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Safe Explosive Demolitions of Structures

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Conference paper

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When properly performed, the demolition of structures through the engineered and controlled use of explosives can be very time and cost effective. By reducing the need for demolition work at potentially dangerous heights and reducing the amount of mechanical demolition, worker safety often is greatly enhanced on the job site. Additional safety also is obtained because a significant part of the demolition is performed remotely. However, the execution of some explosive demolitions both within the Department of Energy DOE and within general industry has raised significant questions as to whether the potential increase in the level of safety always has been achieved. The purpose of this handbook is to provide essential background to DOE site managers on how to manage explosive demolition to the level of explosive safety required by DOE safety policies. The basic philosophy of this handbook is to learn from all experiences with explosive demolition within the DOE and general industry and establish guidelines for the management of safe and effective demolition. Practical solutions to the mandatory DOE safety requirements are made as well as recommendations for smart and effective practices. It is believed by the authors who have worked extensively throughout their careers with explosives and explosive effects on facilities that when safe practices are formulated into the work-plan early on, very little if any extra cost is actually entailed. Very often the extra discipline and planning required and extra expertise brought to bear will resolve other potential problems before they arise.

Subject Categories:

  • Safety Engineering
  • Ammunition and Explosives

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