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Temporary works certification explained

When, how and why your temporary works solution needs certification


Learning never stops for engineers, but there’s often a knowledge gap when it comes to temporary works engineering and the different types of certification required.

Here we provide answers to common customer questions and reflect on the importance of certification for ensuring quality and safety in construction.

What are the relevant types of certification for temporary works?

Certification is an important process to safeguard the products used to deliver temporary works; the design solutions that guide installation of temporary works; and to verify the quality and effectiveness of all completed installations. Here’s an overview of each certification stage.

1. Product certification

Product certification is the basic level of certification and quality assurance used to ensure the safety of temporary works products. It guarantees that all equipment and affiliated products meet the necessary standards, and that they are fit for purpose for their intended use.

“For products Coates sources through OEMs, we ensure the right documentation is in place to meet Australian standards, or the applicable codes in Europe if there are no relevant standards for that product in Australia,” explains Darren Browne, Temporary Works Engineer at Coates. “Along with the OEM certification, all Coates proprietary developed product is independently certified to the relevant standards through third party consulting engineers to ensure an independent verification process is maintained.”

2. Design certification

Before a temporary works solution can be implemented, project teams will produce a set of drawings that detail all aspects of the design. Design certification is the process of reviewing these drawings and verifying that the design is safe and applicable for the unique set of conditions found on each project. Certification also ensures that all building and construction codes have been met.

“A certified temporary works design is basically the operational instructions to build temporary works to certain specifications, using the precise equipment and approach outlined in the design,” says Darren. “If a solution is built according to the certified design, you know it will be safe.”

Design certification involves assessing a temporary works solution based on certain prescribed conditions and criteria to determine whether the design is safe and ready to be issued for construction. During this process, the project location and all relevant information around are taken into account, including factors like the soil profile, geotechnical information, surcharge loading and adjacent loads from buildings and other nearby structures.

3. Installation certification

Final certification happens once a temporary works installation is complete. At this stage, a chartered engineer independent of the design team will attend site to certify that the temporary works have been built correctly and according to the structural drawings.

“To ensure the integrity of Coates’ in-house certification, all customer and in-house temporary works designs and installations are subject to rigorous quality assurance processes,” says Darren. “Designs are checked by multiple engineers, and a chartered engineer is always responsible for signing off on final designs and installations.”

When is certification required?

Design certification is required before work can commence on any type of temporary works or other load bearing construction work.

“Certification is an important part of delivering any temporary works project to safeguard people and future use of a structure,” says Darren. “If you’re delivering temporary works, a certified design should always be in place, no matter how small the job is.”

“The approach taken by Coates during design and certification, and the integrity and transparency of our quality assurance processes allows us to significantly reduce risk for our clients,” Darren continues. “Coates’ willingness to put its brand and reputation behind design and installation certifications also allows us to take on the larger and more complex projects.”

If a project requires certification to be offered independently of the Coates-produced design, Coates can also provide third party certification as part of one temporary works solution. Alternatively, Coates can provide information to the customer’s preferred engineering consultant. “In this situation all reports and documentation go direct to the client and Coates willingly provides its calculations to allow third party independent checks on our designs,” says Darren.

Quality assured

Coates customers value the assurance that, no matter which products and services are incorporated into a temporary works design, they will always achieve high standards for safety and performance.

“Coates doesn’t negotiate on safety,” says Darren. “We need to be able to guarantee the quality of our work because the stakes are high. And each time we perform work for a client we are putting the Coates brand and our customers’ reputations on the line, which is something we don’t do lightly.”

To discuss your next temporary works project or for expert advice, contact Coates Engineering Solutions today.

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