Sometimes saving a dollar can cost you thousands and that’s certainly the case if you skimp on your temporary shoring. Supports put in place to temporarily brace your project while you complete it aren’t just used to guarantee the integrity of the job; they’re there to ensure your safety, too. Making sure your shoring is ship shape and by the book can save you untold amounts of money, pain and lost time from injuries, bungled craftsmanship and accidents.
Temporary Shoring Requirements
Your temporary shoring needs to meet up with state and local specifications — otherwise, you risk having your job site shut down. OSHA also has quite a bit to say about the minimum requirements for temporary shoring to be considered safe for workplace usage – and those requirements vary, based on the job you’re doing. A build where you’re working in a trench or excavation has different OSHA standards than the shoring you’d use to temporarily prop up a wall during a renovation. Know what’s legally required for your job and then meet or exceed those requirements.
Make Peace with the Neighbors
If you’re placing temporary shoring on a new build, it’s likely in proximity to a property line or in tight spaces near a neighbor’s residence. It’s a good idea to explain to the owners of any adjacent structures what’s going on — and why all this haphazard looking lumber is everywhere near the property line. An introduction and chat can smooth over whatever misgivings might occur if you and your crew just start working. It also helps keep unwanted passersby from messing with your shoring should the desire arise. If your shoring is all placed well on your client’s property and poses no possible threat or danger to others, this is unnecessary — but it’s still helpful to win over the neighbors to your job site to head off any possible problems before they arise.
What Goes Up Must Come Down — At the Appropriate Time
Whatever shoring measures you use, you’ll have to take them down at some point. The goal of temporary shoring is to make sure that what you put up comes down when YOU want it to and not before. If this means using extra lumber to prop up a wall or shoring up a basement wall to replace a beam in the wall of the floor above it — do so. This is one of those instances where it’s better to err on the side of caution and have more work later taking it down than it is to risk your safety and that of those around you by skimping.
Don’t Neglect Drainage Needs
Whether you’re putting up temporary shoring outdoors for a whole new build or using shoring posts in a basement to fix something above, don’t neglect the drainage needs of your job site. Shoring works on the principles that the ground is solid and sturdy — standing water or heavy runoff can compromise the integrity of your shoring. If necessary, consider creating a temporary drainage channel to keep water away from your outdoor shoring. For indoor shoring in areas prone to flooding — basements, for example, keep a sump pump handy and keep a close eye on your supports.
Temporary Shoring: More is More
Less is never more when it comes to temporary shoring. In order to build something that’s solid, you need a solid foundation. In order to lay a solid foundation, you need a sturdy support system — and that’s your shoring. Skimping on your shoring needs can lead to a failed job, one that doesn’t turn out right or – at worst – injury on the job site. Learn federal, local and state regulations regarding shoring for the type of job you’re working on and aim to exceed them.
What’s your favorite go-to method for temporary shoring?