Temporary Works Management

Formwork (Photo by Fabio Bertini, #1205158)There are particular risks associated to temporary works within the construction industry, in fact this is where a lot of accidents/near misses happen.  The HSE define Temporary Works as:-

"a widely used expression in the construction industry for an "engineered solution" used to support or protect an existing structure or the permanent works during construction, or to support an item of plant or equipment, or the vertical sides or side-slopes of an excavation, or to provide access. The construction of most types of permanent works will require the use of some form of temporary works."

They go on to recommend the appointment of a Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) whose role is specifically to ensure the right procedures are in place to manage any temporary works. Clause 7.2.5 of BS5975:2008 lists the required activities for the TWC.

So, what are temporary works?  Examples of temporary work include (but are not limited to)

  • Earthworks such as Trenches, Excavations and Temporary slopes and stockpiles.
  • Structures such as Formwork, Falsework, Propping, Façade retention, Needling, Shoring, Edge Protection, Scaffolding, Temporary Bridges, Site Hoarding and Signage, Site fencing, Cofferdams.
  • Equipment/plant foundations such as Tower crane bases, Supports, Anchors and ties for construction hoists and mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs), groundworks to provide suitable locations for plant erection, e.g. mobile cranes and piling rigs.

Within the PCI (Pre-construction Information) the Principal Designer should highlight any of their design requirements for temporary works. Whilst in the CPP (Construction Phase Plan) the Principal Contractor should refer to the Temporary Works Register which lists all the identified/specific temporary work items for the project. 

For more information on Temporary Works Management visit HSE - Temporary Works and NBS Publications for BS 5975:2008 Code of Practice for Temporary Works.

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