Given the high cost of formwork and scaffolding it is surprising that contractors don’t do more to safe-guard their assets. Temporary works equipment can account anywhere between 2-10% of the total construction costs (depending on the structure) and while contractors negotiate hard for the best prices when buying, after the equipment gets to site, it rarely gets the care it deserves
With intense competition across the construction industry squeezing contractor’s margins, it would seem obvious that savings could be made through reducing or eliminating losses from lost or damaged equipment. High costs due to lost and damaged equipment are quite common, but these losses can be reduced dramatically by taking a little more care and following some simple steps:
- Safe Storage Ensure equipment is stored in a secure safe place when not in use and keep all formwork equipment together if possible. It is not uncommon for equipment to get lost or damaged on site before it is even used.
- Lifting and moving. Exercise care when moving formwork as damage frequently occurs by during the lifting process by mishandling or through unsuitable equipment. Use slings or straps when moving formwork by crane as opposed to chains, particularly in the case of H20.
- Release Agent Always use release agent. Using release agent will make it faster and easier to strip formwork and it greatly reduces damage caused by stripping. In addition it reduces the amount of excess concrete getting stuck to panels making them easier to handle and reduce cleaning bill and or damage as a result.
- No Drop Stripping Never ‘drop strip’ formwork, it is dangerous to workers and it will damage the equipment
- Educate Workforce. Construction workers and staff are often unaware of the high cost of formwork and scaffolding equipment and it is not uncommon to see construction workers throw out expensive components along with construction waste, unaware of it function or value. Increasing mangenment and worker awareness of the cost of mishandling formwork is the first step at changing wasteful behavior.
Eliminating the expense of lost or damaged equipment should be an obvious step for construction companies as it is an easy way to reduce their cost without interfering with their operations or affecting their performance