Last Updated: 19/01/2024
This safety alert highlights the risks associated with delivering concrete to mobile and static concrete pumps in the construction industry. The alert is for workers, employers, builders, owners and operators of concrete delivery trucks, concrete pumping units and concrete batching plants.
This safety alert does not address other hazards associated with concrete pumping, which can be found in the Concrete pumping code of practice 2019 (PDF, 1.04 MB).
Delivering concrete from the concrete agitator truck to the hopper of the concrete placing / pumping unit involves one or more trucks reversing up to the hopper. There are risks to the truck driver, the pump operator, the allocated traffic spotter, other workers working in and around the concrete pumping exclusion zone and members of the public.
There have been several recent incidents involving concrete delivery to pumps, which have caused actual and the potential for serious injuries.
The following hazards and risks may be present during concrete delivery to pumping units:
- Workers and others in the travel path of the concrete delivery truck being struck and run over by the truck or crushed between the truck and the concrete placing unit (particularly when reversing).
- Workers and others adjacent to the work area being struck by mobile plant and other vehicles (including public vehicles) due to a lack of an adequate exclusion zone or safe access and egress for workers and pedestrians.
- The concrete delivery truck striking the concrete placing unit, causing damage to the unit and its pipelines, or instability of the unit.
- Concrete delivery truck chutes being extended while reversing, then striking the concrete placing unit, other plant and workers.
- Under delivery of concrete to the pumping unit causing hose whip from air intake into the system.
- Over delivery of concrete causing damage to concrete pump components, slip, trip and fall hazards and manual handling risks during clean up.
- Concrete contaminated with large items (commonly cured concrete shards) that can cause pump line blockages.
- Concrete truck chutes being left extended after leaving site striking other road users or pedestrians.
- The concrete truck driver slipping or falling while accessing the rear of concrete pump units.
Workers involved in concrete delivery to concrete pumps are performing high risk construction work if they are working in an area where there is any movement of powered mobile plant. Further safe work method statements may also be required, including but not limited to, if the work is carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians; or is carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services. A safe work method statement must be prepared and followed.
When planning for concrete delivery, consider the following:
- Workers’ roles are clearly defined and each person is assessed and deemed competent to perform the tasks they are assigned.
- Concrete placing boom operators must hold a concrete placing boom (PB) high risk work licence - or be in the course of training towards PB certification and under the supervision of a person who holds a PB or certification for PB during the 60 days stated on the certification.
- Establish an exclusion zone to ensure people not involved in pumping (workers and members of the public) are excluded from the work area.
- Safe access and egress is provided for others around the exclusion zone.
- A person is appointed as a spotter (by the principal contractor, person with management or control of the workplace or concrete pump company) to direct the truck up to the pumping unit. The traffic controller directing other traffic should not be used as the spotter for the concrete delivery. Multiple spotters may be required for twin truck feeds.
- Use two-way radios where site conditions require a direct line of communication between the spotter and delivery drivers.
- Concrete delivery trucks do not reverse into the exclusion zone if they cannot see the spotter—the truck should be stopped immediately if the driver loses sight of the spotter.
- Concrete delivery trucks have clear and safe access to approach and leave the receiving hopper of the pump.
- No-one stands between the reversing concrete delivery truck and the hopper or other nearby objects.
- Use physical barriers between the delivery truck and pump to manage the risk of collision.
- Truck chutes are not extended until the truck has safely stopped in its final position for concrete delivery. It is preferable for the truck driver to extend the chute, but if another worker does it, they should first get permission from the driver. Chutes must be fully stowed before the truck leaves.
- Concrete delivery trucks are fitted with flashing hazard lights and audible reversing alarms.
- Reversing cameras on concrete delivery trucks.
- Adequate lighting is available and in use.
- Concrete delivery trucks are preferably parked on a firm level surface and the parking brake is applied. If the truck cannot be parked on a firm level surface alternative controls such as wheel chocks may be used if able to be safely installed and removed.
- The receiving hopper of the concrete pump is at a height that allows a gravity flow of concrete into the hopper from the discharge chute of the concrete delivery truck.
- Additional ramping for the truck is used if it’s required for low slump concrete deliveries. Ramps should have a non-slip surface and be designed to ensure the truck remains stable and cannot back off the ramps.
- Concrete delivery truck drivers are located in a safe position when loading the hopper to prevent the need for access onto the concrete pumping unit.
- Delivery to the concrete pump is monitored by the concrete pump operator at all times to prevent under or over delivery. This may include monitoring through a trained person (see point below).
- If the pump operator is not in view of the hopper to monitor the concrete level, that a competent person, preferably from the concrete pumping company, is appointed to perform the task and communicate with the operator. This task should not be performed by the concrete delivery truck driver.
- If the driver needs to leave the area for any reason, work should cease until they return.
- The timing of concrete deliveries is managed with the batch plant to help avoid a backlog of trucks on-site, and prevent concrete from curing in the agitator bowl, causing contamination in the load.
- Agitator bowls are properly cleaned and maintained to prevent a buildup of hardened product that can contaminate loads.
- The chute isn’t washed into the concrete pump hopper as water can enter the pumping system between deliveries and create a block between concrete loads.
- Appropriate PPE is provided and used by all workers including high visibility clothing, eye protection and hearing protection where noise levels are a risk.
- Two-way radios are considered where site conditions require a direct line of communication between pump operators and delivery drivers.
- All warning labels, control labelling and safety devices at the rear of the concrete pumping unit are maintained.
- Concrete pumping code of practice 2019 (PDF, 1.04 MB)
- WHSQ Concrete Pumping Landing page
- Safety Alert: Workersuffers serious crush injuries in concrete pump hopper
- Safety Alert: Failures of concrete pump deliverypipeline end fittings and hoses
- Safety Alert: Mobile concrete placing boom overturnincidents
- Guide: Safe Work Method Statements
- Australian Standard AS2550.15:2019 Cranes, hoists and winches - Safe use, Part 15: Concrete placingequipment