OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 22 Safeguards

Section 313 Building shafts

This section is intended to prevent or limit worker and equipment falls into, or in the vicinity of, openings to a building shaft. The work in building shafts referred to in this section usually involves the forming and stripping of forms during the construction of the shaft. However, the requirements apply to other types of work done in building shafts.

The platform from which work is being performed must be covered to prevent any worker, and all larger tools and equipment, from falling to a lower level. The decking itself can be solid material such as plywood, sectional material such as planking, or see-through material such as catwalk grating. Regardless of the material selected, the working platform must be strong enough to withstand the maximum load expected at any given time due to workers, tools and materials.

Because of the potential for any system to fail, and the potential for a significant fall distance, a second platform must be provided below the first. Located not more than 4 metres below the first or working platform, this second platform is intended to limit the fall of any worker, tools or materials. As a result, this second platform must be as strong or stronger than the working platform.

Where there is no work platform at a doorway or opening to a building shaft, workers must be protected from falling into the shaft. The doorway or opening must be enclosed and signed as shown in Figure 22.11.

Figure 22.11 2Enclosure of open building shaft