What are the safety precautions to be taken before removal of formwork?


Formwork consists of temporary molds or structural elements that you can use to support all vertical and horizontal loads that will be exerted by concrete mixture in any construction project. Also, it gives concrete a required shape according to the design. You can’t remove the formwork until the concrete is hard enough and can bear the loads. When concrete can take up its full weight without the further help of formwork or any other props, you can remove the formwork. The formwork panels can be reusable only if you are careful enough to remove them adequately.

Why You Must Take Safety Precautions  Before the Removal of Formwork?

Cozy living room with sofa, pillows, arm chairs, coffee table and firework
Used with permission of Blackband Design

The stripping of formwork depends on the strength of the concrete and the strength of concrete depends on many factors. Out of these, one important aspect is the grade of concrete and cement. If the grade of cement and concrete is high, it will achieve higher strength in a shorter time.

When the concrete has attained its full strength, you can remove the formwork. You need to know the correct time for the removal of formwork. Concrete should be able to resist the external stresses after the removal of formwork. Also, when you are designing the formwork, you need to include the additional load that is imposed by the process of casting.

Safety Precautions for Removal of Formwork

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Used with permission of Blackband Design

Here few necessary precautions that you should take before you remove the formwork concrete:

  • You have to remove the formwork in such a way that there is no shock or vibration to the  concrete. . The process should not cause any damage to the concrete structure; therefore, you have to be extra careful when you are arranging the formwork before pouring the concrete mixture into it so that when you remove it , there should be no shock.
  • Before removing the formwork,  quality engineers need to inspect the site and workers must have safe access.
  • If there are freeze-thaw damages or cracks in the concrete due to different reasons, you should delay the removal of formwork. You need to fix these cracks first and later you can remove the formwork. These problems usually occur in cold weather.
  • The process should be done sequentially. An engineer needs to properly supervise the process of the removal of formwork, especially in large projects.
  • To separate the forms you have to use wooden wedges instead of crowbars.
  • The beam and joist bottoms should be untouched until the removal of all the shoring units.
  • You have to cover the exposed surfaces with polythene bags or wet bags after the removal process.
  • While designing the formwork,  you also need to consider the safe bearing capacity of the soil.
  • You have to check all props before you use them and if there are any damaged ones, you have to replace them.


Kitchen with kitchen island, kitchen cabinet, dinning table and white chairs
Used with permission of Blackband Design

It is quite important to follow the above precautions while removing the formworks and should be done at the correct time. Any negligence will cause poor quality of construction and in the worst scenario, the concrete structures may break or collapse. Thanks to concreteformworkmelbourne.com for consulting.


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