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by the NFCC

Control measure


Control measure knowledge

Shoring can be described as temporary support to elements of a structure using metal or timber shoring systems and can be provided by urban search and rescue (USAR) teams.

Shoring provides:

  • Temporary stability of structures, objects or debris
  • Protection from falling debris, secondary collapse to enable search or rescue operations to proceed
  • Support to vertical, horizontal or sloping surfaces

Any shoring operation should be carried out by competent personnel with the appropriate level of knowledge and training, using suitable equipment. The shoring should be continually assessed and monitored throughout the incident.

It may be necessary to use temporary shoring to save life or prevent an incident escalating. However, the equipment immediately available to fire and rescue services, or to urban search and rescue (USAR) teams, may not be of sufficient strength to substitute for excavation support systems.

On-site machinery, vehicles or equipment, such as excavation support systems or materials suitable for use as trench or pit supports, may be available. However, the available equipment may have already failed, requiring a detailed risk assessment prior to further use.

If an excavation support system has been compromised, personnel should seek the advice or assistance of the responsible person or competent person, such as the contractor or a civil engineer.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider providing shoring equipment and materials

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider requesting specialist advice and resources for shoring

  • Ensure the competent person for shoring continually assesses and monitors its effectiveness

  • Seek advice or assistance for shoring from the responsible person or competent person