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Safety on site
Many construction activities are 3 Concrete
on site
potentially dangerous so care is needed
at all times. Current legislation requires
all persons to consider the effects of
their actions, or lack of action, on the
health and safety of themselves and
others. Advice on safety legislation can
be obtained from any of the area offices
of the Health & Safety Executive.

The downloadable booklets in the Concrete CONTENTS
on site series are a continuation of a series
originally issued in 1951 and have become Health awareness
standard guides to site personnel. The sign of a job well done
What’s needed for good formwork
How to erect formwork
Using a release agent
Checks before concreting
Striking the formwork
Further reading

Concrete on site 3 - Formwork


© The Concrete Society


HEALTH Awareness Note that with alkali burns, pain is
not immediate.
Whenever there is persistent or
severe irritation or pain a doctor
! Formwork is made from many
materials including:

should be consulted.  Timber

Dry cement powders in normal use
 Aluminium
have no harmful effect on dry skin. Handling precautions
As with any dusty material there Protection for the eyes, mouth and  Plywood
may be ill effects from the inhala- nose should be worn in circum- THE SIGN OF A JOB WELL DONE  Steel
tion or ingestion of cement dust stances when dry cement may  Plastics
and suitable precautions should be become airborne. There is an easy way to tell whether  Polystyrene
a concreting project has been car-  Expanded metal sheet
When working with wet concrete or ried out properly or not and that is
When cement is mixed with water,  Cardboard.
mortar, suitable protective clothing to check its appearance when the
alkali is released. Precautions should
therefore be taken to prevent dry should be worn, such as long- job is finished. Good construction
cement entering the eyes, mouth or sleeved shirts, full-length trousers, will look attractive, whereas work
nose, and to avoid skin contact with waterproof gloves with cotton liners that has been carried out in a care-
wet concrete and mortar. and wellington boots. Clothing con- less, slapdash manner will not.
taminated with wet cement, mortar
Repeated skin contact with wet or concrete should be removed and Formwork is one of the two most
cement over a period of time may washed before further use. Should important factors that decide how
cause irritant contact dermatitis. concrete or mortar get into boots, the concrete will look in the final
The abrasiveness of the concrete or remove them IMMEDIATELY and result (the other being the way the
mortar constituents can aggravate thoroughly wash the skin and the concrete is placed and compacted).
the effect. inside of the boots before proceed- This publication deals with the
ing with the job. formwork; for advice on placing and
Some skins are sensitive to the small
amount of chromate that may be compaction, refer to Concrete on
If cement enters the eye it should be site 5: Placing and compacting.
present in cements and can develop
washed immediately and thorough-
allergic contact dermatitis, but this
is rare. ly with clean water and medical Formwork is the mould for the wet
advice sought. concrete. It shapes it, and holds it in
Continued contact with the skin can place until it has set and hardened.
result in cement burns with ulceration. Concrete or mortar elsewhere on Any defects in the formwork will
the skin should also be washed off show on the as-struck concrete

surface, so it is essential that all the The concrete in the finished job will 4. It should be possible to strike
operations are carried out with great provide a lasting commentary on the formwork easily and safely and
care. the skills of all those involved in the without causing any damage to the
construction. concrete.
Formwork is made from expensive
materials and needs great skill in its
fabrication. Its importance can be
judged from the fact that fabricat-
ing, erecting and striking it often FORMWORK Fig 1. Formwork construction
cost more than the concrete it is There are four main areas for form-
designed to shape and support. work; walls, columns, beams and
As far as the operative on site is con-
Because of this, formwork usually cerned, there are four requirements slabs. Formwork for the underside
needs to be re-used over and over for good formwork: of suspended slabs and beams
again. This will be possible only if is known as soffit formwork. The
it is handled, cleaned and stored 1. It should be built to ensure supporting structure of formwork is
properly and responsibly. that the concrete is formed to the known as falsework.
required shape, size and position,
A high standard of workmanship as well as providing the required Wall formwork will be either double-
is necessary to produce a high surface finish on the concrete.
faced (in which tie rods keep the
standard of concrete work. Much two faces from spreading apart un-
depends on the skill and expertise 2. The supporting system for the
formwork - the tie rods and align- der the pressure of the concrete) or
of the workforce, although good single-faced e.g. that for the edges
quality can be achieved in simple, ment members of wall forms, or
the supports, lacing and bracing to small bases and pile caps.
highly repetitive work with less
of formwork for slabs - must be
skilled labour. Supporting single-faced formwork
installed in accordance with the
formwork drawing and the suppli- calls for careful consideration and
There are specialised proprietary er’s recommendations. for heights of 1m or more the form-
formwork systems i.e. slip forms, work should be specially designed
jump forms, and tunnel forms. These 3. Formwork should be securely for the purpose.
are not covered in this booklet. fixed and all fixings needed for
erecting subsequent formwork Soffit formwork needs to be sup-
should be included. ported typically by steel or alumin-

ium vertical members. On smaller It is important to follow the arrange-  It has joints between members
contracts, adjustable metal props ment drawing as closely as possible, tight enough to prevent grout
are often used as falsework, but because it will have been devised leakage, honeycombing and
proprietary deck support systems by the formwork and falsework similar faults, which lead to a lack
are common for larger slabs. The designer to suit the job in hand, to of durability and can spoil the
latter have replaced the traditional ensure that: appearance of the concrete in the
tube-and-fitting supports, which  It is strong enough to take the finished job.
Fig 2. Traditional timber formwork,
were labour intensive. pressure or weight of the fresh walings (left) and bearers
concrete during placing and com-
There are often many possible paction, as well as any other loads Materials
solutions to the formwork problems it might have to face. Weak forms
that could crop up on site. These will result in distortion, excessive A wide range of materials is used
might involve the use of traditional deflections, leaks or other failure. for all parts of the formwork, from
methods, or proprietary equipment- These could mean that expensive backing members to the various
sometimes a combination of both. repairs to the hardened concrete surface materials in contact with the
would be necessary. concrete.
Wall formwork, for instance, is very
 It is easily and quickly erected
often made from plywood panels
supported by timber walings and
and struck, thus saving time and Timber
money. Timber is the most common of the
proprietary steel soldiers.
 It is sufficiently stable in all various materials used for backing
No matter what arrangement is weathers. members to the form face, because
used, a drawing will be required.  It is easily and safely handled us- it has the advantage of being easily
This need not necessarily be a de- ing available equipment- includ- cut and assembled on site. It is used
sign drawing; a simple sketch will do ing manhandling. as walings in wall forms and as bear-
Fig 3. Aluminium formwork is strong
for small jobs. But it is vital that all ers in soffit forms.
 It provides suitable access for and lightweight
aspects of the problem have been handling, placing and compact-
fully considered. This is especially Formwork made from timber is
ing the concrete. known as ‘traditional formwork’. This
true for a large clear-span soffit
arrangement, or a cantilever section  It follows all the appropriate is because the construction meth-
of slab. safety regulations relating to ods that are involved have been
access, working areas, platforms, used on sites for many years, and
toe boards and guardrails.

they are well understood by trained Take care not to damage the However, a steel form can be re-
operators. faces and edges of the plywood, used on many more occasions than
especially when striking and during that - well over a hundred - provided
Timber is graded by strength into storage it is looked after and stored properly.
classes. It is important to use the
correct class of timber. Seal cut edges and tie rod holes with
proprietary sealer or paint.
Glass-reinforced plastics (grp) and Fig 4. Steel frames may be inlaid with
Aluminium vacuum-formed plastics are used plywood or steel panels
A range of proprietary beams and Steel when complicated concrete shapes
smaller joists made from aluminium Steel is used in both proprietary and or surface features are to be cast
may be used in formwork. purpose-made forms. many times.

Aluminium is strong and light, and of- Proprietary systems usually consist However, you need to consider very
ten you need fewer supports and ties. of panels with steel frames, clad carefully the type of release agent to
with either a plywood or steel fac- be used on plastics.
The lighter sections will deflect ing. A range of adjustable props,
more than equivalent steel or timber soldiers, light walings and a variety Vacuum-formed plastic will always
members, so always follow the of ties and accessories is available need support, but grp can be
formwork design and the supplier’s for securing the formwork in place. fabricated with integral bearers
recommendations. that make it unnecessary to provide
Purpose-made forms with steel extra support for the face material.
faces are often used when dimen-
Plywood sional tolerances are critical, or Plastic formwork can be reused
Both traditional and proprietary
when it is planned that the form will many times, but you have to take Fig 5. Polypropylene and grp are
formwork use plywood for panels.
be used over and over again. Such care when placing and vibrating the often used to form the voids in trough
Ideally, the plywood should be
re-use obviously results in great cost concrete that you do not scour and and waffle floors
framed up in the largest-size panel
saving, and it can be economical to damage the face.
that can be handled on site. Ply-
specify steel when it is intended that
wood often has a strong and a weak
the form will be re-used as little as, Proprietary waffle or trough form-
way round, so make sure you always
say, a dozen times. ers, used on voided slabs, can be
follow the supplier’s recommenda-
tions on this point.

Expanded Polystyrene be re-used, and does not necessarily Bolt-hole boxes
Expanded polystyrene can be sculp- have to be removed. Bolt-hole boxes can be made from
tured to give a single-use sheet form many materials; timber, plywood,
liner. Its main advantage is the wide Expanded metal’s main advantage expanded metal, expanded polysty-
variety of shapes to which it can be comes when it is used in tall struc- rene or foamed polyurethane or be
formed. It is light and inexpensive, tures, for here it reduces formwork obtained as ready-made proprietary
but requires a support system to pressures. inserts.
withstand the concrete pressure. Fig 6. Expanded metal formwork
Cardboard Proprietary Formwork
When used on voided trough and Cardboard that has been coated A wide range of formwork panels,
waffle slabs, it is coated with a with a waterproof treatment is soldiers, falsework and fast-track
plastic sheet material to allow it to sometimes used as formwork for systems is now available from vari-
be stripped cleanly. circular columns and for voids in ous suppliers.
bridges and slabs.
Although expanded polystyrene is Instruction manuals should be
used for forming openings and box- Cardboard formers are generally supplied along with the equipment.
outs, it can be used only once, and used only once. They need to be If you do not fully understand the
is, therefore, wasteful. Also it can well supported and braced to procedures, do not hesitate to ask
leave a skin of plastic on the con- prevent them from being distorted the supplier for advice.
crete surface. However, if you face it and displaced by the concrete as it is
with a rigid plastic sheeting, it can being placed and compacted. It is most important to establish that
be less expensive than framed-up you are using the correct pieces of
formers for openings and box-outs.
Other equipment. Mixing items from differ-
Formwork may be permanent, ent suppliers can seriously affect the
Expanded metal remaining as part of the finished structural strength of the completed
Fig 7. Proprietary formwork can save
Expanded metal can be used to structure for example steel concrete assembly, and must be avoided.
form inexpensive faces where the composite decking. Form-face
finish is not important. materials may also have permeable
properties (controlled permeabil-
It is often used to form stop ends. ity formwork) which improve the
However, it is a material that cannot surface characteristics.

HOW TO ERECT FORMWORK  Forms fastened to previously cast  For high-quality work, the cut
concrete must be tightly fixed to edge of the hole should be sealed
prevent grout loss. Cellular foam in order to reduce water penetra-
All construction projects are differ- plastic strips can be used to make tion.
ent from one another, and have their a seal. Or, for very high-qual-  Lightly tack all battens and block-
own particular problems. However, ity visual concrete, you can first ing-out pieces so that they stay in
this section covers the main points gun a one-part, moisture curing, the concrete during the striking
you should watch in order to avoid synthetic rubber sealant on to the Fig 8. Check formwork is erected
of the formwork. Oil all boxes and
serious trouble when assembling old concrete. correctly
block-out formers before placing
and erecting formwork.
 Arrange the sequence of opera- any concrete, to ensure that they
tions so that the formwork, and can be easily removed after the
 Use all panels in their correct
any opening formers or box-outs, main forms have been struck.
positions. Paint numbers on them
provide a template from which  Satisfy yourself before concreting
so that you can see at a glance
the reinforcing steel can be that all inserts and boxes are se-
which is which, and which way up
properly spaced. This will ensure curely fixed, and check that they
they go.
that the correct concrete cover is are slightly chamfered to make
 Make sure that props, shores, maintained in the finished work. them easy to remove.
walings, bearers, clamps and tie
 Any infill or closure panels, such  Be certain you understand which
rods are the right size and at the
as those needed to make up non- items are to be placed during
correct spacing.
standard lengths, should marry concreting, and how they are to
 Check that the falsework is with the main formwork. Use a be fixed.
securely braced, and is on a firm fixing method that allows you
foundation. to fix and strip the infills without  Pay particular attention to the
causing damage. Avoid cutting, or rigidity and line of stop ends and Fig 9. Drill timber from the face
 The correct washer plates should
drilling holes in standard panels. joint formers, since these will be
be used with all ties, and set
seen on the face of the finished
square on frame members. This is  Holes that you have to make in work.
especially important with sloping the formwork should be neat,
formwork. Do not overtighten so that they can be patched or  Remove all tie-wire clippings
ties, for this might cause distor- plugged later on. Drill timber and nails, which will stain both
tion, and could result in failure of from the face to avoid splintering. the formwork and the concrete,
the tie when it is fully loaded. and get rid, too, of any dirt and

 Make sure that adequate access Stop ends and day joints are recorded and the parts always
and working platforms are in Holes are often needed in stop ends replaced.
place for concreting gang, and to ensure that projecting starter
that toe boards and guard rails bars for subsequent work are cor- The load-carrying capacity of adjust-
(including end rails) are provided. rectly positioned. Stop end forms able steel props is considerably
 Sloping or horizontal top forms are easily made from expanded reduced if they are erected out of
are subject to upward pressures, metal, but if you use other materials plumb, and is further lessened if the
and steps should be taken to stop special care is needed to ensure that load is applied off-centre.
them from lifting. the forms are grout-tight, and can
be withdrawn from the hardened Bearers that are supported by props
 The weight of large prefabricated should be no more than 25mm off Fig 10. Working platforms must be
sections of formwork should be concrete- see Concrete on site No 7:
the centre of the prop head, and no safe
marked on them so that you can Construction joints.
prop should be more than 1 in 40
easily see what it is. Check that out of plumb i.e. 25mm in 1m.
the capacity of the crane at the Propping to soffit formwork
working radius is equal to lifting To support the soffit and prevent Check the props by using a 1m spirit
them. Lifting points are usually excess deflect while it is gaining level to ensure that the end props
provided on the sections. strength, propping must be carried in each row are vertical, and eyeing
 If necessary, a spreader or lifting out correctly. The props must be through the remainder. Check in
beam should be used to prevent in good condition and erected both directions.
distortion. Make sure that inclined properly, otherwise you risk having
slings are long enough. The flat- a dangerous collapse. A prop should not be used if it has
ter they become, the less they any of these defects:
can lift. If you plan to lift by the The largest number of recorded
vertical soldiers, check that they accidents involving formwork have  a bend or crease in the tube
are adequately connected to the occurred because props, lacing, Fig 11. Use the correct banksman’s
 corrosion other than slight
walings. bracing and ties were left out of the signals for the crane driver
rusting on the surface
 When using proprietary systems, falsework or taken away, often to
provide access, then not put back.  a bent head or base plate
make sure you understand the
manufacturer’s instructions. Any So, if it is necessary, make sure  an incorrect or damaged pin.
special tools needed should be that only the minimum number of
obtained before work starts. items is removed, that the details

Above all, make sure that the need a release agent so check the Remember that the agents are
! Common types of release agent:

props have a firm bearing and that manufactures product data sheets. chemicals, and misuse can affect  Neat oils with surfactants. Used
they have sole plates. There are your health. If it is not possible to mainly on steel faces, but also suit-
several good guides to the safe use New timber and plywood are read the instructions on the con- able for timber and plywood.
of props. If in doubt, always seek absorbent, so it may be necessary to tainer because they have become  Mould cream emulsions. Good
advice. apply a first coat of the appropriate obliterated on site, see the COSHH general-purpose release agents for
agent in advance, then a second regulations to find out whether use on timber and plywood.
coat before they are used. Alterna- any special precautions need to be
tively, any absorbent surfaces may taken. Never use oil from a container  Chemical release agents. Recom-
USING A RELEASE AGENT be sealed with a suitable varnish, that is not clearly labeled, unless you mended for high-quality work,
barrier paint or wax. A single ap- are sure it is a release agent. applied by spray to all types of form
The form-face in contact with the plication of release agent is all that is face.
concrete needs to be treated with a necessary when the forms are then  VERA’s - vegetable, oil-based release
release agent so that it can eventu- used. agents are more environmentally
ally be removed without adhering CHECKS BEFORE CONCRETING friendly, being biodegradable water
to, and damaging, the surface finish Care should be taken to apply the based products.
of the concrete. correct amount of release agent.
The most common fault is to apply Sound formwork, properly erected
Release agents are prepared by the too much. This can cause staining or in accordance with the design
manufacturer to suit various require- retardation of the concrete surface. requirements, is an essential prereq-
ments, and you must always follow The right amount is a thin film ap- uisite of a successful casting. It is im-
the instructions. Never dilute a plied uniformly by brush, roller or, portant that the supervisor should
release agent, or mix different ones preferably, spray. make a careful and thorough safety
together. and accuracy inspection of the form-
There is a simple check; touch the work before concreting starts.
The agent is applied, before concret- surface of the formwork when you
ing starts and before the reinforce- have finished applying the agent; This inspection should provide,
ment is fixed, each time that the it should seem only slightly greasy. where applicable, satisfactory an-
form is used. The various materials, If you can feel or see that there is swers to the following questions:
such as timber, steel and grp, might excess, wipe it off with a clean rag.
each require a different type of  Is the formwork erected in ac-
release agent. Not all boards will cordance with the approved

 Is the formwork restrained against  Are the forms clean and free from Once concreting starts
movement in all directions? rubbish such as tie-wire cuttings The work of placing and vibrating
Is it correctly aligned and lev- and odd bits of timber or metal? can cause displacement of the forms
elled?  Has a release agent been applied, as work proceeds, so an eye should
 Are all the props plumb, and at and is it the correct one? be kept open for anything untoward
the right spacing?  Is the reinforcement correct? Are happening.
 Are bolts and wedges secure there enough spacers, and is the Fig 12. Look out for signs of
against any possible loosening? depth of cover correct? Tell-tale devices and stringlines
movement especially with external
should be fixed so that a continuous
 Has the correct number of ties  Are all projecting bars straight vibrators
check can be made on alignment
been used? Are they all in the and correctly positioned? and plumb during the placing and
right places, and properly tight-  Is there proper access for placing vibrating operations.
ened? the concrete and compacting it?
 Are the proprietary items compat-  Have all the toe-boards and guard Grout loss is an indication that some
ible? Make sure that different rails been provided? movement has occurred (or that the
components do not get mixed up joints were not fixed properly in the
 How will you know when to strike
 Are all the inserts and cast-in first place).
the formwork?
fixings in the right position, and Before a wall or column pour starts,
secure? Check that void formers  Has the curing been organized? the permitted rate of rise (in metres
are firmly fixed, or tied down, so per hour) must be known because
that they do not float up. Once the initial checks have been the formwork will have been
carried out by the supervisor, the designed to withstand a specific
 Can any further inserts or box-
work will normally be inspected by concrete pressure. The permitted
outs be fixed during concreting if
the clerk of works, or resident engi- rate of rise will be affected by the
neer, before concreting proceeds. concrete, its consistence, the type
 Have all the stop ends been prop- of cement used and whether it
erly secured? The inspection, combined with a contains any plasticizers or retarders
 Have all the joints been sealed to general check on the security and and the temperature.
stop grout loss - especially where tightness of the forms, can save ac-
the formwork is against a kicker? cidents and injuries, even loss of life. To keep the concrete pressures
 Can the formwork be struck with- acceptable on a cold day, you might
out damaging the concrete? have to slow down the rate of rise.

If the design pressure is exceeded, A couple of other points to watch Faster striking times might be
formwork will be overloaded, pos- during concreting: authorized by an engineer. The size
sibly with disastrous results. and shape of the member, the char-
 Where unsleeved tie bars are acteristics of the concrete and the
Someone experienced in the con- being used, ease them slightly weather will all affect the decision
struction of formwork should always before the concrete sets, and re- on when to strike, e.g during cold
be standing by when concrete is move them as soon as it is safe to weather, concrete does not harden
being placed, to keep an eye open do so. If the bar is left unmoved, it so quickly and formwork will usually Fig 13. Systematic removal of the
for any faults that might develop, will be difficult to avoid damage need to be left in place longer. forms
to cope with any emergency and to the form or the concrete dur-
to carry out any necessary remedial ing striking. Before you start to strike, make sure
work. A supply of suitable equip-  If a non-spacing tie system is used that a place has been allocated for
ment, such as spare props and bolts, and you have timber spreaders cleaning the formwork, and carrying
should be held on site. holding wall formwork apart, the out any necessary repairs.
spreaders should be removed
Any spilt concrete or grout leak- as soon as the concrete reaches Site personnel not involved in the
age should be cleaned from the their level. operation should be kept well clear
formwork as soon as concreting is to avoid any possibility of their be-
completed. This is more easily done ing involved in an accident.
at this stage than when the forms Begin by loosening ties and clamps
are being put away for storage. It gradually, a little at a time, to pre-
also makes striking easier. STRIKING THE FORMWORK vent the last tie from binding.

Early cleaning is particularly impor- Formwork can be struck once As you remove bolts, ties and Fig 14. Take care not to damage the
tant with large formwork panels, the concrete has gained enough screws, do not just throw them to concrete or formwork when striking
for concrete stuck to them will add strength to be self-supporting, and the ground in the hope that you will
considerably to their weight. to carry any other loads that may be find them later. Put them instead in
put on it. Always obtain approval boxes. Simple plywood boxes fixed
A light coating of oil on the back of before striking; the job specification to the back of the panels are a good
any steel formwork at the start of will normally give guidance on this, idea, for then the bolts and ties will
operations will make cleaning easier. but it might be overcautious. travel with the forms.

Should the forms not immediately or forced out of shape - a common As soon as the formwork is struck,
come away once the ties have been cause of damage to formwork on there can be a rapid loss of moisture
removed, carefully prise them loose site. from the concrete surface. To
with hardwood wedges. Do not use make sure there is no reduction in
nail bars, they invariably damage Projecting nails left in the formwork surface strength and minimise the
both the concrete and the forms. cause untold injuries on construc- occurrence of a dusty surface, cur-
tion sites, so check whether there ing should start immediately - see
If the striking is carried out within 12 are any, and remove or hammer Concrete onsite No 6: Curing. Fig 15. Concrete must be cured after
to 18 hours of placing, the concrete them down. striking
will still be weak and thus easily
damaged. Care must be taken. The method and sequence for strik-
Cleaning the face of forms should
ing soffit formwork should always
start as soon as they have been
Leave blocking-out pieces in the be approved before you start - then
struck. A stiff brush will rid timber
concrete as long as possible, since strictly adhered to. It is all too easy
and uncoated plywood of dust and
they protect the edges. Also, they to overload the floors of multi-storey
grout. Stubborn bits can be cleaned
eventually shrink, and then it is buildings under construction if the
off with a timber or plastic scraper,
easier to remove them. agreed sequence is not followed.
rather than a steel one.
On grp, other plastics and quality
Larger sections of formwork above The usual sequence is to begin by
film-faced plywood, a brush and wet
ground will be lowered by crane. easing the supports by one turn
cloth are all that should be needed.
The craneage will be controlled by on the prop, then start striking at
the nominated banksman using the midspan, working towards the walls
If the forms are not going to be used
correct code of signals to guide the or columns, which will progressively
for some time, lightly oil steel ones
crane driver. take the load.
to stop rust from forming and coat
timber and unsealed plywood with
Take care that the sections do not On a cantilever, start at the end and
a release agent for protection. At the
bump into scaffolding or other work towards the supports. If you
same time, any depressions, splits
projections, and so get damaged, have a tee-beam supporting slabs
or holes should be treated with a
as they are lowered. Ensure too, on both sides, first release the slabs
suitable filler such as plastic wood,
that they come to rest on a level as already described, then strike the
applied slightly proud then sanded
surface so that they are not twisted tee-beam, starting from the centre.

British Precast Concrete Federation
Storage Paint code numbers on them so
Good storage is essential to ensure that you can readily identify them
when they are next needed. Loose BSI Quality Assurance
that formwork can be used again.
walings and soldiers should also be
A tidy storage area reduces the risk
of damage, loss and wastage (all of numbered, and stored with their Cement Admixture Association
which can be very expensive) and respective panels.
makes it easier to find the compo- Cementitious Slag Makers Association
nents when they are next required, Small components such as bolts,
ties, wedges and keys are, as already
thus saving time and labour.
mentioned, best stored in boxes. Construction Plant Association
Put the forms into storage as soon Larger ones e.g. clamps and props-
as the cleaning and oiling are should be stacked off the ground. Meteorological office
finished, unless they are wanted
for immediate re-use. If you leave The whole of the formwork should
be covered with tarpaulins or Mineral Products Association
formwork lying around, it will only
plastic sheets to protect it from the
be damaged, or used for some other
purpose. More damage happens to weather, with a dead air space left to Quality Scheme for Ready Mixed Concrete
formwork when it is not in use than ensure ventilation.
when it is being erected and struck. Sprayed Concrete Association
So take great care. Finally, fire extinguishers should be
kept nearby. Check them regularly
to make sure they are always in The Concrete Centre
Panels and plywood sheets are best
working order.
stored horizontally on a flat base
so that they lie without twisting. The Concrete Society
Stack them face to face to protect
the faces. UK Cares (reinforcement)
UK Quality Ash Association

FURTHER READING BS EN 206-1: Concrete.
Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity.
For information on Standards and other publications, refer to the Concrete BS EN 12350: Testing fresh concrete.
Book Shop, Part 1: Sampling.
Part 2: Slump test .
British Standards Part 4: Degree of compactability.
BS 1881: Testing Concrete. Part 5: Flow table test.
Part 113: Method for making and curing no-fines test cubes. Part 7: Air content. Pressure methods.
Part 130: Method for temperature-matched curing of concrete specimens. BS EN 12390: Testing hardened concrete.
BS 4449: Steel for the reinforcement of concrete. Weldable reinforcing steel. Bar, Part 2: Making and curing specimens for strength tests.
coil and decoiled product. Specification. Part 3: Compressive strength of test specimens.
BS 4482: Steel wire for the reinforcement of concrete products. Specification. BS EN 13670: Execution of concrete structures.
BS 4483: Steel fabric for the reinforcement of concrete. Specification. BS EN 13286-41 Unbound and hydraulically bound mixtures: Part 41: Test
BS 5975: Code of practice for temporary works procedures and the permissible method for determination of the compressive strength of hydraulically bound
stress design of falsework. mixtures.
BS 7542: Method of test for curing compounds for concrete. BS EN 14227-1 Unbound and Hydraulically bound mixtures – Specifications
– Part 1 Cement bound granular mixtures.
BS 7973: Spacers and chairs for steel reinforcement and their specification.
BS 8443: Specification for establishing the suitability of special purpose concrete
BS 8500: Concrete – complementary British Standard to BS EN 206–1: 2000,
Part 1: Method of specification and guidance for the specifier.
Part 2: Specification for constituent materials and concrete.
BS 8666: Scheduling, dimensioning, bending and cutting of steel reinforcement
for concrete. Specification.

Further reading continued. Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA)
Concrete pressure on formwork, Report 108, 1985
Building Research Establishment Formwork striking times – criteria, prediction and methods of assessment,
Report 136, 1995
Design of normal concrete mixes, 2nd ed, 1997
Action in the case of non-conformity of concrete structures, Report C519, 1999
Formwork for modern, efficient concrete construction, BR495, 2007

The Concrete Society
Guide to flat slab formwork and falsework, 2003
Technical Report 52, Plain formed concrete finishes, 1999
A guide to the safe transportation of formwork and falsework equipment, 2005
Technical Report 62, Self-compacting concrete, 2005
A guide to the safe use of formwork and falsework, 2008
Formwork – a guide to good practice, 2nd edition, 1995
Good Concrete Guide 2: Pumping concrete, 2005
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Good Concrete Guide 6: Slipforming of vertical structures, 2008
Hand-vibration – The control of vibration at work regulations, 2005
Good Concrete Guide 7: Foamed concrete, application and specification, 2009
The work at height regulations, 2005
Good Concrete Guide 8: Concrete practice, Guidance on the practical aspects of
concreting, 2008 The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, 2002
Checklist for erecting and dismantling falsework, 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999
Checklist for assembly, use and striking of formwork, 2003 Managing Health and Safety in Construction, 2007
Concrete Advice no 16, Assessing as struck in situ concrete surfaces, 2003 The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, 1992
Concrete Advice no 20, Curing concrete, 2005 The Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 1992
Concrete Advice no 30, Identity testing for strength in accordance with
BS EN 206-1 and BS 8500-1, 2007 Highways Agency, Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO)
Concrete Advice no 31, Identity testing of fresh concrete for properties other Manual of contract documents for highway works, vol 1, Specification for High-
than strength, 2007 way Works
Concrete Advice no 37, Mould release agents, 2008


Other titles in the Concrete on site series

1. Ready-mixed concrete
2. Reinforcement
3. Formwork
4. Moving fresh concrete
Published by The Concrete Society 5. Placing and compacting
6. Curing
Published May 2010
© The Concrete Society
7. Construction joints
8. Making-good and finishing
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10. Making test cubes
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