Consultancy and Expert Witness

Temporary Works-
Latest News

Temporary Works:

Temporary Works:
Chronological References


BeamPal 2

About Peter Pallett

Temporary Works Update ( Last updated 16th January 2024 )

Stop Press Training General
Formwork Falsework Scaffolding and Towers

HINT... Why not remember to bookmark this page for your regular return?

  • Suggested deletion "Temporary Works" and substitution with term "Construction Engineering"

    Mr Ronan O'Driscoll in his free 889 page book available from LinkedIn entitled "Construction Enginering - A Guide to Temporary Works in Construction and BS5975:2019" proposes a major change to terminology only a few weeks before BS publishes the new BS5975-1:2024 as Part One on Temporary Works Procedures!

    Peter Pallett and Frank Marples, both respected former members of the BSI comitttee responsible for Falsework and with many years involvement in Temporary Works, have come out of retirement to comment on this book and its implications. As LinkedIn has a limit on words in comments, the text of there replies follow:-
    ( Any rate, the 889 page book by Mr O'Driscoll will have limited shelf life as BS5987: 2019 is superceded in the following weeks by the latest edition. )

    The first part of this reply is from Peter Pallett CEng FICE FCS

    I have read your suggestion that "temporary works" be replaced by the term "Construction Engineering"”. Apart from the legal necessity of ICE and other contracts maintaining a differentiation between "permanent" and "temporary" works, such a change would involve every organisation involved in temporary works changing their procedures and all their forms in all offices and sites - at enormous expense.

    Prior to recent conversations, I certainly had not heard of a Mr O'Driscoll as being a prominent member of either BSI or TWf, although I admit I have not attended TWf for a couple of years.

    It was a surprise to then find that he had published a 886 page book on Linkedin highlighting his ideas on changing accepted terminology.  This book has not just "appeared" but has taken 3.5 years to prepare.  Not only is the timing interesting, but how it's been published.   He was aware that BSI were extensively updating BS5975:2019 during the work, and further that it was being split into two documents as he attended my TWf presentation in July 2019. Frank Marples and myself clearly explained that the procedures and titles used in temporary works management would be republished as a separate BS Standard called BS5975-1  So why did he not raise his naming concerns with BSI, or even with TWf.  I have spoken with the TWf representative on BSI and he is not aware Mr O'Driscoll raised the issue.

    I note he specifically stated my name in the "Foreword" of the publication regarding duplicity of DI responsibilities.  This obviously could occur on very large infrastructure projects (Cl , but the Bragg principle remains of one DI responsible for all TW in an area.  I’m surprised he queried our statement that standards should not be read and interpreted word for word; perhaps he has mis-understood the status of Standards in the legal system operating in the UK, ie Acts, Directives, Regulastions, Standards, Guidance etc..  As a trained expert witness I was well aware of the status of such documents in court proceedings.

    Regarding publication, it appears to be published under his organisations name, so why not through ICE Publishing ( Emerald Publishing) , Concrete Society or even as a TWf Guidance? It is unusual in that none of its extensive "reviewers" have their affiliations and thus credibility, actually listed, particularly relevant as it happens to be one of his own criticisms of the current BSI committee!

    How has the document been independently or peer reviewed before publication? BSI standards undergo a peer review process in as much as they are issued as a Draft for Public Comment or DPC. The public comments are then reviewed and either accepted, accepted with modification or rejected as the committee or BSI’s Editorial Project Manager deems appropriate. Books authored on behalf of the ICE and published by Emerald Publishing Ltd are also subject to peer review before acceptance for publication. Any papers submitted to ICE Proceedings also undergo a peer review process. In the use of peer review it gives readers assurance that the document is considered to contain information of benefit and not misleading. It is much the same as having designs independently checked before the Permanent or Temporary Works are constructed.

    As a Linkedin Professional, I presume that he commented very extensively on the Draft for Public Comment of BS5975-1 last year and made his “Construction Engineering” thoughts known to the Standards committee.  We must wait until later this year to find out whether his recommendations have been adopted in the next new edition of BS5975 procedures.  If not, then he will have to wait five years until the next BSI document review.

    It does occur to me that for someone who has such strong views, why has he never volunteered to assist his own industry by giving his time to write the standards that we use?  The BSI committee and/or TWf would, I'm sure, welcome experienced writers.  It is after all "incumbent on us all as professionals to pass on that knowledge to the next generation, and become involved in those authoritative sources of knowledge" (His quote not mine!), which brings me back to his decision to publish the book privately as a free pdf.

    I sincerely hope that Mr O'Driscoll will not use any of this text above in any of his publications.

    P. F. Pallett CEng FICE FCS

    The following is the reply from Frank Marples CEng CEnv FICE

    I have asked a friend and colleague (Peter Pallett) to upload this note to his website as I do not have a LinkedIn account. My statements have been reviewed by two other Fellows of the ICE to confirm their accuracy.

    I have been both Chief Engineer and Engineering Director of a major contractor and, as chairman of the relevant BSI Committee, was responsible for both the 2008 revision of BS 5975 and the drafting of the current documents (Parts 1 and 2).  It is to be noted that the 2008 revision of BS 5975 was largely based on the procedures I had instigated in my own company.  I was, in fact, the DI for both the civil engineering and building divisions of the company and had to ensure the competence of the individuals I appointed to the role of TWC on each of their sites.  I also coined the name Temporary Works Supervisor, to be employed on our road projects, when the TWC was having difficulty / timing issues visiting various temporary works schemes strung out over many kilometres. I also used the same terminology on our small building projects when the TWC was appointed to cover several small projects in an area and couldn’t attend each site every day. I have also had papers, in relation to Temporary Works, published in ICE Proceedings including one on the management of Temporary Works when launching a bridge deck over a mainline railway.

    Having had considerable contracting experience I would take exception to Mr O'Driscoll's note on a discussion thread in the Temporary Works Forum (TWf), reproduced in italics below:

    Thank you.  
    Reply - As always the question is what experienced Temporary Works Coordinators have been consulted for any of this ? I bet no one on the panel for this BS has worked on a construction site as a Temporary Works Coordinator after the 2008 revision of BS 5975.
    What contractors form the construction industry have been consulted for this document ?
    This is not your doing but again a bunch of people who are not up to date or relevant editing a document for contractors to use on site, I despair for the future of construction.
    Best Regards Ronan

    As Chairman of the BSI Committee responsible for BS 5975 I took great pains to ensure a mix of professional engineers on the committee, the vast majority being representatives of contractors and sub-contractors.  All representing the contracting fraternity were DIs and responsible for writing their company’s procedures and appointing competent individuals to the role of TWC. As the standard applies across the full spectrum of construction some were building orientated and others civil engineering, even one from a demolition company, one represented clients and one represented the HSE. Others represented consultancies (experienced in Permanent Works design and Temporary Works design) and consultancies solely involved in Temporary Works matters. One was from a supplier and he was the representative of TWf on the committee. At least two of the members were the recognised main trainers in temporary works in the UK meeting those engineers and technicians fully involved in temporary works procedures on a day by day basis - if they were in any way not up to date the organisations would never have employed them to train their staff. Further, several members of my committee were actively involved with the CITB in writing the questions for the CITB Temporary Works Examinations - so fully aware of current processes. Many of the committee members were also members of TWf and would thus provide feedback both ways.

    Other than publicising your own document where you propose changing the wording from Temporary Works to Construction Engineering I am not aware of you making any direct comments, particularly on changing Temporary Works to Construction Engineering, on the recent drafts even though you indicate contractors should have been consulted. The draft was there for the industry to make comments that is why it is called a Draft for Public Comment (DPC). I am also not aware of you having made any representation to BSI or TWf to be actively involved in the writing/updating of the forthcoming  BS5975:Part One on TW Procedures.  

    You obviously have strong views, and have the right as an individual to make your opinions known, so you must make a note in your diary for about 2029 to make your comments to BSI on procedures, as that is the likely next "five year" review for BS5975-1" - you having chosen to publish your "Construction Engineering" articles as opposed to concentrating on getting the actual industry legal wording reviewed. 

    Your note to the TWf shows a lack of professionalism by your failure to assimilate the facts before pronouncing on the matter. 

    With reference to your proposal to change the terminology from Temporary Works to Construction Engineering and your query as to where the term Temporary Works originated I can confirm that the term was in the ICE Conditions of Contract when I started on site. It is a convenient term and quite correctly differentiates those items from the Permanent Works (usually designed by a consultant) from those items of Temporary Works )which used to be designed by a contractor and in my company's case still are).  I think it has become accepted that the term Construction Engineering relates to the engineering design of the Permanent Works during the various stages of the construction phase. As such, Construction Engineering, is but a sub-set of Temporary Works and must be managed in the same way, either by the designer of the Permanent Works or by a designer appointed by the contractor to carry out these designs. The contractor appointed designer of the Permanent Works for the construction phases may either be a specialist consultancy or in-house designer.  During these studies it may be found that additional Temporary Works may be required to support the Permanent Works. The contractor then manages the implementation of these construction stages, and any additional Temporary Works deemed necessary, using the in-house procedures derived from BS 5975.

    I hope this has proved informative for you and you can take away some knowledge on the matter so you do not fall foul of the ICE'’s Code of Professional Conduct.

    Please do not use any of my text above in any of your publications.
    F Marples. CEng CEnv FICE

  • British Standards and Europe - Change of Status

    The United Kingdom, from 1st January 2022 is a FULL member of CEN and CENELEC accepting all ENs.

    This means that, in perpetuity, the UK will:-

        A.Have first to obtain approval from the European Commission to commence work on new standards,

        B. Adopt all CEN approved EuroNorms, whether the UK voted for or against the particular standard,

        C. Agree to not publish any text of a EuroNorm in any British Standard, and

        D. Agree to not write any standards that conflict with a EuroNorm.

    Whereas I have always supported the concept of full UK alignment with International Standards and having common design rules, as in the Core EuroCodes, I disagree that the UK has agreed to accept every EuroNorm in perpetuity; thus making our product standards the same as all the other 33 countries.

    I appear isolated, am I the only person in the UK who wanted the UK to have the right of choice as to which Standards it wanted to adopt, be it acceptable EurNorms or our own British written standards and/or Codes of Practice? I voted for Brexit to give us the right to choose our future, not to become a Standards vassal state of Europe.

  • BS5975 Part 1 and Part 2 - 2024

    The Draft for Public Comment received a significant number of very relevant comments. These have now all been resolved by the BSI Comittee and the Chairman & Secretary have now competed the final reading prior to the publication. This is a major update in two parts and will provide valuable insight into our continuing design of falsework using permissable stress methods, as well as giving guidance on the use of the limit state approach to design. Of particular interest will be the method to evaluate the lateral restraint provided by soffit formwork - up to now a dark art!.

  • [return to top of page]

  • Training Managers in Temporary Works
    BS5975:2019 ( Cl. 5.2.1) recommends that all those managing temporary works should have an understanding of :-
        a) the procedures outlined in Section 2 of BS5975,
        b) the procedures that you are expected to operate for your organisation,
        c) management of risk associated with your managinmg the temporary works,
        d) technical knowledge relevant to both your role and complexity of the work, and
        e) practical knowledge relevant to the complexity of the job.
    Certain projects might in addition have job-specific training requirements ( e.g. railway work, airports. )

  • General Updates - Temporary Works
    • Temporary Works - Principles of Design and Construction - 2nd edition
      Temporary WorksThe Second Edition of the authoritative guidance for anyone involved in temporary works has been edited by Peter Pallett and Ray Filip. It not only includes the latest procedures for temporary works from BS5975:2019 ; brings all previous chapters up-to-date; and, includes new chapters on needling, backpropping, demolition, basement construction and the modern use of digital visualisations and computers to enhance design.

      The opening chapters on "Safety, statutory & contractural obligations" and "Management" should be made compulsory reading for anyone involved in temporary works!

      The new book of 528 pages (ISBN 978 0 7277 6338 9 ) is available either in b/w as hardback (price £145) from ICE Publishing by clicking on link ICE Book Shop. or by using the link from the Book Shop pay a subscription to see the e-book in colour.

    • TWf2012:01 Hoardings - a guide to good practice.
      Hoardings Guide The Temporary Works Forum have updated this authoritative design guidance for Hoardings of solid construction. First published in 2012 under Peter Pallett as convenor, the document had a periodioc review and update in August 2020 by Ray Filip and David Thomas. The document is a free 46 page download and gives guidance on the design brief, on values of loadings ( including a minimum notional horizontal load. ), together with likely loading combinations for hoardings in the UK. Design information for permissible stress and limit state design options are included. A method of foundation design for post-in-hole is recommended. The appendices include the design considerations for wind to current EuroCodes, working structural properties for timber posts and rails, and the post planting depths for common hoardings.
      The document concludes with a complete and detailed worked example to explain both the philosophy and the method recommended.

      This is a must have document for temporary works designers. Download your copy either by clicking on TWf2012_01_Hoardings_good_practice.pdf or go to the TWf website at www.twforum.org.uk.

    • Formwork Guide Formwork - a guide to good practice.
      The Third Edition dated April 2012 is printed and in A4 size and in colour. Long awaited major update to the best selling Concrete Society publication. Major new sections on contractual requirements, the Law, proprietary formwork, new timber and plywood values, concrete pressure groups introduced, slip form and climbing formwork, plus new wind information for stability of forms.
      Detailed Worked Examples are available in a separate booklet, including walls, single faced forms and backpropping calculations.
      Some minor typographical errors have been observed - Click here to view a separate A4 page of the known errors which opens as a *.pdf file.

      (ORDER FROM: The Concrete Bookshop Ref: CS030, 299 pages, ISBN 978 1 904482 68 0) or click on link to Formwork Guide at the Concrete Bookshop.

      The HSE 200 page report is available as Contract Research Report CRR 394/2001 from HSE Books as ISBN 0 7176 2232 0. It is also available for download from www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/2001/crr01394.htm (2.5 Mb).

      The work was carried out by the University of Birmingham, led by Eur. Ing. Peter Pallett with help from Dr. M. Burrow, Professor L. Clark and Mr Ray Ward. The research investigated both the aspects of stability of falsework and measured eleven sites for accuracy of erection. The changes in management of falsework, together with more reliance on suppliers' designs has led to different criteria and checking regimes.

        There does not appear to have been an overall improvement in verticality of erection over the last 12 years.
        At all levels there is a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of stability of falsework and the basic principles involved.

    [return to top of page]