"Temporary works" is 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.
Temporary works is defined in BS5975: 2008 "Code of practice for temporary works procedures and the permissible stress design of falsework" as "(those) parts of the works that allow or enable construction of, protect, support or provide access to, the permanent works and which might or might not remain in place at the completion of the works".
Examples of temporary works include, but are not limited to:
Earthworks - trenches, excavations, temporary slopes and stockpiles. Structures - formwork, falsework, propping, facade retention, needling, shoring, edge protection, scaffolding, temporary bridges, site hoarding and signage, site fencing, cofferdams.
Equipment/plant foundations - 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
Temporary Works Management
The correct design and execution of temporary works is an essential element of risk prevention and mitigation in construction. BS 5975:2008 provides recommendations and guidance on the procedural controls to be applied to all aspects of temporary works in the construction industry and on the design, specification, construction, use and dismantling of falsework.
Temporary works procedures
Contractors should be able to demonstrate that they have in place effective arrangements for controlling risks arising from the use of temporary works. These are usually captured in a temporary works procedure which will contain most or all of the following elements:
- Appointment of a Temporary Works Co-ordinator (TWC).
- Preparation of an adequate design brief.
- Completion and maintenance of a temporary works register.
- Production of a temporary works design (including a design risk assessment and a designer’s method statement where appropriate).
- Independent checking of the temporary works design.
- Issue of a design/design check certificate, if appropriate.
- Pre-erection inspection of the temporary works materials and components.
Control and supervision of the erection, safe use, maintenance and dismantling of the temporary works ie, procedures to:
- Check that the temporary works have been erected in accordance with the design, and issue a formal "permit to load" where necessary.
- Confirm when the permanent works have attained adequate strength to allow dismantling of the temporary works, and issue a formal "permit to dismantle" where necessary.
- The procedure should include measures to ensure that the design function, the role of TWC, and Temporary Works Supervisor(s) where appropriate, are carried out by competent individuals.
- Smaller contractors may not have the experience to operate their own temporary works procedure and may need to obtain external expertise. It is also common for large and medium contractors to outsource aspects of temporary works design and management.
Struktura Engineering Services Staff have completed Temporary Works Co-ordination courses and are CSCS Site Manager and IPAF 3a and 3b trained.