Preparing to erect timber wall frames

This guidance for carpenters asks questions and uses examples to help you remove or reduce the risks to health and safety when erecting timber wall frames.



One in three injuries on construction sites involve everyday tools and equipment. So make sure you don't take shortcuts with your gear and use the right tools for the job.

Take time to prepare your site. Stop, Step back, and Think.

1. Stop

What job needs to be done? Do I have the right tools?

What's the job?

Cut, assemble and erect timber wall frames for a new home with a concrete slab floor.

List the tools you need

  • compound mitre saw
  • generator
  • powder actuated tool
  • nails
  • fasteners
  • speed brace
  • power leads
  • circular saws
  • hammers
  • nail guns
  • ladders

2. Step Back

Take a moment to ask:

Where is the job located?

At a new housing estate.

How long will the job take?

2 weeks.

How many tradies do I need?

  • 3 carpenters
  • 1 apprentice

What do I have to do?

  1. Cut all the timbers for the studs, top and bottom plates and noggins.
  2. Assemble and erect the frames.

What's been quoted as part of the job?

  • Materials: timber, fasteners for the frame to slab, nails and speed brace.
  • Cutting of studs, top and bottom plates and noggins.
  • Assembly and erection of wall frames.

Will the work impact on others?

Yes. Power will be provided from the site next door where plumbers and bricklayers are working. They probably haven't been told we will be using their power.

What hazards need to be fixed before I start?

There's no power onsite. Power will need to be sourced from the site next door with leads running across the ground.

3. Think

Make sure your equipment is in safe working order. Know what to do when arriving on site.

Are the tools in good condition and appropriate to task?

  • Check that the powder actuated tool and nail guns are not worn and are serviced according to manufacturer's regulations.
  • Test and tag power leads and tools to ensure they are in good condition.
  • Check that the safety guards are fitted and working properly on all tools.
  • Ensure that ladders in use are appropriate for the task.

What do I need to do before I'm on site?

Get a saw bench so the crew isn't bending to cut timber on the ground.

What do I need to do when I arrive on site?

  1. Report to the site supervisor and get inducted onto the site
  2. Suspend the leads off the ground.

Check Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • hearing protection
  • eye protection
  • protective gloves

More information