WA: Safety Alert for Precast Concrete Components

WorkSafe WA has issued a safety alert regarding the design, manufacture and lifting of precast concrete components.


A dogman was killed when a precast concrete soakwell lid weighing approximately 800kg fell on him as it was being lifted off a truck on a construction site. The lid had two lifting inserts rated at 1.3 tonnes each, and was being lifted by a tower crane.

Contributing factors

• The lifting inserts were installed with recesses large enough to fit either a 1.3 tonnes rated lifting clutch or a 2.5 tonnes rated lifting clutch (see photo).

• The lift was carried out with two lifting clutches rated at 2.5 tonnes each.

• The opening of the lifting clutch had similar dimensions than the maximum width of the lifting insert.

Action required

1. Install lifting inserts in accordance with the manufacturer’s or supplier’s recommendations on minimum edge distances, depth, concrete strength and additional reinforcement.

2. Ensure the use of lifting clutches compatible with the lifting insert – lifting inserts and clutches should be marked with the capacity of the component in tonnes and the manufacturer’s identification mark.

3. Ensure no workers are located in a position where they could be struck by a load in the event of a lifting gear failure.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from manufacturers and suppliers of the brands of lifting inserts and lifting clutches in use, for lifting insert installation specifications and compatible lifting devices.

Note: safety requirements for lifting and erecting structural concrete panels can be found in Australian Standard 3850: Tilt-up concrete construction.

OHS News

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