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Key health and safety tips for Waterproofer

These health and safety tips provide general information on ways to manage the most common hazards and risks in your industry. By following this guidance you will be going a long way to effectively managing health and safety in your workplace. However, every workplace is different and you must not take this information as being all that you need to do.



General health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Make the work and workplace safe by:
    • finding what is unsafe or unhealthy in the workplace and taking action to fix it
    • deciding what is the highest risk and needs to be fixed first, and how to go about fixing it
    • checking that the problem has been fixed and won't happen again
    • providing health and safety induction
    • training workers on how to do the work safely
    • providing appropriate safety gear
    • ensuring the waterproofing job has been planned properly.

Remember, everyone is responsible for workplace health and safety.

Hazardous materials/confined spaces

Hazardous materials/confined spaces health and safety tips
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  • When working with hazardous materials make sure that you:
    • provide and make readily available to workers Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for substances classified as hazardous
    • provide a work method statement to the principal contactor when hazardous substances are being used on site and a copy of the substance's MSDS
    • label all hazardous substances (safety and risk phrases) and make sure workers read them
    • conduct and record risk assessments to identify hazardous substances and control the risks
    • eliminate or substitute the substance for a less harmful product
    • provide adequate ventilation
    • store substances safely and securely when not in use and store flammable and combustible liquids away from ignition sources
    • train workers in the safe handling of hazardous substances and what PPE to wear
    • do not store hazardous substances in food and/or drink containers
    • train workers in how to enter and exit a confined space safely.

Personal protective equipment / first aid

Personal protective equipment / first aid health and safety tips
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  • Select and provide appropriate PPE for the work to be performed including:
    • safety helmets wherever there is a risk of objects falling from above and on any worksite where the hard hat sign is displayed (helmets should comply with AS1801- 1981 Industrial safety helmets)
    • PVC gloves when using waterproofing agents
    • high visibility safety vests or work shirts that comply with safety standards
    • eye protection if the worker is likely to be exposed to flying particles (dust, metal), chemical damage (toxic liquids, gasses and vapour dusts) or radiation damage (sunlight, infra red, laser)
    • respiratory protection (complying with AS1716 Respiratory protective devices) if the worker is likely to be exposed to toxic gases and vapours and irritating dusts, such as silica
    • hearing protection if exposed to dangerous noise levels (must comply with AS1270 Acoustics hearing protectors)
    • footwear which is comfortable, gives maximum grip and provides protection from pinching, jamming and crushing (AS2210 Safety footwear).
  • Store and maintain PPE properly and signpost PPE areas.
  • Ensure all workers wear PPE and are instructed in its proper use.
  • Ensure workers have easy access to first aid kits and trained first aid personnel.

Work method statements

Work method statements health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Ensure work method statements are prepared for high risk activities such as:
    • using a hazardous substance
    • working in confined spaces
    • working at heights greater than two metres
    • activities performed on a roof with a pitch of more than 26 degrees
    • where the principal contractor concludes an activity could result in death or bodily harm.

Manual tasks

Manual tasks health and safety tips
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  • Use mechanical and assistive equipment/devices (e.g. forklifts, trolleys, cranes) to reduce the force needed to lift, carry, move, hold or restrain material and tools.
  • Adjust equipment to minimise bending, twisting and overreaching (e.g. adjust height of work platforms to avoid overreaching and bending).
  • Change work practices or equipment to avoid repetitive actions or prolonged tasks (e.g. use power drills to avoid repetitive arm movements when using screwdrivers).
  • Rotate workers through a variety of tasks so they are not undertaking the same task or holding the same postures for extended periods.
  • Train workers about manual tasks and in the safe use of equipment and devices.

Working at heights

Working at heights health and safety tips
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  • Ensure work is performed safely at heights and/or on uncompleted structures by:
    • installing handrails on stairways and ramps
    • providing good lighting in work areas
    • providing steps/ladders so that workers don't have to jump down from working at a height
    • ensuring there are no gaps in perimeter protection
    • securing and maintaining railings, fences and barriers around entrance holes
    • employing licensed riggers to perform rigging work.
  • Supply only well designed safety belts and harnesses and ensure safety checks are completed on equipment before and after use to maintain integrity.


Electricity health and safety tips
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  • Identify and avoid overhead powerlines.
  • Keep electrical equipment away from water.
  • Secure and protect extension leads from damage.
  • Check equipment and leads for damage before using.
  • Don't use equipment that is damaged and label it accordingly.

Public safety

Public safety health and safety tips
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  • Ensure:
    • principal contractor completes a safety plan before work commences to ensure worker and public safety on or near the site
    • adequate safety signs are visible and site fencing is erected
    • safety barricades are maintained and adequate for the environment and area
    • perimeter containment screening or exclusion zones are enforced
    • a traffic management plan is implemented.


Amenities health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Provide workers with:
    • sheltered meal areas
    • access to toilets (1 toilet for every 15 workers or part thereof)
    • hand and face washing facilities (separate from toilets)
    • access to potable, clean and cool drinking water
    • first aid equipment that is easily accessible, hygienic and appropriate for the size and complexity of the project.

Sun protection

Sun protection health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Encourage workers to protect themselves from the sun by:
    • seeking shade where possible or erecting shelters/canopies
    • wearing clothing and polarised sun glasses or safety glasses with a 30+ ultraviolet protection factor
    • wearing long sleeves, long trousers and a hat
    • fitting wide brims and neck covers to safety helmets
    • applying 30+ sunscreen regularly as suggested by the manufacturer.

Occupational stress

Occupational stress health and safety tips
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  • Promote clear policies and procedures that address bullying, harassment and work pressure, and enforce an effective issue reporting and resolution plan.
  • Ensure all workers understand what bullying and harassment are and the procedure for reporting incidents (e.g. explain policies and procedures during induction).
  • Provide post-incident care, including counselling and support.
  • Monitor work demands and control fatigue.
  • Provide support systems for talking about tough situations at work.
  • Ensure role expectations and work structures are clear particularly through times of change.
  • Ensure workers have the appropriate skills to meet the demands of the job including how to manage traumatic events.
  • Ensure work procedures are applied consistently and in an unbiased manner.
  • Provide positive reinforcement, recognition and reward.

Young workers

Young workers health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Consider the tasks you give to new and young workers, given their skills, abilities and experience.
  • Train and supervise new and young workers by:
    • making it easy for them to ask questions - don't assume they will ask
    • providing and showing workers how to wear and use any equipment safely
    • showing workers how to report any safety concerns or hazards
    • helping workers get to know the workplace layout, their immediate supervisor, health and safety representative and workmates.

Tips for workers

Tips for workers health and safety tips
Activities/instructions More information
  • Wear appropriate PPE for the job being done.
  • Follow safe work procedures implemented by your employer.
  • Make sure you are trained to do the job safely.
  • Be aware that if you wear contact lenses this could pose a hazard as they can absorb and concentrate irritants.

Last updated 27 February 2013