Formwork industry compliance audits

Formwork labour

We will carry out compliance audits in the formwork sector of the construction industry starting in June 2020.

Formwork incidents involving the collapse or failure of formwork systems and components can have serious consequences. Several formwork incidents this year have highlighted the need for improvements in the safe construction and use of formwork systems.

Compliance audits consist of two stages.

  • Stage one will be a desktop audit focussing on formwork documentation.
  • Stage two will be an audit of the formwork structure and verifying the documented formwork systems. This will include the inspection of erected formwork systems and safe work practices.

The audits will assess compliance with the Formwork Code of Practice 2016

The code of practice has a strong focus on formwork design, planning, inspections, safe systems of work, formwork erection and training for workers. It requires a robust system of pre-pour inspections and sign-offs by engineers or a competent person to minimise the risk of injury to workers from formwork collapse or failure. In early 2020 there were several incidents and site inspections that identified non-compliance in these areas so they will be the main focus of the audits.

Who will the audits target?

This is a state-wide audit campaign targeting employers whose business involves formwork construction activities, formwork designers and engineers, formwork contractors and principal contractors.

Preparing your workplace

You should review your work practices to ensure your workplace complies with the Formwork Code of Practice 2016. Inspectors will be looking to ensure compliance in the areas listed below and you should make sure your workplace has these in place.

  • Documentation – All formwork documentation, pre-pour inspections and sign-offs, formwork systems and associated components, and site erection methods are in accordance with the Formwork Code of Practice 2016 and are readily available on site. This includes project and formwork engineer drawings, specifications and engineer certifications.
  • Inspection – A robust and thorough site inspection regime is carried out on formwork systems, materials and components with a focus on defective materials, poor welding practices and the erection of structural components that are not as per site drawings.
  • Modular proprietary formwork systems – Systems are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and mixing and matching of these systems is avoided.
  • Bracing – There is adequate bracing, in particular for frames, frame extensions and propping.
  • Defective material – Materials are inspected prior to leaving the yard and damaged gear is isolated and not delivered to site. This includes broken components, timbers with rot or excessive nail holes and components with missing parts.
  • Erection and dismantling procedures – Systems of work and erection procedures are in accordance with safe work method statements for the work activities, including fall from height controls and provisions for falling objects.
  • Other trade workers – Consultation between formworkers and other trade workers occurs prior to the deck sign-off and handover. Edge protection is in place, penetrations covered, safe access provided and a formwork zone established to separate workers.
  • Access and egress – Stretcher stairs are the primary access to the formwork deck whenever it is reasonably practicable. There are two points of emergency access at all times and specific access requirements are in place for slip and jump forms.
  • Stacked materials – Specific engineer documentation is available to verify the loads that can be applied to the relevant areas of the formwork deck before formwork and other construction materials are loaded onto the deck. Crane and load handling systems are suitable. Stacked materials and the use of certified storage racks or restraining methods are taken into consideration.
  • Lifting – All lifting points on formwork wall shutters or columns are verified by an engineer in writing and wind loadings considered.
  • Training of workers – Workers are provided with all relevant training, information and supervision relating to the system they are erecting including specific training for modular formwork systems.
Last updated
24 June 2020