Preparing to pour a slab

This guidance for concreters asks questions and uses examples to help remove or reduce the risks to health and safety when pouring a slab.



You can adapt this example to your own job and help create a safer working environment.

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?

Pour a slab for a new house.

List the tools you need

  • concrete pump (hired)
  • circular saw
  • nail gun
  • reinforcing (reo) mesh
  • bar chairs
  • shovels
  • screeds

2. Step back

Take a moment to ask:

Where is the job located?

At a new housing estate.

How long will the job take?

3 days.

How many tradies do I need?

4 concreters.

What do I have to do?

  1. Erect the formwork.
  2. Lay the mesh.
  3. Pour and screed concrete.
  4. Remove the formwork.

What's been quoted as part of the job?

  • Materials: formwork, reo mesh and bar chairs.
  • Erecting formwork.
  • Laying mesh.
  • Laying waffle pods.
  • Pouring and screeding concrete.

Will the work impact on others?


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 the task?

  • Service nail guns regularly according to manufacturer's specifications.
  • 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.

Are safety guards fitted and working properly?

All the saws have guards fitted but the circular saw return guard jams open.

Do I have all the right tools and equipment for the job?


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

Get the circular saw guard repaired or replaced.

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

  • Report to the site supervisor and get inducted onto the site.
  • Review and revise the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) for high risk work.
  • Induct employees onsite into the SWMS.

Check Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • hearing protection
  • eye protection
  • protective gloves
  • gumboots

More information