Mobile concrete boom pump safety

Information about WorkSafe’s focus on truck-mounted mobile concrete boom pump safety.


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.

Inspector focus

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

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

SWMS requirements

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.

PDF factsheet

WorkSafe Advisory Service

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.

1800 136 089 More contact options

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