    - applying pressure to the wound
    - elevating the wound
  • If bleeding does not stop, apply pressure to nearest artery and call 911
  • Watch for signs of shock

If wound is minor:

  • Clean the wound
  • Apply an antibiotic
  • Cover the wound
  • Change the dressing
  • Get stitches for deep wounds
  • Watch for signs of shock
  • Get a tetanus shot

Punctures:

  • If object is embedded in skin, do NOT remove it
  • Apply gauze around object to control bleeding and prevent movement
  • Watch for signs of shock

Foreign Object in Eye

  • To help someone else:
    • Put on gloves.
    • Seat the person in a well-lighted area.
    • Examine the eye to find the object. Pull the lower lid down and ask the person to look up. Then hold the upper lid while the person looks down.
    • If the object is floating in the tear film on the surface of the eye, try flushing it out. If you're able to remove the object, flush the eye with a saline solution or lukewarm water.
  • Caution
    • Don't try to remove an object that's embedded in the eyeball.
    • Don't rub the eye.
    • Don't try to remove a large object that makes closing the eye difficult.
  • When to call for help:
    • You can't remove the object.
    • The object is embedded in the eyeball.
    • The person with the object in the eye is experiencing abnormal vision.
    • Pain, redness, or the sensation of a foreign body in the eye persists after the object is removed.

Head Trauma

  • Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance if any of the following signs are apparent:
    • Severe head or facial bleeding
    • Clear substance appears in ears/nose/mouth
    • Change in level of consciousness for more than a few seconds
    • Black-and-blue discoloration below the eyes or behind the ears (known as Battle Signs)
    • Cessation of breathing
    • Confusion
    • Loss of balance
    • Weakness or an inability to use an arm or leg
    • Unequal pupil size
    • Repeated vomiting
    • Slurred speech
  • If severe head trauma occurs:
    • Keep the person still.
    • Stop any bleeding.
    • Watch for changes in breathing and alertness.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Signs and Symptoms:
    • Feeling faint
    • Nausea
    • Heavy sweating (diaphoresis)
    • Ashen appearance
    • Rapid, weak heartbeat
    • Low blood pressure
    • Cool, moist skin
    • Low-grade fever
  • If you suspect heat exhaustion:
    • Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
    • Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
    • Loosen or remove the person's clothing.
    • Have the person drink cool water, not iced, or a sports drink containing electrolytes.
    • Cool the person by spraying or sponging him or her with cool water and fanning.
    • Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke. If fever greater than 102 F, fainting, confusion or seizures occur, dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.


Sprains

  • Follow the instructions for P.R.I.C.E.
    • 1. Protect the injured limb from further injury by not using the joint.
    • 2. Rest the injured limb.
    • 3. Ice the area.
    • 4. Compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage.
    • 5. Elevate the injured limb whenever possible to help prevent or limit swelling.
  • Seek medical attention if:
    • You heard a popping sound when your joint was injured, or you can't use the joint.
    • You have a fever, and the area is red and hot, you may have an infection .
    • You have a severe sprain.
    • You aren't improving after the first two or three days.

Unconsciousness:

  • If a person for any reason becomes unconscious, follow these steps:

1. Put on gloves/check the area for possible dangers 2. Call 911 3. Look, listen, and feel for breathing 4. If person is breathing, then move to recovery position (on side) 5. If person in NOT breathing, begin CPR

Emergency Care[edit]