Managing risks

Controlling risks  

As a PCBU, you must always aim to eliminate a risk where possible. For example, use a line pump instead of a boom pump if there’s risk of contacting an overhead electrical line. 

If it’s not possible to eliminate a risk you must minimise it, so far as is reasonably practicable. You can use one or more of these measures: 

  • Substitute the hazard for something safer – for example, provide a working platform next to the wall when core filling block work instead of having the line hand walk along the top of the wall. 
  • Isolate the risk from workers – for example, use exclusion zones to minimise risk of crushing or trapping workers when moving the pump 
  • Use engineering controls – for example, fitting vehicles with reversing sensors and cameras. 

If a risk remains, minimise it using: 

  • administrative controls – for example, schedule concrete pumping work to minimise potential interaction with other workers 

  • personal protective equipment (PPE). 

You must also provide training on safe work procedures. 

See the Guide to managing risk in construction: Concrete pumping for further information. 

Identifying hazards with concrete pumping 

To identify hazards: 

  • observe the workplace to identify areas where concrete pumping takes place.  
    Note how it interacts with vehicles, pedestrians and other structures 

  • review concrete pumping tasks, workplace design and management  

  • monitor the types of concrete placing equipment in the workplace 

  • ask operators, crew and other workers about problems 

  • review inspection, test and maintenance records. For example, logbooks and incident and injury records, including near misses. 

Common hazards in concrete pumping include: 

Control measures for concrete placing equipment 

Minimise risks with concrete placing equipment by: 

  • choosing the right plant 

  • implementing safe work systems to avoid hose whip incidents 

  • placing concrete delivery pipelines to avoid unnecessary bends 

  • maintaining and inspecting equipment regularly 

  • setting exclusion zones 

  • using pipe clamps effectively. 

Control measures for wet concrete 

Minimise risks with wet concrete by: 

  • providing facilities so workers can wash skin if they get concrete on it 

  • ensuring workers take off shoes and clothes immediately after working with wet concrete 

  • provide PPE like gloves, safety goggles and waterproof footwear. 

Control measures for manual handling 

To minimise manual handling risks: 

  • plan the work before the pour commences. This ensures equipment and workers will be available to carry out the work safely  

  • rotate workers on repetitive and awkward tasks 

  • allowing sufficient rest time 

  • use mechanical equipment to lift and move bulky objects 

  • provide non-slip ramps where workers are required to walk up inclines 

  • allow sufficient space for workers to move and work around equipment 

  • ensure workers are wearing appropriate protective equipment and non-slip footwear if required 

Control measures for noise 

To minimise noise risks:

  • where possible, substitute noisy equipment for quieter equipment and work processes 

  • increase workers’ working distances from noise sources

  • use noise-reducing booths/sound absorption screens or barriers when carrying out portable work

  • where possible, avoid working in enclosed areas

  • provide hearing protection. 

Review control measures 

Risk management is an ongoing process. You should review control measures regularly to ensure they are working as planned. Consider any changes to your workplace, including the nature and duration of work. Make sure the control measures continue to work effectively. 

For more information, see the model Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks. The model Code of Practice: Construction work provides guidance on construction work.