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High risk construction work

'High risk construction work' is defined as construction work that involves (or is likely to involve):

  • a risk of a person falling more than three metres
  • demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure
  • the disturbance of asbestos
  • structural alterations or repairs that require temporary support to prevent collapse
  • the use of explosives
  • tilt-up or precast concrete
  • diving work.

It also includes construction work that is carried out:

  • on a telecommunication tower
  • in or near a confined space
  • in or near a shaft or trench with an excavated depth greater than 1.5 metres, or a tunnel
  • on or near pressurised gas distribution mains or piping
  • on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines
  • on or near energised electrical installations or services
  • in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere
  • on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians
  • in an area at a workplace in which there is any movement of powered mobile plant
  • in an area in which there are artificial extremes of temperature
  • in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning.

Safe Work Method Statements

A High Risk Construction Work Safe Work Method Statement is a document, prepared in consultation with relevant people at a workplace, which accounts for the specific circumstances that may affect the way in which high risk construction work is done. It includes the following requirements:

  • A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that includes the carrying out of high risk construction work must ensure that a Safe Work Method Statement for the proposed work is prepared, or has already been prepared by another person, before any such work starts.
  • The principal contractor for a construction project must take all reasonable steps to obtain a copy of the Safe Work Method Statement relating to high risk construction work before the work starts.

A Safe Work Method Statement must:

  • identify the work that is high risk construction work
  • specify hazards relating to the high risk construction work and risks to health and safety associated with those hazards
  • describe the measures to be implemented to control the risks
  • describe how the control measures are to be implemented, monitored and reviewed
  • take into account all relevant matters, including circumstances at the workplace that may affect the way in which the high risk construction work is carried out
  • take into account the Work Health and Safety Management Plan prepared for the workplace, if the high risk construction work is carried out in connection with a construction project
  • be set out and expressed in a way that is readily accessible and understandable by people use it.

Related Information

High Risk Work