OHS Code

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 32 Excavating and Tunnelling

Section 461 Underground shafts

(1) An employer must ensure that, during the excavation of an underground shaft that is between 1.5 metres and 6 metres deep, the walls of the shaft from the top down are retained by temporary protective structures strong enough to prevent the walls from collapsing or caving in.

(2) An employer must ensure that, during the excavation of an underground shaft 6 metres or more deep, the walls of the shaft from the top down are retained by temporary protective structures certified by a professional engineer as strong enough to prevent the walls from collapsing or caving in.

(3) An employer must ensure that

(a) a solid fence or equally effective means of preventing workers, materials and equipment from falling into the shaft is provided around an underground shaft opening, and

(b) gates not less than 1 metre high are installed at each entrance of an underground shaft and are kept closed when they are not being used.

(4) Workers must keep a gate to the entrance of an underground shaft closed when it is not being used.

(5) An employer must ensure that an underground shaft is provided with suitable and efficient machinery or other device for keeping the shaft free of accumulations of water.