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March 16, 2015

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Temporary Works forum issues client guidance

The Temporary Works forum (TWf) has published its Clients’ guide to temporary works providing recommendations for clients, their representatives, programme managers and others on the design and coordination of temporary works.

Temporary works are often a significant part of a project’s construction cost. Even for simple schemes efficient design, management and installation will radically improve project delivery. A temporary works failure on a project is almost always a high consequence event and may be reportable.

A significant failure may be catastrophic to budget, programme and reputation as well as to safety; such a failure will bring into question a client’s ability to procure and may lead to criminal prosecution, as (inter alia) they may be perceived to have failed in their duty to employ organisations of sufficient competence.

The Clients’ Guide has been written at the request of a group of clients, which approached the TWf. These clients were aware of the risks and, in some cases, the lost opportunities to their enterprises that temporary works present, but felt disadvantaged because they had insufficient insight into the processes at work in temporary works management.

Bill Hewlett, Costain, TWf Chairman and lead author of the guide, said: “The Temporary Works forum is delighted to offer its Clients’ Guide to the industry, to give insight into best practice in temporary works engineering. It is intended to be of use to all clients and senior managers, of both large and small scale works, whether they are involved regularly in construction, or seldom, or even in just one project in a lifetime.

“[The Guide] is founded on good engineering practice and practical experience, and builds on the work of Pugsley, Bragg and other ‘giants’ of previous generations. If it helps us today and into the future, as an industry, to address better the opportunities and challenges of temporary works engineering, it will have done its job.”

Chris Dulake, Crossrail Ltd., said: “Clients’ teams need a greater influence over temporary works and the risks that these potentially introduce. Significant resources are engaged in the design, co-ordination and delivery of temporary works; their efficacy and construction have a direct impact on the safety, programme and cost of a project. Establishing a work stream in the TWf to optimise delivery of temporary works is essential to the ability to procure and deliver works efficiently.

I am delighted that the TWf has provided us with this guidance. It does not seek to fundamentally change how the industry operates, but to give insight to make it clear to project participants who is accountable and responsible during the project lifecycle, and what as clients we should be doing and looking for. Critically it guides clients on how they can optimise their project procurement, giving a national reference standard.”

Clients’ guide to temporary works: Recommendations for Clients, their representatives, programme managers and others on the design and coordination of temporary works (TWf2014: 02) is available as a free download from

TWf welcomes new members, whether clients, main contractors, specialist contractors, temporary works designers, permanent works designers, proprietary equipment suppliers, academia or other interested companies and/or individuals. For details, please contact the TWf Secretary ([email protected]).

David Thomas is director and company secretary for Temporary Works forum (TWf)


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