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Tilt Up Construction, How Safe Is It?

The quest for faster and more cost-effective techniques will always be a large part of the conversation in the construction industry, especially when safety and reliability are potential tradeoffs in this equation. Tilt up construction is one of the more common techniques that are considered fast and cheap, but it comes with a reputation that is rather less than savoury.

What Is Tilt-Up Construction?

In tilt-up construction, load-bearing structural elements like walls are formed by pouring and forming them out horizontally on an existing concrete slab. Once the new structures are strong enough after formation, they’re tilted up with a crane and set in position, often vertically, and arranged into the wall line of the structure. Tilt up construction differs from prefabricated construction, in that these concrete structures and slabs are formed on-site rather than at a production site elsewhere.

How Safe Has Tilt-Up Construction Been In The Past?

The main concern with tilt-up construction is the safety of moving around and securing all these large concrete slabs that could weigh over a hundred metric tons! Safety issues abound at several points of action, including when the slabs are being rigged and lifted by crane, and when they’re braced in position before the rest of the structure and load are placed on them.

Just last May at a worksite in East Perth, two cars were crushed by a falling concrete slab, which had fallen from a crane during a tilt-up operation. Thankfully, no workers were harmed in this near miss incident.

Two workers weren’t as lucky in 2015, when unsecured tilt-up concrete slabs, which each weighed over three tons, fell from a trailer and crushed them. The Contractors involved were recently charged and fined $160,000 over this incident.

Ensuring the safety of tilt-up sites means a variety of measures must be taken. Cranes should be rated to carry the combined weight of the slabs and the rigging; the horizontal slab on which tilt-up panels are being laid out must be able to handle the load, and panel reinforcement bars should not be protruding in a way that could harm workers who trip. On top of this, of course, panels that are being transported or held in position should always be secured individually. These and other safety measures must be conducted without any margin for error, and respect must be shown for the massive concrete slabs that could seriously injure or kill workers with little warning!

How Australian Training Management Can Help Tilt-Up Construction?

To prevent accidents at tilt-up construction sites and ensure the greatest possible safety for workers, you need the right training for your people. Australian Training Management is a Registered Training Organisation that provides detailed and cost-effective training solutions that can scale for an individual or all the way to a company. ATM draws on 26 years of experience in a variety of fields, including Construction Training, to provide high-quality service for any industry.

ATM’s Identify Requirements For Safe Tilt-Up Work programme provides participants with the skills and knowledge they need to conduct tilt-up construction safely. Its programme follows the tilt-up construction standards laid out by WorkSafe, and graduating participants will be provided with nationally-recognised Statements of Attainment.

Sign up now with ATM’s training programme and rest easy that you and your staff will be ready for the challenges of tilt-up construction, ensuring a safe working environment!