Safe Work Australia has developed a guide on the safe use of prefabricated, tilt-up and concrete elements.
Prefabricated concrete (also known as precast concrete) is a concrete element that is manufactured somewhere other than its final place of installation.
This method of construction is becoming more common and involves discrete elements like walls or columns being prefabricated offsite and then erected and incorporated by crane into final position in a building structure.
Due to its size and mass, prefabricated concrete elements are vulnerable to collapse which poses a significant safety risk and can cause workers and others to be seriously injured or even killed.
Safe design and adequate planning are the best ways to manage the health and safety risks that may arise when working with prefabricated concrete.
The Guide to managing risk in construction: prefabricated concrete provides national guidance material for duty holders in the building industry.
It provides information on managing risks and work health and safety (WHS) duties associated with working with prefabricated concrete.
The use of prefabricated, tilt-up and concrete elements has become increasingly popular in recent years and it is important to be aware of the WHS risks associated with this type of work.
This article was first published in The Fence magazine.