JULY 22 TOOLBOX TALK – ‘Temporary Works’


Contributor: Sinead Gaines, P.J. Hegarty & Sons

“Temporary Works is an area of construction that workers are not always aware of unless they are directly involved in it. It is important that everyone working on a construction site  understands what Temporary Works is and report any elements of Temporary Work changes or defects to Site Management.”
(Sinead Gaines, EHS Manager, P.J. Hegarty & Sons)

Contributor’s Shared Advice:

Simplest Way to Describe Temporary Works?
Temporary works (TW) are the parts of a construction project that are needed to enable the permanent works (PW) to be built. Usually, the TW are removed after use some examples of
TW include access scaffolds or stairs, props, shoring, excavation support, falsework, and formwork, traffic management, hoarding, site gates and even sometimes the erection of signage can be considered TW.
It is very important that the same degree of care and attention is given to the design and construction of temporary works as for permanent works. As TW may be in place for a short time, there may be a tendency to assume they are less important; this would be an incorrect assumption. Lack of care with regards to design, selection and assembly may result in the risk
of an incident or injury.

Key Roles for the Management of Temporary Works!
It is important to know who these people are on your project if you wish to raise any concerns or ask any questions pertaining to TW on site.

Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC)

A competent person appointed with overall responsibility for managing and implementing the temporary works on a site. This appointment of the TWC should be facilitated by the PSCS.

Temporary Works Supervisor/ Checker (TWS)

A competent person who is responsible for the erection, maintenance, inspection and dismantling of temporary works as per design. There can be multiple TW Supervisors on a site for various contractors. The TW Supervisors assists the TWC.

Categories of Temporary Works!
There are four categories of Temporary works which establish the level of design check depending on the nature, scale, and complexity of the temporary works. This is very useful
when considering how to manage temporary works on a project. For example, there are many forms of temporary works for which the manufacturer or supplier who already has a completed
design and therefore may not require a site-specific TW design e.g. A trench box erected an installed as per manufacturer or a scaffold erected as per the manufacturer are just some
examples where a TWD may already be in place.

Main Hazards associated with Temporary Works?
Some hazards direct hazards include a complete or partial failure of the TW system. This could be due to an incorrect TW design/ failure to install as per design/ failure of a component or
element of equipment used in the TW. Other indirect hazards include Working at height, falling objects, access and egress etc.

What to Look Out For, to ensure Safe Temporary Works?
• Ensure competent persons are appointed in the roles of TWC and TWS.

• Ensure RAMS is in place and all persons involved in TW are brief on the specific RAMS.

• Ensure adequate training for TW, not just associated directly with the TW system but for risks associated indirectly e.g. Work at height, use of harness, anchor-man systems etc.

• Ensure site operatives understand what TW exists on site and what to look out for. Update site operatives regularly using weekly Toolbox Talks.

• It’s important everyone talks about TW and design change and the potential safety risks associated with a change. Add design change to your site’s meeting agendas.

• Ensure TW are erected or installed as per design.

• If the design does not work, stop and report it to your TWS. Things change. The design needs to be reviewed before resuming installation of TW.

• Do not use faulty components in TW e.g. rotten or cracked Doka beams or scaffold boards. Damaged shutters. etc.

• The maintenance and inspection of TW is just as important as the design and installation. Look for damage or changes in TW regularly for the duration of the TW. This may need to be weekly or daily depending on the category of risk associated with the TW.

• Never tamper with any TW on site. This could result in failure of TW or an incident or injury e.g. removing a handrail or prop.

• Ensure the inspection of TW before accessing or using it.

The CIF provide a Temporary Works Coordinator Programme assured by City & Guilds on a monthly basis. Full details of this programme may be accessed via: https://ciftraining.ie/product/temporary-works-co-ordinator-training-course/ or contact Conor Greham on 01 – 4066031 / [email protected]

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