Safety alert 07/2011 - Concrete pumping operations in the construction industry - a risk management approach
The purpose of this Alert is to make builders and concrete pump operators aware of the need to manage risks if they operate or contract the operation of a concrete pump on a construction site.
Examples of recent incidents include:
- Drivers of concrete agitators being hit by concrete under pressure following pipe or coupling failure.
- Hands being caught in concrete pump hopper paddles.
- Concrete boom pump making contact with overhead powerlines.
- Damage to vehicle and property through operation of concrete boom pump.
The main factor causing drivers to be hit appears to be a lack of maintenance of equipment leading to failure of piping near the pump hopper, a recognised high wear area.
Lack of operator training, inadequate instruction and supervision are factors in other incidents.
The employer or person in control of the workplace must ensure all vehicle mounted concrete boom pump operators hold a High Risk Work Licence.
Workers must be trained in using safe work procedures and be adequately supervised.
The employer should:
- ensure all metal pipelines, reducers and bends are ultrasonically tested regularly and maintenance records kept;
- fit all couplings and clamps with safety pins; and
- ensure the hopper is fitted with a secured hopper grate, or that the hopper grate is interlocked with an emergency stop.
A risk assessment on all tasks must be done by the employer or person in control of the workplace.
Maintain power line clearance as required by regulation 3.64 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
This Alert contains safety information following inquires made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.