Date last updated

Wednesday 19 Dec 2018

A guide to the key changes

The Demolition compliance code, 2018 came into effect on 3 May 2018. It replaces the Demolition code of practice, 1991. The new code is based on the old code and is designed to:

  • be easy to read and use
  • align with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations)
  • reflect modern work practices and state of knowledge
  • align with other updated compliance codes.

New content

The new code includes new content, particularly in relation to:

  • planning
  • the risk management process
  • the demolition of special structures (for example, fire damaged buildings, basements, and masonry)

Reference and style changes

The new code includes some standard updates:

  • New references to relevant legislation when legal duties apply.
  • Additional cross-references to make related information easier to find in the code.
  • Information about Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) duties as well as OHS Regulations duties.

How to use this guide

The differences between the old and new codes are outlined in the following sections.

The sections reflect the new layout for the codes. Under each section is a short summary of the key changes and under this summary is a table that lists the headings of the old and new code for ease of comparison for duty holders.

Part 1 – Introduction

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The OHS Regulations definitions for 'demolition' and 'structure' have been moved to appear earlier in Part 1. Other definitions have been removed.
  • Information on the responsibilities of duty holders has been moved from Part 2 of the old code to Part 1 of the new code and expanded to cover all duty holders (for example, employers, self-employed persons, persons who have management or control of a workplace, principal contractors, employees, persons who install, erect or commission plant, and persons who design a building or structure) with a summary of their primary duties under the OHS Act and the OHS Regulations.
  • New information about the risk management process.
  • Information about training and consultation has been moved from Part 5 of the old code to Part 1 of the new code.
  • New information about construction induction training and site induction.
Code of practice 1991 Compliance code 2018

Part 1 – Introduction

  • what is a code of practice?
  • summary
  • authority
  • purpose
  • scope
  • definitions
  • compliance with statutory rules

Part 1 – Introduction

  • purpose
  • scope
  • application
  • background
  • what is demolition work?
  • who has duties?
  • the risk management process
  • consultation
  • information, instruction, training and supervision
  • construction induction training
  • site induction

Part 2 – Overview of the risk management process and Part 3 – Planning demolition work

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • New and expanded information about the risk management process (identifying hazards, assessing risks, controlling risks, maintaining risk controls, review and revision of risk controls).
  • Information about the hierarchy of control has been revised to clearly reflect the OHS Regulations duty to eliminate or reduce risks associated with construction work (regulation 325).
  • The ‘Workplan’ section has been removed from Part 2 and is replaced by new content in Part 3 that aligns to requirements under the OHS Regulations to prepare a health and safety coordination plan and a safe work method statement for construction projects in certain situations.
  • New information about high risk work licensing.
  • The ‘Engineering investigation’ section in the old code has been moved to Appendix C of the new code.
  • Sections on essential services (eg electrical, gas, water) and adjoining buildings have been moved to appear earlier in the new code with planning information.
Code of practice 1991 Compliance code 2018

Part 2 – Assessment and planning

  • general
  • hierarchy of controls
  • responsibilities
  • workplan
  • engineering investigation

Part 2 – Overview of the risk management
process

  • identifying hazards
  • assessing the risks
  • controlling the risks
  • the hierarchy of control
  • maintaining risk controls
  • review and revision of risk controls

Part 3 – Planning demolition work

  • health and safety coordination plans
  • safe work method statements
  • high risk work licensing
  • essential services and other pipes or lines
  • adjacent or adjoining buildings

Part 4 – Controlling risks in demolition work

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Information about controlling risks of exposure to hazardous substances has been expanded and updated to align to 'Part 4.1 - Hazardous substances' of the OHS Regulations, and now includes new details on risks associated with specific hazardous substances. This incorporates the asbestos and synthetic mineral fibres sections that appeared in Part 4 of the old code.
  • A new breakout box to remind employers of their duties to consult with employees and health and safety representatives (HSRs) on health or safety matters.
  • Some sections from Part 3 of the old code have been removed, including content regarding amenities, drugs and alcohol, site sheds and access ways, night time demolition, flame cutting of steelwork, fumes and gases and safe use of cutting torches.
  • Detailed information about safe work platforms and protection against falling is now contained in the Prevention of falls in general construction compliance code, 2018 and the Prevention of falls in housing construction compliance code, 2018. A cross reference to these codes has been included under the ‘Falls’ subheading in Part 4 of the new code.
  • Some information has been moved from Part 3 of the old code to Part 5 of the new code, including content about protection of openings and penetrations, roof work, asbestos cement roofs, access and egress on structures with two or more levels.
  • Information on plant to outline key considerations for using plant to perform demolition work.
  • The cranes section from Part 3 of the old code has been moved earlier in the new code to appear after the plant subheading. Revisions have been made to information about using cranes to suspend loads that are to be cut and then lowered to the ground. The safe working load of the crane now needs to be reduced by 33 per cent when testing. This is revised from 50 per cent in the old code.
  • New information about No Go Zone permits has been included under the electrical risks subheading of Part 4 of the new code.
  • Methods involving hot works while demolition work is being carried out are now recommended to only be used when alternatives are not reasonably practicable.
Code of practice 1991 Compliance code 2018

Part 3 – Health and safety provisions

  • electrical, gas, water services
  • first aid
  • amenities
  • drugs and alcohol
  • safe work platforms
  • protection of openings and penetrations
  • roof work
  • protection against falling
  • asbestos cement roofs
  • prevention of unauthorised entry
  • protective structures
  • site sheds and access ways
  • access and egress on structures with two or more levels to the area being demolished
  • night time demolition
  • adjoining buildings
  • removal of debris
  • fire prevention
  • noise
  • site security
  • electrical safety
  • protection of sewers and watercourses
  • protection of public roads
  • personal protective equipment
  • flame cutting of steelwork
  • fumes and gases
  • safe use of cutting torches
  • manual handling

Part 4 – Controlling risks in demolition work

  • the building or structure to be demolished
  • hazardous substances and dangerous goods
  • asbestos
  • lead
  • polychlorinated biphenyls
  • synthetic mineral fibres
  • securing the work area
  • exclusion zones
  • public access and protection
  • plant and equipment
  • cranes
  • removal of debris
  • falls
  • electrical risks
  • fire prevention and protection

Part 5 – Demolition methods

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • A new breakout box to remind employers of their duties to consult with employees and HSRs on health or safety matters.
  • Information about manual demolition has been expanded and broken into sections that include roofs, walls, floors and frames.
  • Some sections under mechanical demolition have been removed, including information about demolition balls, machine-mounted impact hammers, drilling and sawing, and the use of a mechanical pusher arm. General information has been included about using attachments to plant to perform demolition work.
  • Information about the use of explosives has been amended to emphasise that explosives should only be used when it is not reasonably practicable to undertake demolition by any other method. This section also now includes requirements under the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011.
  • The lift shafts subheading has been moved to appear under Part 6 of the new code.
  • New information about the demolition of special structures has been significantly extended, with the inclusion of subheadings for eight additional types of structures (eg pre and post-tensioned concrete, fire damaged buildings, masonry and storage tanks).
  • The information about training and consultation in Part 5 of the old code has been moved to Part 1 of the new code.
Code of practice 1991 Compliance code 2018

Part 4 – Demolition methods

  • general precautions
  • manual demolition
  • mechanical demolition
  • demolition ball
  • earth moving equipment on suspended floors
  • demolition by wire and chain pulling
  • machine-mounted impact hammer
  • power grapples and shears
  • drilling and sawing
  • mechanical demolition by pusher arm
  • mechanical demolition by deliberate collapse
  • demolition by explosives
  • lift shafts
  • Part 5 – Training and consultation

  • training
  • consultation

Part 5 – Demolition methods

  • manual demolition
  • manual demolition of roofs
  • roof access
  • fragile roofs
  • purlin trolleys
  • manual demolition of walls
  • manual demolition of floors and members
  • manual demolition of frameworks
  • mechanical demolition
  • working on suspended floors
  • demolition of walls
  • using plant and attachments
  • induced collapse
  • load reduction
  • wire rope, slings and chain pulling
  • using explosives

Part 6 – Demolition of special structures

  • pre and post-tensioned concrete
  • fire-damaged, ruinous and structurally unsound buildings or structures
  • lift shafts
  • basements, cellars, vaults, domes and arched roofs
  • masonry and brick arches
  • independent chimneys and spires
  • precast concrete panels
  • façade retention
  • storage tanks and pipelines
  • general precautions
  • hazardous facilities
  • containers that have held flammable or combustible material

Appendices

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • The list of relevant Australian Standards has been updated and moved to Appendix F in the new code.
  • Appendix 2, containing the excerpt from the Victorian Building Regulations, has been removed.
  • Information about engineering investigation considerations that previously appeared earlier in the old code is now in Appendix C of the new code.
  • New templates are included in the appendices, including for a demolition plan, health and safety coordination plan and a safe work method statement.
  • The checklists from Appendix 3 of the old code have been removed and a new checklist for the safe use of plant for demolition work now appears in Appendix G of the new code.
  • Information about general terms used in the demolition industry has been removed.
Code of practice 1991 Compliance code 2018
  • Appendix 1 – Statutory provisions, standards and codes
  • Appendix 2 – Excerpt from the Victorian Building Regulations
  • Appendix 3 – Checklists
  • Appendix 4 – Some general terms used in the demolition industry
  • Appendix A – The compliance framework
  • Appendix B – Demolition plan
  • Appendix C – Engineering investigation considerations
  • Appendix D – Health and Safety Coordination Plan template
  • Appendix E – Safe Work Method Statement template
  • Appendix F – Documents associated with this compliance code
  • Appendix G – Checklist for safe use of plant for demolition works

Further information

Further information contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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