Temporary Works – Construction

Do you know what temporary works you have on your site?

There will be examples of temporary work at all stages of construction including pre-construction, construction, refurbishment and during maintenance. When designing a structure, it is also important to look at the buildability and this will include the temporary works.


What is temporary works?

Temporary works in pre-construction could be site investigation rigs or scaffolding platforms etc. During construction temporary works can be site-hoarding, flag poles, scaffolding, excavation supports and any temporary slopes etc. During maintenance, temporary works might include working platforms and walkways for inspections. In essence, temporary works are structures that are needed to enable the permanent work to be completed or inspected and will usually be taken away afterwards.

All temporary works need to be designed and the risks associated with them need to be considered. These elements are often forgotten or are an afterthought. This complacency can lead to serious consequences. For example, failure to adequately design, construct and maintain temporary works can lead to; collapse or failure of the temporary works or permanent works and this may also lead to the collapse of adjacent structures (buildings, transport systems, infrastructure). There is also a real risk of fatalities and serious injuries to workers and members of the public. The indirect costs of these incidents are significant delays, increased costs to projects meaning there will be significant financial and commercial risks for contractors, sub-contractors, designers, suppliers, and clients.



What are your responsibilities and how can we help?

Designers have responsibilities under CDM when preparing or modifying designs that they must eliminate, reduce, or control foreseeable risks that may arise during the construction and maintenance and use of a building once it is built. During design, it is important to look at all stages of the project.  Can there be a permanent solution put in for maintenance? Can temporary shuttering be made part of the structure to eliminate the need for removal etc.?

With a background in construction, including temporary works, we at Safety for Design can help with providing design reviews from a H&S perspective. We can help you organise all items that could be classed as temporary works. These can then be categorised by risk to decide if they need a proper design or if maybe the manufacturer’s instructions are sufficient. We have experience of being Temporary Works Coordinators. This is a role that is suggested as good standard industry practice in BS5975 along with procedures that are ideal for managing medium to large construction sites. We also offer services, such as procedural documentation and control. We can review your current systems and offer guidance to ensure you are managing your temporary works effectively and sufficiently.