How do I protect my company from liability during demolition?

Your company may have come to the conclusion that demolition is necessary in advance of clearing land or constructing a new building. If you have not gone through this process, you may have valid concerns about the potential dangers involved. However, if the demolition company is reputable, they will have safeguards in place and years of experience behind them. That said, there are some steps you can take, and should take, in partnership with commercial demolition services in LA, CA to ensure a smooth and safe process.

Here are some steps you can take to achieve this:

·         Meet with the demolition company in advance of the work that will be performed. Though you can review details with their point of contact over the phone, miscommunication is more likely to occur than when speaking in person. Alternately, communicating in writing can also avert confusion. Discuss what steps your company and employees need to take before, during, and after the demolition work. Safety issues, preparation, and anything else that is pertinent should be included in the discussion.

·         Be clear in your instructions to your employees about what they must do and not do surrounding the demolition work. If any have concerns about how the air quality or noise level might be impacted by the demolition, be sure to listen to them and be willing to make reasonable accommodations. Your business lawyer can provide you with guidelines insofar as adhering to Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and other laws that protect employees.

·         If the demolition work may impact customer visits to your location, consider closing or taking whatever measures are necessary to safeguard their wellbeing. As an alternative to in-store shopping, depending on the manner of your business you may be able to take orders over the phone and have your employees deliver them to customers in the parking lot. Online sells are another alternative. In advance of the demolition work, be sure to notify customers with appropriate signage, website updates, social media updates, and in other ways that may be effective. If they are aware of the demolition work in advance, but they understand that they have alternate options, it can go a long way toward keeping your customers happy.

·         Verify with the demolition company that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Do not take their word for it. Respectfully ask for copies of their paperwork. If they are legitimate they should not have an issue with this. As the representative of your company, you are obligated to perform due diligence. If a liability problem develops as a result of the work performed by the demolition company, the victim’s attorney will be sure to make it a point that you did not verify their credentials, particularly if they misrepresented themselves.

·         Get everything in writing from the demolition company: what they will charge, exactly what work they will perform (including cleanup), and when the work will be completed.

If you have concerns about the demolition work that will be performed at your company location, it pays to consult your business lawyer.

Thanks to Nielsen Environmental for their insight into commercial demolition services and liability.

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