Control Measures Relating to Management of Temporary Works
Main Control Measures Relating To The Management Of Works Of A Temporary Nature
The essential controls for work of a temporary nature are communication and the cooperation of both contractors and host employees, a comprehensive risk assessment for the project, and the management and supervision of the project to ensure that all the agreed controls are implemented.
Communication and Cooperation
The liaison and consultation arrangements are essential to ensure good communication with the host employees and contractors. This should provide the cooperation and coordination of all those responsible for the project to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the workplace and enable any concerns to be addressed. Good communication between clients, contractors, and residents is an important means of controlling the risks and minimizing discomfort. It can also be essential when arranging alternative escape routes during work. Advice should be sought from the local fire authority where blocking or altering the permanent escape routes is necessary.
A detailed risk assessment should be made to cover the temporary works. This should include the identification of:
- All aspects of the works, including the health and safety implications to the host employees and the contractors;
- The people at risk from work, including, where appropriate, members of the public;
- Any risks to the contractors from the business of the host organization; and
- Any additional controls and procedures required to protect everyone affected by the project, including any equipment that should or should not be worked on or used;
- The personal protective equipment that should be used and who will provide it; all the working procedures, including any permits to work and method statements that are to be used; details of any site access restrictions; any amendment required to existing emergency procedures and access to the host building; and details of any safety signs and/or barriers required.
Often work must be undertaken in areas that need to remain occupied. The risk assessment should indicate the nature of the project’s perimeter and how it will be maintained. It might be possible for the work to take place outside regular hours – if not, the work areas must be segregated or access controlled by physical barriers or warning signs.
Management And Supervision Of The Project
The first two important tasks for the management and supervision of the project are the formulation of a detailed specification and the appointment of competent managers and contractors to complete the project.
A Temporary Works Coordinator should be appointed for all temporary works to oversee the project and sign it off on completion. Such an appointment is significant for refurbishment projects involving complex activities requiring information about the existing structure and health and safety issues.
The coordinator would be responsible for:
- The appointment of competent contractors to undertake the project;
- The provision of information, instruction, and training to the employees of the host organization on any hazards associated with the temporary works;
- The provision of information to the temporary works contractors on any hazards from the activities of the host organization and the controls in place to address them;
- The management and supervision of the work of the contractors and agreement on the nature of any temporary controls required before work begins; and
- Formulating a detailed job specification for the work required should include safe access to both the temporary work site and the rest of the building, safe method statements to cover all aspects of the work, and the arrangements for examining any temporary access equipment.
The provision of welfare facilities, including first-aid arrangements, must be discussed and agreed upon before the commencement of the project. It may be that project contractors can use the same facilities as the host employees. If this is not possible, separate arrangements should be included in the project specification.
Other Control Measures
Where construction work is carried out in or near occupied premises, such as houses, hospitals, factories, and shops, it may be necessary to evacuate part or all of these premises, either for the full duration of the work or for a limited period during hazardous operations. Specific organizations such as housing associations and care homes often have an established policy that identifies the circumstances when it is appropriate to evacuate premises.
Other control measures that will be relevant to many projects include the following:
- Use of temporary flooring material, such as plywood or steel plates, to cover uneven ground or potholes;
- Covering or fixing any trailing cables which need to cross pedestrian areas;
- Provision of lighting at night and in dark areas;
- Prompt removal of all waste and rubbish as it arises;
- Storage of all hazardous substances in suitable containers or insecure compounds when not in use;
- Provision of site storage compounds to accommodate all the plant, equipment, and materials outside working hours. Strict control over the amount and timing of deliveries will help keep storage to a minimum outside this compound area;
- Safe storing and stacking of materials and a limit to the height of all material stacks;
- Use of suitably protected electrical cordless tools or reduced voltage equipment,
- Fitting of gas cylinders and similar appliances with valves that require special tools to turn on the supply;
- Isolation of gas cylinders when not in use and locking them in a secure cage out of hours;
- Protection against hazards that are created within the project site as the work develops, such as around deep excavations which will need to be covered or fenced;
- Protection of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, and people with specific disabilities – work in certain premises such as schools and hospitals requires careful planning,
- Protection of wheelchair users and partially sighted people where construction work affects pedestrian routes;
- Provision of suitable protection: from dust, asbestos fibers, noise, and vibration to contractors, host employees, and public members from being struck by falling or ejected materials from delivery and other moving site vehicles. Consideration should be given to ensuring that deliveries are scheduled at times outside of large movements of people such as rush hours or the journeys to and from school;
- Post warning signs around the site and at all entrances to the main building.
School projects that present high risks to staff and pupils should be carried out during school holidays, weekends, or out-of-school hours. If this is not possible, the work should be programmed to avoid busy periods like school, finish and break times. Deliveries should also be arranged to avoid these times.
Certain premises have particular hazards that will need to be addressed. Residents in care homes may need to be evacuated when hazardous substances are used (such as timber treatment or damp course work). Where work occurs within occupied factories, offices, shops, and other premises, the host organization, and the contractor must manage the risks created by their work and cooperate closely to manage those risks created by sharing the workplace.
In healthcare premises, the vulnerability of those within the premises must be considered – children and outpatients with restricted mobility or partial sight. Some patients, such as those who have had major surgery, will be more open to infection than healthy people. Refurbishment works may disturb fungal spores and other organisms, a severe hazard to patients. Site vehicles and pedestrians must be separated from the hospital traffic as much as possible.
My boss wishes to employ a few part-timers to keep our office operational throughout the upcoming holiday season. I’ll ask him to remember all the tips given here so he’ll hire the right individuals for the job afterwards. Your detailed explanation about how fundamental evaluating workplace risks is to keep temporary workers safe all the time was highly appreciated.