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BS 5975 Temporary Works Changes - Overview

BS 5975 Temporary Works Changes - Overview

This guidance is to give a brief overview of BS 5975:2019 and the main differences from the previous revision, which came into effect on 31st May 2020.

British Standards

British Standards (BS) is a code of practice and takes the form of guidance and recommendations.

Do organisations have to "legally" comply with British Standards?

HSE states: - Normally the use of standards is voluntary and they do not impose legal responsibilities. However, in some cases legislation may "call-up" a specific standard effectively giving it legal force...

Compliance with a British Standard does not confer immunity from legal obligations.

Main Changes

  • Detailed procedures included for all organisations including Clients
  • Responsibilities and duties listed for duty holders
  • Updated Terms and Conditions
  • Takes CDM 2015 into account
  • Clarifies responsibilities where Client appoints a sub-contractor
  • Traceability of responsibility to Directors
  • Allows multiple Temporary Works Co-ordinator's (TWC) to be used on site
  • Added an execution risk process
  • Listed the requirements for the Temporary Works (TW) register
  • Requires an effective system for checking both design and implementation
  • Requires organisations to check the competence of the organisations they employ to carry out the temporary works
  • Principle Designers to have a TW procedure
  • Requires TW Implementation Plan to include an inspection and test plan

General Information
The description of Temporary Works remains as:
Engineered solution to support or protect existing structure or permanent works during construction, or support item of plant or equipment, or the vertical sides or slopes of an excavation during construction or to provide access.

But now specific examples are identified:

  • Hoardings, haul roads, fencing and stairs
  • Supporting/restraining plant, materials or equipment
  • Supports and slopes to excavations and diversions to water courses
  • Safe working platforms
  • Measures to control noise, dust, debris, fume air quality, ground water, site discharges
  • Protection or support to services
  • Facilitating testing (e.g. pressure testing pipes, pile testing)

All organisations involved in a project which is likely to have Temporary Works are to have a procedure outlining how duties are discharged (not just the organisation carrying out the Temporary Works but the organisations employing them as well)

A design brief should be prepared, except for very low risk Temporary Works, by the site team and issued by the Temporary Works Co-ordinator to the temporary Works Designer and if the design check category has not been specified the Temporary Works Co-ordinator and Temporary Works Designer can confirm the category.

DI - Designated Individual
TWC - Temporary Works Co-ordinator
TWD - Temporary Works Designer
PC - Principle Contractor
TWS - Temporary Works Supervisor

Safety Bulletins are provided to raise awareness of occupational hazards and reinforce relevant control measures. Bulletins or information contained therein may not be copied, changed, used by or disclosed to anyone who was not an original intended recipient.

Designated Individual

  • Organisations should appoint a "senior" person to prepare and manage procedures (Designated Individual or DI)
  • DI should be a member, or directly responsible to a member of the main supervisory board
  • DI should have responsibility and authority for establishing and maintaining procedure to control aspects of Temporary Works that the organisation has responsibility of or can constrain or influence
  • DI responsible for ensuring any organisation employed has adequate Temporary Works


Temporary Works Co-ordinator

  • One person is to have overall responsibility for managing Temporary Works on site - appointed by PC and referred to as PC's TWC.
  • The TWC may be appointed by a contractor to manage their Temporary Works. The TWC is responsible to both PC's TWC and contractor's DI.
  • There can be multiple PC's TWC's on large complex projects but one must take lead role
  • Where there are multiple PC's TWC's and/or TWC's, each must be responsible for a

distinct, well defined area with boundaries, interfaces and limits of responsibility, recorded in writing

  • Any contractor contracted to manage their own Temporary Works must appoint a TWC. Appointed by contractors DI
  • PC's TWC can be an employee (of the PC) or an employee of an organisation contracted to provide the services of TWC for all Temporary Works on the site/project area
  • Where there are multiple small sites the PC can appoint a PC's TWC (based off-site) to cover all the sites and a TWS responsible for day-to-day control on each site.

Temporary Works Supervisor

  • The PC and contractor can appoint TWS's who report to their own TWC
  • DI can delegate a TWS's appointment, to an individual with necessary skill, knowledge and experience (Project Manager or TWC). Appointment must be approved by DI

Client-appointed Contractor
Where a client appoints a contractor directly for work with a Temporary Works element:-

  • PC's TWC has overall responsibility for managing Temporary Works on site
  • PC's DI is required to confirm the contractor's procedure for control of Temporary Works is satisfactory
  • Contractor appoints TWC
  • TWC reports to PC's TWC
  • Client ensures the process is communicated to all parties in the early stage of procurement

Safety Bulletins are provided to raise awareness of occupational hazards and reinforce relevant control measures. Bulletins or information contained therein may not be copied, changed, used by or disclosed to anyone who was not an original intended recipient.

Control of Risk

  • Risks associated with Temporary Works design are addressed through selection of appropriate design checks
  • Risks associated with Temporary Works construction, use and removal are to be determined by each organisation for each project
  • Consideration is to be given to experience, competence, location and consequence of failure
  • Risk classifications are "Very Low", "Low", "Medium, "High"
  • Organisations to define how they will manage the risk process in their Temporary Works procedures

Temporary Works Register
Required to include the below items in the register:

  • Reference number and short description
  • Daye design brief issued
  • Date required
  • Risk classification of Temporary Works
  • Designer (company and/or individual)
  • Design checker (company and/or individual)
  • Design check category
  • Date design completed
  • Date design checked/approved
  • Erection complete and checked with date of permit to load (bring into use)
  • Date of permit to unload (take out of use) as necessary
  • Third-party approvals

Should you require any further information, clarification or assistance with Temporary Works, please contact us on or 01268 649006