When it comes to construction materials, concrete is among the most permanent. Pouring concrete in and of itself is an in-depth, involved process, and failing to do it properly means an even more complex redo process. Along with the logistical and financial headaches, there is also a very real safety risk when it comes to concrete pours. The best asset you have as a concrete company owner is pre-planning. Putting together a list of all essential safety/quality measures is the best way to ensure a smooth concrete pour. Here’s a closer look at what makes a good concrete pre-pour checklist, and how you can put one together.
What Is A Concrete Pre-Pour Checklist?
In essence, a concrete pre-pour checklist is designed to answer the who, what, where, when, and why before you ever start pouring concrete. There are a lot of potential issues that can go wrong during a pour, and the best way to minimize their impact is to have a contingency plan in place. Adopt the mentality of an inspector with a whole set of steps that need to be examined and approved before you ever start pouring concrete.
There is one added step you want to look into doing prior to putting together your pre-pour checklist. Your crew foreman, project superintendent, and other relevant team leadership should have a meeting to finalize their plans. This will cover essential information like equipment/labor needs, mix design, and other points. This will also generally be used as a time to cover any contract details that arise. This is essentially a last chance to address outstanding problems or concerns that can then be integrated into the pre-pour checklist. Your leadership should take their time here, as they may not be able to address these concerns again.
Constructing your Concrete Pouring Safety Checklist
With this explained, we can get into what actually comprises a good concrete pre-pour checklist. While this is comprehensive, there are going to be additional steps required for certain concrete pours. Try and refer to industry literature and resources if you’re not sure you’re doing all you could be. However, everything in this section is uniform steps any job site should be looking to implement.
The first step is to make sure that a formal inspector has reviewed any applicable plans or provisions related to this actual pour. Anything unique you needed to be done should have been discussed during the pre-slab meeting we mentioned earlier. This is just a formality to make sure that regulatory bodies are also aware of the decision.
Now, we can move onto important items to check with the actual concrete forms. First, you need to make sure that the forms you plan to use are in the proper location in terms of alignment and grade. Check to make sure the forms are also braced and installed the same way as your original shop plans specify. There are also some basic final quality control steps to be done. For example, your forms need to be examined for cracks, and if there are any, they must be sealed before pouring. You also want to make sure you clear out any debris, such as:
— Wood chips
— Plant matter
You’ll also need to remember to wet down the forms before you actually start pouring the concrete in.
With these items taken care of, you can shift your focus to reinforcing steel. First, you want to make sure all of the steel you plan on using has been sampled and approved. No pouring can begin without formal approval for the rebar steel. You also want to make sure that it meets other internal standards. It needs to have been placed in the same position as your shop plans specify, like the forms. There also needs to be appropriate clearance between the forms and reinforcing steel, and it must be tied and supported. Finally, you need to make sure that all steel is clean. This means checking for impurities/issues like:
— Rust scale
— Cracks in the bends
— Galvanized coatings
— Epoxy breaks
Finally, you need to examine and approve the actual concrete itself. First, be sure that any concrete trucks you use have been approved by your materials lab within the last year. You should also examine your truck’s mixing capacity to make sure it meets key specifications for air, slump, revolutions, and water in the mix.
Also, you need to seek out formal approval for the following:
— The hot and cold weather concrete batching plans
— Placement plans, per the terms of the initial contract
— All your base concrete materials (cement, water, aggregates, additives)
The work doesn’t stop there. You have to make sure that you have all the curing and concrete protection materials you need ready to place as soon as possible. This can range from chemicals to insulated blankets to heaters, whichever curing method you prefer to use.
A concrete pouring safety checklist is an essential component of compliant operations on your job site. However, equally important as creating the list is providing the means to easily disperse and share it among your teams. After all, the point of a checklist is giving people the ability to check things off as time goes on. In addition, if you need to revise the list or if one of your work teams isn’t following protocol, you need to be aware as soon as possible so you can act accordingly.
One asset that a concrete business can use to reinforce and share their concrete pre-pour inspection checklist is project management software like eSUB. Use our cloud data storage to make sure that every team sees your up-to-date version of the checklist. Afterward, your office team can check their progression through mobile apps to make sure they are following each step to the letter.