1.0 Storage of bricks
1.1 Has Contractor set aside enough space for deliveries of bricks?
1.2 Wherever space allows, have the pallets of bricks stored inside Contractors site boundaries, making sure they do not block safe access and emergency exits, and are located so the bricklayers' labourers can safely pick up the bricks below their shoulder height.
1.3 If Contractor is forced to store bricks on nature strips or other public space, make sure you comply with municipal Council requirements and properly barricade them to safeguard the public. Do they comply?
1.4 Never block off footpaths in a way which forces Gippsland water staff or other people onto an unbarricaded access way. Has this protocol been followed?
2.0 Use of cement mixers
2.1 Are cement mixers being used safely?
2.2 Has Contractor inspected mixers to ensure they are well maintained and serviceable, and made sure they are fitted with proper guards around the pulley belts?
2.3 Has Contractor ensured electrically powered mixers have leads in good condition and are protected by a residual current device (earth leakage)?
2.4 Petrol-driven mixers should be properly tuned and should never be used inside buildings unless there is very good natural ventilation to prevent deadly build up of carbon monoxide fumes. They should also not be used in cellars and basements.
3.0 Bricklayer's scaffolds
3.1 • Has the Contractors systems identified that scaffolds for bricklaying need to be built for heavy duty loads (up to 675 kg per platform per bay). They must be on firm foundations and built level and plumb.
• Scaffolds need to be properly braced and rigidly tied to the building, and need proper temporary stairways or ladder access.
• Platforms should be at least 5 planks wide and fully decked with genuine scaffold planks in sound condition.
• All platforms over 2 metres need guardrails, midrails and toeboards. Brickguards are preferable.
• Trestle scaffolds should be heavy duty, fully planked, set up on firm horizontal surfaces and never used where a person or brick could fall more than 2 metres.
• Adjustable trestles need hardened steel locking pins -- not pieces of scrap reinforcing rod because a sudden impact on the trestle can shear them (just like bolt cutters can). Never "piggyback" trestles to gain extra height -- use the proper type of scaffold instead.
• Contractor to ensure he keeps the scaffolds at least 4 metres away from live powerlines.
• If the potential fall height from the scaffold is more than 4 metres, it must be constructed, altered and dismantled by a person with a WorkCover certificate of competency appropriate to the type of scaffold.
3.2 Have the bricklayers' scaffolds been properly constructed? Have all the above conditions been met?
4.0 Bricklayer's use of scaffolds
4.1 Contractor needs to review any scaffolds. Overloaded platforms can cause the scaffold to collapse. Heavy duty working platforms can be safely loaded up to 675 kg per bay. Typically, on one working platform bay, this might be something like allowance for up to two workers at any one time (160 kg), up to 100 bricks (around 400 kg), a drum of water (around 10 kg), a board of mortar ( up to 80 kg) and some hand tools (around 5 kg).
4.2 Has Contractor ensured that clear access needs to be maintained along the full platform length. Broken bricks and debris should be regularly cleaned up from the platform and safely deposited off the scaffold. Has the contractor ensured that this is happening?
4.3 Bricklayers should not lay bricks above shoulder height because this greatly increases the risk of manual handling injuries. Contractor to consider using a new lift of scaffold put in at the right height so they don't have to over-reach. Has the contractor properly considered this?
4.4 Does Contractor ensure the bricklayers using the scaffold safely?
5.0 Barrow hoists
5.1 • Has Contractor verified that the person erecting and dismantling a barrow hoist must have a WorkCover scaffolding or rigging certificate of competency, and the person who operates the hoist must have a WorkCover hoist operation certificate of competency.
• The hoist must be stable and vertical. It should be independently tied to the building -- not just tied to the scaffold because if it overturns, it will pull the scaffold down with it.
• Contractor to ensure the hoist operator needs overhead protection, and uses interlocked gates at scaffold platform landings. He must also Make sure the hoist is well maintained and regularly inspected.
• Electrically powered hoists need residual current devices (earth leakage).
• Wheelbarrows should be placed on the hoist platform with the handles pointing towards the scaffold so the labourer can pick up the barrow without needing to step on to the elevated platform. Contractors supervision must never allow or tolerate anyone riding on the platform -- barrow hoists are not designed safely enough to support people.
5.2 Are barrow hoists properly set up and used safely? Please comment using the above information
6.0 Brick cleaning
6.1 • Brick cleaning usually involves the use of hydrochloric acid and water. Contractor must make sure hydrochloric acid containers are safely and securely stored when not in use.
• Contractor to make sure the workers are trained and understand the dangers of acid burns and know how to use acids safely.
• Contractor to provide PPE to make sure they are fully protected from acid splashes to the eyes and skin.
6.2 Using the above information, is brick cleaning being done safely? Please comment
7.0 Sun safety
7.1 Most bricklaying is outside work, so the bricklayers may be more at risk from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. Contractor to enforce Gippsland Water's sun smart policy (long longs, etc.). Contractor may need tool box talks and vigilant supervision to ensure employees wear the right protection for their safety.
7.2 Is the contractor ensuring their workers are protected from the sun?
Add additional comments
Contractor is to review the comments, and consider the recommended actions within this audit. The contractor needs to demonstrate they are complying with their obligations as an employer, what specific remedial action they propose for this site, and if any overall modifications are required to their Health and Safety Plan / safety procedures / supervision. Prompt corrective action is required to eliminate any agreed deficiencies, and any areas of disagreement need to be further explored in writing. All “failed responses” need to be addressed/resolved.