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    HSE RAISE THE PROFILE ON SAFETY OF TEMPORARY WORKS

    New guidance to HSE Inspectors on temporary works management published

    A number of recent construction sector fatalities and incidents have related to ‘temporary works’.

    HSE Construction Division has now raised the priority it gives to temporary works management in order to highlight and better control the risks associated with temporary works on construction sites.

    The aim is to:

    • Awareness – promote awareness and knowledge of the importance of managing temporary works;
    • Arrangements – improve contractors’ management arrangements of temporary works; and 
    • Competence – increase the competence of those engaged in temporary works management and design.
    Inspectors expect to see ‘appropriate’ arrangements

    The published HSE Guidance for Inspectors The management of temporary works in the construction industry SIM 02/2010/04 requires a focus on ensuring that “appropriate temporary works management arrangements and procedures have been adopted commensurate with the scale and complexity of the project and the construction risks involved”.

    It is expected that medium to large projects, and those with complex and/or high risk temporary works, will have formal management procedures in place specifically following the recommendations in BS5975.

    For smaller contractors and smaller simpler, projects, HSE will be looking for the principles of BS5975 to be in place. The extent to which procedures should be formalised will depend on the degree of risk rather than size of project.

    HSE wants to see good management of temporary works. BS5975 is an established standard representing good practice, but it also provides a useful yardstick for checking that essential elements of a management system are in place.

    Definition of ‘Temporary Works’

    “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:

    1. Earthworks – trenches, excavations, temporary slopes and stockpiles.
    2. Structures – formwork, falsework, propping, façade retention, needling, shoring, edge protection, scaffolding, temporary bridges, site hoarding and signage, site fencing, cofferdams.
    3. 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.
    Comment

    Further advice and support may be found through the Temporary Works Forum (TWf). Forum sponsers include a number of major UK contactors.

    The TWf aims to encourage open discussion of any matter related to Temporary Works. The group is open to anyone, individual or corporate working within the industry and sharing this intent.

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