Hazards Associated With Works Of A Temporary Nature

Hazards Associated With Works Of A Temporary Nature

It’s easy to breeze through life without considering the potential hazards of our day-to-day activities. However, just because something is “temporary” doesn’t mean it should be considered insignificant in terms of safety considerations. Even temporary work that one was hired for can put someone’s health and well-being at risk if proper precautions aren’t taken or understood. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the hazards associated with certain types of temporary work and why employers must take appropriate measures to protect their employees and those who might be affected by their business operations.

impact on workplaces from hazards associated with works of a temporary nature

The impact on workplaces from hazards associated with work of temporary nature can be significant. The most common hazard associated with such work is slips, trips, and falls. This is because there are often uneven surfaces and obstacles in the workplace that can cause employees to trip and fall. Other hazards associated with works of temporary nature include electrical hazards, mechanical hazards, and exposure to hazardous substances. These hazards can all lead to serious injuries or even death if not properly controlled. Therefore, employers must take steps to control the risks associated with these hazards when carrying out work of temporary nature.

Works of a temporary nature include building maintenance, renovation, and refurbishment projects. These works usually occur in a host organization by contractors and often require building demolition and excavation work to supply new underground services. The projects must be appropriately planned, supervised, and monitored, mainly when the project is to occur within or near an occupied building. There are many other possible hazards associated with work of a temporary nature. Some of them are:

  • Slips, trips, and falls are a frequent source of injury to members of the host organization and the public; 
  • Unfenced excavations; 
  • Inadequate protection of holes, uneven surfaces, poor reinstatement, trailing leads and cables (especially on stairways), spillage of oils and gravel; 
  • Poor lighting and ventilation in and around the temporary works; 
  • Noise and vibration; 
  • Hazardous substances, including dust; 
  • Falling or flying objects; 
  • The accumulation of waste materials; 
  • Moving equipment; 
  • Poor storage of materials and equipment and other obstructions in public areas, including inadequate control of waste materials, are common causes of accidents; 
  • Fire and/or explosions; 
  • Lack of project management and supervision; and 
  • Hazards created outside the site perimeter (for example, unloading materials from a delivery lorry outside the perimeter).

Two relatively common problems with building projects concern asbestos and demolition. Therefore, an up-to-date asbestos survey and relevant plans and drawings should be available before any renovation work is commenced.

Most of the health and safety risks in demolition activities are related to an unplanned or premature collapse of a structure or a part of it. Various accident investigation reports following such incidents have found:

  • the absence of temporary structures to support unstable elements; 
  • the lack of risk assessment at the design stage, neglecting CDM requirements
  • the lack of any preliminary structural survey or site investigation; 
  • poor planning of demolition sequences; 
  • the lack of demolition method statements; and 
  • the lack of supervision while undertaking demolition activities.

Several of these conclusions are valid for large and small building projects, namely the lack of good communication, supervision, planning, risk assessment, and the neglect of legislative requirements.

The majority of temporary work projects involve some form of construction work. Details of some primary hazards and controls for construction work are given later in this section.


Although the number of workers employed in temporary or contract positions has grown in recent years, these workers are often left out of health and safety protections. This leaves them vulnerable to injuries and illnesses associated with their work. Recent studies have shown that the impact on workplaces from hazards associated with work of a temporary nature is considerable. To ensure the safety and well-being of all workers, it is important to extend health and safety protections to those employed in temporary positions.

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