The importance of Temporary works plays a crucial role in construction projects by providing necessary support and access during the construction process. These temporary structures, which include falsework, formwork, support work, and scaffolds, act as an interface between design and construction. While temporary works are typically removed once the project is completed, they may occasionally become a permanent part of the structure. This article explores the definition of temporary works, their impact on the construction process, and the importance of ensuring safety on construction sites.

Definition and Role of Temporary Works

Temporary works encompass a range of structures designed to facilitate the construction of permanent works. Falsework refers to a temporary structure that combines formwork and support work, providing support until the permanent structure becomes self-supporting. Formwork, on the other hand, involves temporary or permanent moulds that shape and maintain the wet concrete until it sets. Support work is installed to support formwork or the permanent structure until it becomes self-supporting. Scaffolds are temporary structures used for access and support during construction activities.

The Importance of Temporary Works

Temporary works are an indispensable component of construction projects, serving as a critical link between design and construction. In some cases, designing temporary works can pose greater challenges than designing the actual structure. They play a vital role in ensuring the safety of workers, optimizing construction processes, and managing project costs.

Importance of Safety in Temporary Works

Safety is of paramount importance in construction sites, and it directly impacts the success of a project. A safe site reduces the risk of accidents, resulting in fewer work interruptions, hospital bills, legal issues, and inquiries. Additionally, a strong safety record enhances a company’s reputation, leading to potential future work opportunities.

Enhancing Site Safety

To create a safer construction site, several measures can be implemented:

  1. Conducting a risk analysis: Ongoing risk assessments should identify and address potential hazards present on the site.
  2. Worker commitment: It is crucial to obtain commitment from all workers to adhere to safety requirements and protocols.
  3. Induction courses: Providing comprehensive induction courses or videos to workers, addressing language barriers, and ensuring that employees understand their roles and responsibilities.
  4. Accessibility and guidance: Ensuring that workers are aware of appropriate access routes, erection and stripping sequences, and have access to guidance and support from experienced personnel.
  5. Proper signage: Clearly displaying relevant safety signs to communicate hazards, precautions, and mandatory safety equipment.
  6. Safe work areas: Providing safe access to work areas, following the guidelines outlined in SANS 10085 (South African National Standards).
  7. Protection barriers: Installing protective barriers, such as edge protection systems, around excavations or other potentially hazardous areas.
  8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Issuing appropriate PPE based on the tasks being performed to ensure the safety and well-being of workers.

The importance of temporary works should be a key aspect when planning a site as it form an essential part of the construction process, bridging the gap between design and construction. They enable the construction of complex structures and significantly influence the project’s timeline and cost. However, ensuring the safety of workers is equally vital, as it enhances productivity and mitigates potential accidents and setbacks. By implementing comprehensive safety measures and providing adequate training, construction sites can create a secure environment for workers, ultimately leading to successful project completion.

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Contact us to find out more:

Christof Lourens

CEO Cairnmead Industrial Consultants (Pty) Ltd

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