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Aims & Objectives

The text below describes temporary works, why it is important, and how TWf operates so as to raise standards and promote the subject generally:


‘Temporary Works’ is defined as:

’parts of the works that allow or enable construction of, protect, support or provide access to, the permanent works and which might or might not remain in place at the completion of the works  

Note: examples of temporary works  are structures, supports, back-propping, earthworks and accesses’

[from BS5975]

and in this context includes its interaction with the Permanent Works. It includes both falsework and formwork.

Temporary Works is an important aspect of most projects. It can range from a simple trench or beam support to complex structures costing £m. Competent choice, design, use, maintenance and dismantling is essential in order to protect the asset being constructed and to mitigate risks to persons.  There have been, and continue to be failures of Temporary Works.

Against this background, in 2009 an interested and concerned group of senior and experienced engineers and managers considered that there should be a permanent industry-wide interest group to consider this subject and promulgate good practice [1]. TWf is the result of that consideration. Hitherto there has not been any representative body established to consider this important topic.

The intent of TWf  is to encourage open discussion of any matter related to Temporary Works, for the good of the industry overall. The group is open to anyone, individual or corporate, working within the industry and sharing this intent.

TWf has the support of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Health and Safety Executive and the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS).


The TWf objectives, in general terms are, in respect of temporary works:

  • Give authoritative guidance and, when required, professional leadership to the industry.
  • Consider aspects of permanent works and interfaces between permanent works and temporary works as are relevant.
  • Consider both current practice and likely development.
  • Be aware of trends and innovations in design, construction and use.
  • Consider whether unacceptable risk exists or might arise in the future and, if believed so, to give warning to relevant bodies.
  • Consider whether further research and development appears desirable.
  • Encourage others to avoid duplicating work in hand elsewhere.
  • Keep a watching brief on international issues.

This remit is primarily focussed on the UK, whilst drawing also on experiences from overseas. 

This remit will be delivered by, for example:

  • providing a forum for reasoned debate;
  • arranging seminars and meetings for opinion formers and experts;
  • providing and contributing to education and guidance material;
  • seeking close working relationships with others; and
  • influencing industry and others.

February 2011.

[1] Initiated by Bill Hewlett of Costain and supported by SCOSS.