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Alert 13 - Stability of buildings and structures

This alert is to advise of the importance of ensuring wall stability of buildings and structures, including during construction, demolition or refurbishment works.


The collapse of structures may result in death or serious injury to workers and third parties and may occur in circumstances other than during works.

A recent incident involving the spontaneous collapse of a wall at a federal workplace has highlighted the need for duty holders to monitor the integrity of the structures under their management in order to ensure healthy and safe workplaces.

Safety issues

The integrity of structures may be compromised due to:

  • weathering
  • foundation shifting or deterioration
  • weakening through direct impact
  • any combination of these or other factors.

Control measures

Duty holders should:

  • monitor structures under their management
  • where a structure appears unstable or where an event has occurred likely to impact on stability—establish a suitable exclusion zone until either deemed safe by a competent person or rectification works are completed
  • ensure all structural works, including temporary, secondary or adjacent (that is, excavation), are subject to inspection and written verification of stability by a competent person
  • ensure temporary works are subject to inspection by a competent person following extreme weather or any other incident that might affect stability.

Further information

Model Code of Practice – Construction Work
Model Code of Practice – Demolition Work
Model Code of Practice – Excavation Work
Model Code of Practice – Safe Design of Structures


Page last updated: 04 Nov 2013