Temporary Works Design Considerations

For many years the construction industry the term temporary works to refer to parts of a project that are needed to support, provide access or enable the safe construction of the permanent works. These in turn most often do not remain in place after the completion of the permanent works but this is not always the case.

Some examples of temporary works could include;

  • Trenches or other ground work excavations
  • Internal propping, shoring or support systems
  • Scaffolding and Access Platforms
  • Temporary Roads and/or Bridges
  • Temporary Foundations for heavy plant, such as tower cranes
  • Site buildings, security fencing, hoardings or signage

Contractors must carry the same degree of care and attention to temporary works as they do to the permanent, as these works can still pose serious risk of injury or property damage or serious delay to the permanent works, should they fail.

They pose a high risk of danger, sometimes over and above the permanent works, specifically because of their temporary design and nature. Contractors should certainly put a lot of care into the design, specification and control of the risks they present.

Under BS 5975 there are three main risks to consider with temporary works;

  • The design of the works
  • The construction methods and intended use of the works
  • The implications and consequence of failure of the works

Contractors would be advised to rate these risks with a traffic light or similar system from low to high, which will in turn allow any additional considerations or procedures to put in place to help mitigate the risks. Contractors should also have a Temporary Works Register in place to ensure these risks are managed throughout their use.

Contractors that find themselves responsible for the construction and implementation of any temporary works, should ensure they have adequate cover for the risks with an adequate contractors liability policy. If you are involved in the design aspect, even on a small level, you may require Professional Indemnity cover, should a design error lead to their failure.

PMJ Risk Solutions are perfectly placed to offer advice and cover for temporary works as well as your permanent works, including lability and Professional Indemnity, so please get in touch below or on 020 8588 9880 to discuss any aspect of your works exposure.