During the design and construction phase of formwork structures, there are many vital checks and balances to ensure the health and safety of workers.
Earlier this year in the ACT, there was an incident involving a catastrophic collapse of a formwork structure during a concrete pour. An investigation found some frames were defective, and some structural components had non-compliant welding. In response, WHS regulators nationally are reviewing formwork on construction sites.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has commenced an audit campaign that includes reviewing design plans and documentation of formwork systems and subsequent physical inspections to verify the formwork complies with the documentation.
The campaign has only been going for a short time, but already inspectors have identified issues with documentation in general, including:
- formwork component certification not available
- engineer/competent person checks not available (e.g. concrete hardened prior to stripping)
- engineering document not available (e.g. bracing or wind loading)
- no maximum point loadings provided
- no stripping or back-propping details and plans
- no handover certificates.
There have also been several instances of safe work method statements not being followed.
The design of formwork systems is complex and must meet the requirements of the:
- Formwork Code of Practice 2016 (PDF, 1.32 MB);
- AS3610 – Formwork for concrete
- AS3600 – Concrete structures.
Read more about the formwork industry compliance audits and how you can prepare.