An alert about heavy machinery on housing construction sites overturning onto neighbouring residential houses.
Published:07 November 2018
WorkSafe inspectors have recently attended two serious incidents in which heavy machinery at construction sites has overturned onto occupied residential houses.
These incidents have included:
a crane becoming unstable while suspending a load, causing it to topple onto a neighbouring residential house
a piling rig toppling onto an adjacent residential house while moving through a housing development site
With the increased use of heavy plant in the housing construction sub-sector, incidents often occur when builders and contractors using this plant are unfamiliar with identifying hazards and implementing suitable risk control measures.
Recommended control measures
Builders and contractors with management or control of workplaces where heavy plant is used must eliminate or reduce, so far as is reasonably practicable, the risk of the plant overturning. Duty holders should ensure that:
the appropriate plant is being used for the work activity or task
ground conditions are assessed by a competent person to ensure plant can be supported during setup or use, or while it traverses the ground
plant is set up correctly for works to happen safely
the plant operator is appropriately trained, qualified and competent to operate the type of plant and, where required, has the appropriate high risk work licence
the plant operator and other employees have received necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to safely operate or work near powered mobile plant
the plant is safely decommissioned on site, as per manufacturer’s instructions
the plant is safely loaded and unloaded onto the transport vehicle/trailer
exclusion zones are set up and maintained to ensure employees and members of the public are not nearby when lifting or moving suspended loads
employees and members of the public, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, are isolated or separated to prevent them making contact with the plant
health and safety coordination plans and safe work method statements have been developed and reviewed, and revised and updated, as site or work activities change. The information is communicated to employees and contractors
plant is inspected, maintained and serviced using manufacturer recommendations.