Formwork and Shoring

Formwork is a structure, usually temporary, used to contain poured concrete and to mould it to the required dimensions and support the concrete until it is able to support itself. Risks related to formwork and shoring can be fatal. Proper design, erection, and dismantling of formwork and shoring will protect employees from the associated risks.

Unstable formwork and shoring can injure and even kill you and others working below it. Some hazards related to formwork and shoring include:

  • Collapse of partial or finished formwork.
  • Working at heights.
  • Manual material handling and awkward posture.
  • Falling materials and components.
  • Struck against components.
  • Struck by moving machinery and components or tools.
  • Electrical contact.

Most failures are caused by:

  • Not having an engineer design the formwork and shoring.
  • Not erecting, dismantling, shoring or reshoring according to the engineer’s specifications and design drawings.
  • Lack of clear instructions - no size, grade and specifications of materials to be used or no design loads.
  • Not using sufficient bracing.
  • No inspection carried out during erection of formwork and shoring and before pouring the concrete.
  • Premature removal of shores and reshores.
  • No plans of casting, formwork erection, removal , or reshoring.
  • Overloading or wrong sequence of loading.

When formwork and shoring is used more than 3m above the ground level, as an employer, you must:

  • Ensure that formwork and shoring is designed by an engineer and is erected according to the engineer’s design drawings.
  • Ensure that the design drawings include the following:
    • Identify the components for manufactured formwork and shoring.
    • The size, grade and specifications of materials to be used, if the formwork and shoring are to be constructed on the project site.
    • The design loads for the formwork and shoring, and detail the bracing and external ties required to adequately support the design loads.
    • The attachment points for rigging and hoisting, if the formwork and shoring are to be moved as a unit.
    • Set out the erection instructions specified by the manufacturer or the engineer.
    • The method, sequence and the rate of pouring concrete.
    • The signature and seal of the engineer.
  • Keep the design drawings on the project site and make them available to an officer on request.
  • Erect, support and brace the formwork and shoring so it can withstand all loads and forces likely to be applied to it without exceeding the allowable loads established by the engineer and without causing uplifting, sliding, overturning or lateral displacement of the system.
  • Ensure that the engineer or a competent person designated by the employer inspect the formwork and shoring and authorizes the pour in writing before concrete is poured.
  • Keep the written authorization of concrete pour on the project site and make available to an officer on request.
  • Not remove the formwork and shoring unless the concrete is strong enough to support itself and any loads that may be applied to it or the concrete is adequately reshored.

When formwork and shoring is used up to 3m above the ground level, as an employer, you must:

  • Erect, support and brace it so it is capable of withstanding all loads and forces likely to be applied to it.

As an employee, you must:

  • Be trained to use formwork and shoring including erection and dismantling methods.
  • Follow the engineer’s design drawings when erecting or dismantling formwork and shoring and reshoring.
  • Wear personal protective equipment to protect you from falling objects, falls, and prevent contact with machinery, components or tools.
  • Follow safe work procedures when loading, unloading, erecting and dismantling formwork and shoring.
  • Be aware of all the hazards and risks associated with formwork, shoring, equipment and machinery.
  • Always use mechanical means to handle heavy components of formwork and shoring.

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part X CONSTRUCTION, TRAFFIC AND BUILDING SAFETY

Section 94.1 Formwork and Shoring

94.1 (1) In this section

"form" means the mould into which concrete is poured;

"formwork" means a system of forms connected together;

"shoring" means the structural supports and bracing used to support all or part of a form.

(2) An employer shall ensure that formwork and shoring are designed by an engineer and are erected in accordance with design drawings prepared by the engineer.

(3) An employer shall ensure that the design drawings referred to in subsection (2)

(a) identify the components, if manufactured formwork and shoring are used,

(b) show the size, grade and specifications of materials to be used, if the formwork and shoring are to be constructed on the project site,

(c) show the design loads for the formwork and shoring and detail the bracing and external ties required to adequately support the design loads,

(d) show the attachment points for rigging and hoisting, if the formwork and shoring are to be moved as a unit,

(e) set out the erection instructions specified by the manufacturer or the engineer,

(f) indicate the method, the sequence and the rate of pouring concrete, and

(g) bear the signature and seal of the engineer.

(4) An employer shall ensure that the design drawings referred to in subsection (2)

(a) are kept on the project site, and

(b) are made available to an officer on request.

(5) An employer shall ensure that the formwork and shoring are erected, supported and braced so that they are capable of withstanding all loads and forces likely to be applied to them

(a) without exceeding the allowable working loads established for any component of the structure, and

(b) without causing uplifting, sliding, overturning or lateral displacement of the system.

(6) The allowable working loads referred to in paragraph (5)(a) shall be established by an engineer in accordance with good engineering practice.

(7) An employer shall ensure, before concrete is poured,

(a) that the formwork and shoring are inspected by an engineer, or a competent person designated by the employer, and

(b) that the engineer, or the competent person designated by the employer, as the case may be, authorizes the pour in writing.

(8) An employer shall ensure that the written authorization referred to in paragraph (7)(b)

(a) is kept on the project site, and

(b) is made available to an officer on request.

(9) An employer shall ensure that the formwork and shoring are not removed unless

(a) the concrete is strong enough to support itself and any loads that may be applied to it, or

(b) the concrete is adequately reshored.

(10) Where concrete is reshored under paragraph (9)(b), subsections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) apply, with the necessary modifications, to the reshoring.

(11) Subsections (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) do not apply where formwork and shoring are used no more than 3 m above the ground level.

(12) Where formwork and shoring are used no more than 3 m above the ground level, an employer shall ensure that the formwork and shoring are erected, supported and braced so that they are capable of withstanding all loads and forces likely to be applied to them.

[N.B. Reg. 96-61, s. 1]