Non-compliant plywood sold for formwork use

This Safety Alert has been issued after plywood sold as F17 stress grade, suitable for structural work, was found to be non-complaint with Australian Standards after NATA Accredited Testing.


Plywood used in the construction industry for formwork is required under Australian Standards to be of certain strength to withstand the substantial forces the plywood it is exposed to.

AS/NZS 2269: 1994 Plywood – Structural specifies the testing requirements and assigns an F-value to plywood used for construction purposes to indicate the strength, or stress grade, of the plywood. Plywood used as formwork in decking, soffits and walls/columns (commonly known as formply) is required to have a stress grade between F11 to F27.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported that samples of unbranded plywood sold as F17 stress grade in the Darwin/Palmerston region failed to meet the requirements of the Australian Standards.

Action required

  • All stock of plywood sheets purchased for formwork use should be checked for branding. It is a requirement under AS 6669-2007 Plywood - Formwork that each plywood sheet be branded and indicate the stress grade or product standard of the sheet
  • AS 3160-1995 Formwork for Concrete indicates unbranded plywood sheets, whose properties are unknown should not be used.

Further information

Australian Standards


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.