Safety alert issued over precast concrete components

Thursday, 27 September, 2012 - 10:00
Incidents & prosecutions

WorkSafe WA recently issued a safety alert about the design, manufacture and lifting of precast concrete components following an fatal incident involving a concrete soakwell lid.

In the incident, a dogman was killed when a precast concrete soakwell lid weighing approximately 800kg fell on him as it was being lifted off a truck on a construction site. The lid had two lifting inserts rated at 1.3 tons each, and was being lifted by a tower crane.

There were a number of contributing factors to the incident, according to the safety alert:

  • The lifting inserts were installed with recesses large enough to fit either a 1.3 tons rated lifting clutch or a 2.5 tons rated lifting clutch
  • The lift was carried out with two lifting clutches rated at 2.5 tons each.
  • The opening of the lifting clutch had similar dimensions than the maximum width of the lifting insert.

The safety alert subsequently recommended a number of required actions:

  1. Install lifting inserts in accordance with the manufacturer’s or supplier’s recommendations on minimum edge distances, depth, concrete strength and additional reinforcement.
  2. Ensure the use of lifting clutches compatible with the lifting insert – lifting inserts and clutches should be marked with the capacity of the component in tons and the manufacturer’s identification mark.
  3. Ensure no workers are located in a position where they could be struck by a load in the event of a lifting gear failure.