Constructing basements is one of the most challenging projects, especially when they are being excavated beneath existing buildings. To maximise safety the correct temporary works need to be used. These must be in place to provide horizontal and vertical support, preventing collapses from occurring.

Basement propping must be designed properly and approved before it is installed. A competent engineer must do this, ensuring they have considered all risks and showing the design and method statement they have created.

In addition to this, you will need the input of a temporary works coordinator (TWC). This individual is responsible for the supports and propping systems that are used. Throughout the course of the project they must remain engaged and meet their specific responsibilities. These include:

Coordinating activities that involve the temporary works
Ensure allocation of roles such as design and site supervisors
Make sure the temporary works have been designed correctly
Ensure relevant parties are aware of the design
Create and maintain a register of relevant information about the final design, including calculations
Check risk assessments and guidance notes to ensure safe erection and dismantling
Monitoring temporary works whilst they are under load
Ensure correct maintenance is done on systems
Issue permission before dismantling can occur

As you can see the coordinator has a very important role to play and a number of crucial responsibilities. It is always wise to appoint someone who is experienced in the position and able to ensure safety.

The HSE has reported that one of the most frequent causes of issues with basement propping is failure to choose the right engineer and/or coordinator. Anyone planning a project should make sure they don’t make this mistake.

Denon Construction is one of the most experienced teams with temporary works in the UK. Our talented team are competent and set out to deliver the highest possible standards. When you work with us we can fill the roles of engineer and coordinator. That way we will maximise safety for you and ensure that all responsibilities are upheld.

If you would like to find out more about our skills with basement propping please contact us. We can offer advice and formal services for projects of various shapes and sizes.