Formwork failures can be catastrophic and can result in serious injury or death.
During 2018-19, there were more than 250 incidents in NSW involving formworkers, with over 50 per cent resulting in serious injury.
The Code of practice for formwork gives clear and practical advice on how to safely work with formwork. It will help you understand and adopt best practice measures to minimize the risks associated with formwork.
Everyone in the construction industry must implement consistent safety standards across all worksites.
The main safety risks when working with formwork include falls from heights and being hit by falling objects, such as timber and other materials.
Here are some quick tips to help manage these risks.
Falling from a height is the number one cause of death and permanent disability in the formwork industry.
Falling from a height most commonly occurs because of unprotected edges or inadequately covered penetrations.
To help prevent these incidents happening, make sure you:
- Work below the formwork deck, using temporary work platforms – and don't stand on joists.
- Limit the number of leading edges, and install guardrails and edge protection.
- Use scaffolds, screens and catch platforms.
- Install guardrails into pre-assembled systems, before they're lifted into position.
- Sign-post penetrations, and cover them securely.
If an object is likely to hurt someone if it falls on them, you must take steps to stop it from happening.
Being hit by falling objects is a common hazard for formworkers.
These videos show safe ways to erect and dismantle formwork to prevent falls and other injuries.
For practical information about working on the ground or from a solid construction, fall prevention devices, work positioning systems, fall arrest systems, ladders, administrative controls and emergency procedures, see the code of practice for managing the risk of falls at workplaces.
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