What Are Temporary Works In Construction? 

Temporary works are the parts of construction projects that are required for the permanent works to be completed. The best example of this would be scaffolding, but there are a number of works that are removed after use. These include shoring, props, excavation support, formwork and falsework, amongst others. Even though some are incorporated into the permanent works, they are still referred to as temporary. 

Today’s blog will outline all you need to know about temporary works in construction. We’ll also tell you about the temp works courses we offer here at CST Training.

What You Need to Know About Temporary Works

Temporary works exist as an engineered solution for protecting or supporting any aspect of a construction project. This could include a structure, equipment, the sides of an excavation, or to provide access. Just like permanent works, they need to be carefully planned and managed. 

So, what can these consist of? Structural support can include shoring for excavations, falseworks for above-ground concrete pours, propping for walls/floors, and scaffolds for access. Similarly, structural support can include working platforms, haul roads, or permanent works that are simply being used for temporary purposes. 

Other kinds of temporary works include hoarding/site fencing, welfare and office units, and earthworks that will be eventually removed. 

There aren’t really any hard and fast legal requirements when it comes to managing them. It’s up to the organisation to both arrange the works, and manage them safely.

The period during which these works are in place tends to vary depending on the project at hand. Sometimes the works would stay in place for mere hours, sometimes days, weeks, or months. For longer term construction, a temporary building would usually also be built to offer protection from the elements. 

What Does a Temporary Works Supervisor Do? 

An on-site supervisor of temporary works would be responsible for making sure that the day-to-day activities are carried out efficiently. It’s their job to ensure that the works are safe, and suitable for the project in question. A temp works supervisor must also ensure that the workers’ environment is a safe one. 

Types of Scaffolding 

One of the most common kinds of temp works is scaffolding. Scaffolding acts as a temporary safe working platform for erection, maintenance, construction, repair, access, and inspection. 

The two main types of scaffolding are free-standing scaffolds like independent towers, and independent tied scaffolds. The latter would be tied to an adjacent structure. 

For the most part scaffolding is made up of scaffold tubes. These tubes tend to be either 3.2 millimetres thick, or 4 millimetres thick. Scaffolding is designed to support its own weight, which would include the weight of the tubes, boards, toeboards, and guardrails. 

Temporary Works Courses with CST Training

We offer temp works courses here at CST Training. The courses are approved by the CITB, and are designed for anyone involved in said works. They are fully remote, and completed over the course of one/two days. For a full list of our available courses, head to our website

The first course is the Temporary Works Supervisor course, which lasts one day. It’s most suited to people with experience of being responsible for temporary works, providing thorough knowledge of the role and an understanding of the risk management involved. 

The Temporary Works Coordinator course, on the other hand, is a two-day course. It’s designed to provide Senior Management with more confidence, and all those who are responsible for managing temporary works. 


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