The NSW Government has introduced a new Code of Practice for working with formwork.
Codes of Practice are designed to provide information and practical guidance on the best controls measures for different types of workplace hazards.
Formwork involves the preparation of moulds and framing into which concrete is poured and contained, and can be extremely dangerous without suitable safety standards.
Kevin Anderson, the Minister for Better Regulation, has noted the danger of formwork failures, and the risks involved with preparing formwork:
“Formwork failures can be catastrophic and have caused hundreds of injuries in NSW, which is why it’s critical that the construction industry has clear and consistent measures that can be implemented across all worksites.”
Formwork involves a number of risks, many of which are related to falls from height, falling objects, and formwork collapse.
According to Mr Anderson, the biggest change to the new code is the updated information regarding false decks and catch decks.
Previously the information was ambiguous and by elucidating the best measures for safe work, hopes to better protect workers who are working with formwork.
“The updated code will protect our workers by providing up to date advice on mitigating these risks and ensuring the right safety measures are in place.”
Formwork may involve high-risk work such as working at heights. In such cases a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) needs to be prepared.
When preparing a Formwork SWMS make sure to consult the new Code of Practice for a list of common hazards and control measures.