Information about WorkSafe’s focus on truck-mounted mobile concrete boom pump safety.
This guidance material has been prepared using the best information available to WorkSafe, and should be used for general use only. Any information about legislative obligations or responsibilities included in this material is only applicable to the circumstances described in the material. You should always check the legislation referred to in this material and make your own judgement about what action you may need to take to ensure you have complied with the law. Accordingly, WorkSafe cannot be held responsible and extends no warranties as to the suitability of the information for your specific circumstances; or actions taken by third parties as a result of information contained in the guidance material.
We're focusing on concrete boom pumps
WorkSafe inspectors are visiting construction sites to ensure the risks associated with the setup and operation of concrete-placing booms (truck-mounted mobile concrete boom pumps, also known as boom pumps) are, so far as reasonably practicable, controlled.
Why the visits
There have been numerous incidents involving the use of boom pumps where workers and the public have suffered serious or fatal injuries.
Incidents have included:
overturning of a boom pump (eg due to a failure of a structural slab, ground conditions, pit)
structural failure in the boom or king post
full or partial collapse of the boom
end hoses uncoupling and falling during a concrete pour or while being cleaned out
end hoses whipping around
being struck by concrete, or the pipe clean-out device ('sponge'), during the clean-out process
bursting pipes, bends and end hoses
pipe clamp failures
persons being entangled in the pump's moving parts
boom striking overhead powerlines
Planning and preparation
Planning and preparation is the first step in ensuring concrete pumping operations are performed safely.
Planning should incorporate the project's total concrete pumping operational requirements.
This plan may need to be reviewed each time a concrete pumping operation is scheduled, to take into account any changes or unforeseen circumstances.
It is important to consult as early as possible when planning to introduce measures to control risks associated with construction work.
Inspectors will be focusing on ensuring that employers and self-employed persons involved in concrete pumping operations are complying with their respective obligations, for example:
to provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, plant or systems of work that are safe and without risks to health (eg ensuring that no-go-zones around powerlines are observed, ensuring adequate traffic management controls are in place)
ensuring that operators of a boom pump hold an appropriate high risk work licence (ie 'Class PB – concrete-placing boom')
ensuring that high risk construction work (HRCW) (including, operating a boom pump) is not performed, unless a safe work method statement (SWMS) is prepared before the work commences and work is performed in accordance with the SWMS (see SWMS requirements)
ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that risks associated with construction work (for example, concrete pumping operations) are controlled (see Hierarchy of control)
Inspectors will also be ensuring that the Concrete pumping industry standard is being followed, including requirements related to:
the location of the boom pump set-up
traffic and pedestrian management
no-go-zones for overhead powerlines
boom pump inspections and maintenance, including pipe componentry (for example, pipe clamps and safety pins)
thickness testing of pipeline components (where required)
boom pump setup, including outrigger placement
control of trucks discharging into the hopper
hopper guarding and emergency controls
pump and pipeline clean out process.
Hierarchy of control
Such as using a line pump instead of a boom pump where this is risk of contact with overhead powerlines.
Substituting a new activity, procedure, plant etc, such as, using engineered bog-mats instead of loose timbers for outrigger packing.
Isolating person from the hazard, such as:
establishing a safety zone around the pump hopper to restrict access when the concrete trucks are discharging into the pump.
Using engineering controls, such as:
attaching a cage to the end of the pipeline during clean-out to catch the clean-out device
fitting a failsafe interlock device to the hopper grill
using impact barriers to prevent vehicles striking outriggers
placing warning signs at personnel access points
providing appropriate information, instruction, training or supervision (for example, as part of site induction)
Such as high visibility clothing, helmets, safety glasses, safety boots and appropriate gloves.
Note: A combination of risk control measures from the various control levels will usually be required.
Review and, if necessary, revise risk controls
Risk controls must be revised:
before making a change to the way the construction work is performed or to the system of work
if new or additional information about hazards becomes available
if the risks are not adequately controlled, or
after receiving a request from a health and safety representative
Note: If risk controls measures do not adequately control the risks and are revised, the SWMS must also be revised
The SWMS must:
identify work that is HRCW
state the hazards and risks of that work
sufficiently describe measures to control those risks
describe how the risk control measures are to be implemented
be set out and expressed in a way that is readily accessible and comprehensible to those who use it
HRCW includes construction work on or near energised electrical installation or services; and, construction work adjacent to roadways or railways used by road or rail traffic.
If a SWMS is not being followed, the HRCW work must stop immediately or as soon as it is safe to do so and not resume the work until the SWMS is complied with or reviewed and, if necessary, revised.
Employee legal duties
Employees have duties, including taking reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work. This includes not interfering with or misusing items provided by their employer at a workplace including tools and safety equipment (for example, pumping at pressure greater than the pipeline capacity).
Download the PDF fact sheet
This page is also available as a PDF fact sheet titled Construction safety focus: Mobile concrete boom pump safety.
WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.