Construction Regulations 2013

The SA Construction Regulations Amendment of 2013 may be promulgated in 2014, following current industry comment and revision, after public comment last year.

Roles and accountabilities of South African construction owners, agents, designers, clients, managers, contractors, health and safety officers and several other functionaries would be amended, regarding construction health and safety plans, permits, systems, skills, fitness, work at height and other aspects.

SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) commented, “There have been various versions of the proposed changes, with comment… that has driven subsequent revisions. Safcec has been asked by the Department of Labour to gain final acceptance for the proposed changes.”

Safcec circulated a “current version of expected changes” in November, based on a National [legal] Risk Assessment Committee and state legal services review.

Below follows an extract from the Construction Regulations Amendment draft as circulated by the SA Department of Labour and industry bodies, including Safcec, in November 2013. This text is not a complete draft text, and not yet promulgated. Current Construction Regulations remain in effect until amended by Parliament.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Definitions

Agent means any competent person who acts as a representative for a Client in managing overall construction work performed for that client and who is registered with an organisation approved by the Chief Inspector to perform the required functions. [The approved organisation is the SACPCMP. See reports on Sheqafrica.com]

Audit means an independent appraisal function established by the management of an organisation for the review of the internal control system as a service to the organisation.

Competent person means a person who;
(a) has knowledge, training, experience, and
(b) where applicable, qualifications specific to the work or task being performed: Provided that where appropriate qualifications and training are registered in terms of the provisions of the National Qualification Framework Act, 67 of 2000 these qualifications and training must be regarded as the required qualifications and training, and
(c) is familiar with the Occupational Health  and Safety Act and with the provisions of the regulations that apply thereto. [Several sets of regulations apply to the OHS Act, apart from the Construction Regulations.]

Construction health and safety officer means any competent person who is registered with an organisation approved by the Chief Inspector to perform the prescribed functions. [See SACPCMP registration.]

Construction manager means any competent person responsible for the management of the physical construction processes within the built environment and includes the coordination, administration and management of resources.

Construction supervisor means any competent person responsible for supervising construction activities of different sections on site including the duty of ensuring occupational health and safety compliance.

Construction work permit means a document issued in terms of regulation 3 by the provincial director authorising a client to commence or continue with construction work.

[Safcec comments; Clients would have to submit to the DOL a Baseline Risk Assessment and project Health and Safety plan. Contractors would have to supply to Clients their Health and Safety Plan. Projects over R4m, or over 900 person hours, or with more than 90 people assigned, would require a permit to work. Projects below these criteria would work off the usual Notification of Construction work. Perrmits would be unique to the project area and must be prominently displayed. Each permit would be assigned to an inspector.]

Explosive actuated fastening device means a tool that is activated by an explosive charge and that is used for driving bolts, nails and similar objects for the purpose of providing fixing.

Construction Regulation 2013 draft; Fall arrest

Fall arrest equipment means equipment used to arrest a person in a fall, including personal equipment such as body harness, lanyards, deceleration devices, lifelines or similar equipment.

Fall protection plan means a documented plan, which includes;
(a) risks relating to working from a fall risk position, considering the nature of work undertaken;
(b) the procedures and methods to be applied in order to eliminate the risk; and
(c) a rescue plan and procedures.

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Health and Safety plan

Health and safety plan means a site, activity or project specific documented plan in accordance with the client’s health and safety specification.

Health and safety specification means a site, activity or project specific document prepared by the client pertaining to all health and safety requirements related to construction work.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Medical fitness

Medical certificate of fitness means a certificate issued in terms of Annexure 2 of these regulations by an Occupational Health Practitioner as defined in the Act.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Scope of application

Application for construction work permit;
(1) A client who intends to have construction work carried out must apply to the provincial director in writing for a construction work permit to perform construction work at least 30 days before that work is to be carried out, if the intended construction work will;
(a) exceed 90 days or will involve more than  900 person days of construction work; or
(b) the works contract is of a value equal to and exceeding  R 4 000 000
(2) An application contemplated in sub-regulation (1) must be done in a form similar to Annexure A.
(3) The provincial director must issue a construction work permit in writing to perform construction work contemplated in sub-regulation (1) within 30 days of  the application and must assign a site specific number for each construction site
(4) The number contemplated in subregulation (3) must be conspicuously displayed at the main entrance to the site for which the number is assigned.
(5) A construction work permit contemplated in this regulation may only be granted if;
(a) the fully completed documents contemplated in regulation 5(1)(a) and (b have been submitted;
(b) proof in writing with regard to the registration and good standing of the principal contractor as contemplated in regulation 5(1)(i) and (j) has been submitted; and
(c) proof in writing that regulation 5(1) (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h) has been complied with, has been submitted.
(6) A client must ensure that the principal contractor keeps a copy of the construction work permit contemplated in sub-regulation (1) in the occupational health and safety file for inspection by an inspector, the client and the client’s agent where authorised or an employee..
(7) No construction work contemplated in sub-regulation (1) may be commenced or carried out before the construction work permit and number contemplated in subregulation (3) are issued and assigned.
(8) The unique number issued in terms of sub-regulation (3) and (4) is not transferrable.
This section is new and relates to the above mentioned permit to work system.
[Safcec comments; The emphasis is on the Client.]

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Notification of construction work

(1) A contractor who intends to carry out any construction work other than work contemplated in regulation 3(1) shall, before carrying out that work, notify the provincial director in writing  if the intended construction work will;
(a) include excavation work;
(b) include working at a height where there is risk of falling;
(c) include the demolition of a structure; or
(d) include the use of explosives to perform construction work.
(2) A contractor who intends to carry out construction work that involves construction of a single storey domestic building for a client who is going to reside in such dwelling upon completion, must, before carrying out such construction work, notify the provincial director in writing in a form similar to Annexure 2 of these regulations.

[Safcec comments; Notification of Construction works will be issued for ‘smaller’ works that fall outside the permit to work system.]

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Duties of Client

(1) A client must;
(a) prepare a baseline risk assessment for an intended construction work project;
(b) prepare a suitable, sufficiently documented and  coherent site specific health and safety specification for the intended construction work based on the baseline risk assessment contemplated in paragraph (a);
(c) provide the designer with the health and safety specification contemplated in paragraph (b);
(d) ensure that the designer takes the prepared health and safety specification into consideration during the design stage;
(e) ensure that the designer carries out all responsibilities as contemplated in regulation 6.
(f) include the health and safety specification in the tender documents;
(g) ensure that potential principal contractors submitting tenders have made adequate provision for the cost of health and safety measures;
(h) ensure that the principal contractor to be appointed has the necessary competencies and resources to carry out the construction work safely;
(i) take reasonable steps that are necessary to ensure co-operation between all contractors appointed by the client to enable each of those contractors to comply with these Regulations;
(j) ensure prior to work commencing on site that every principal contractor is registered and in good standing with the compensation fund or with a licensed compensation insurer as contemplated in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 130 of 1993;
(k) appoint every principal contractor in writing for the project or part thereof on the construction site;
(l) discuss and negotiate with the principal contractor the contents of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in regulation 7(1), and must thereafter finally approve that plan for implementation; contractor’s health and safety plan has been approved;
(m) ensure that a copy of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan is available on request to an employee, inspector or contractor;
(n) take reasonable steps to ensure that each contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in subregulation 7(1)(a) is implemented and maintained.
(o) ensure that the periodic health and safety audits and document verification  are conducted at intervals mutually agreed upon between the principal contractor and any contractor, but at least once every 30 days;
(p) ensure that a copy of the health and safety audit report contemplated in paragraph (m) is provided to the principal contractor within seven days after the audit;
(q) stop any contractor from executing a construction activity which poses a threat to the health and safety of persons which is not in accordance with the client’s health and safety specifications and the principal contractor’s health and safety plan for the site.
(r) ensure that where changes are brought about to the design or construction, sufficient health and safety information and appropriate resources are made available to the principal contractor to execute the work safely; and
(s) ensure that the health and safety file is kept and maintained by the principal contractor as contemplated in regulation 7(1)(b).
(2) Where a client requires additional work to be performed as a result of a design change or an error in construction due to the actions of the client, the client must ensure that sufficient safety information and appropriate additional resources are available to execute the required work safely.

(3) Where a fatality or permanent disabling injury occurs on a construction site, the client must ensure that the contractor provides the provincial director with a report as contemplated in section 24 of the Act, GAR 8 and 9, and must include the measures that the contractor intends to implement to ensure a safe construction site as far as is reasonably practicable.

(4) Where more than one principal contractor is appointed as contemplated in subregulation5(1)(k) the client must take reasonable steps that are necessary to ensure co-operation between all principal contactors and contractors to ensure compliance with these Regulations;

(5) The client may, without derogating from his or her responsibilities or liabilities, appoint a competent person in writing as an agent to act as his or her representative, and where such an appointment is made the duties that are imposed by these Regulations upon a client, shall as far as reasonably practicable apply to the agent so appointed.

[Construction Designers have several  roles and accountabilities in the Construction Regulations Amendment 2013 draft.]

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Duties of contractors

1. A principal contractor must;
(a) provide and demonstrate to the client a suitable, sufficiently documented and coherent site specific health and safety plan, based on the client’s documented health and safety specifications contemplated in regulation 5(1)(b), which  will  be applied from the date of commencement of and for the duration of the construction work and which must be reviewed and updated by the principal contractor as work progresses;
(b) ensure that a health and safety file, which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations, is opened and kept on site and is made available to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or a contractor upon request;
(c) on appointing any other contractor, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act;
(i) provide any contractor who is tendering to perform construction work for the principal contractor, with the relevant sections of the health and safety specifications contemplated in regulation 5(1)(b) pertaining to the construction work which has to be performed;
(ii) ensure that potential contractors submitting tenders have made sufficient provision for health and safety measures during the construction process;
(iii) ensure that no contractor is appointed to perform construction work unless the principal contractor is reasonably satisfied that the contractor that he or she intends to appoint, has the necessary competencies and resources to perform the construction work safely;
(iv) ensure prior to work commencing on site that every contractor is registered and in good standing with the compensation fund or with a licensed compensation insurer as contemplated in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993;
(v) appoint each contractor in writing for the part of the project on the construction site;
(vi) take reasonable steps to ensure that each contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in subregulation (2)(a) is implemented and maintained.
(vii) ensure that the periodic site audits and document verification  are conducted at intervals mutually agreed upon between the principal contractor and any contractor, but at least once every 30 days;
(viii) stop any contractor from executing construction work which is not in accordance with the client’s health and safety specifications and the principal contractor’s health and safety plan for the site or which poses a threat to the health and safety of persons; and
(ix) ensure that where changes are brought about to the design and construction, sufficient health and safety information and appropriate resources are made available to the contractor to execute the work safely;
(x) discuss and negotiate with the contractor the contents of the health and safety plan contemplated in subregulation (2)(a), and must thereafter finally approve that plan for implementation;
(xi) ensure that a copy of his or her health and safety plan contemplated in paragraph (a), as well as the contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in subregulation (2)(a), is available on request to an employee, an inspector, a contractor, the client or the client’s agent;
(xii) hand over a consolidated health and safety file to the client upon completion of the construction work and must, in addition to the documentation referred to in subregulation (2)(b), include a record of all drawings, designs, materials used and other similar information concerning the completed structure; and
(xiii) ensure that in addition to the documentation required in the health and safety file in terms of paragraph (g) and subregulation (2)(b), a comprehensive and updated list of all the contractors on site accountable to the principal contractor, the agreements between the parties and the type of work being done are included and available;
(xiv) ensure that all his or her employees have a valid medical certificate of fitness,  in the form of Annexure C.

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Management and supervision

(1) A principal contractor must in writing appoint one full-time competent person as the construction manager with the duty of managing all the construction work on a single site, including the duty of ensuring occupational health and safety compliance. In the absence of the construction manager an alternate must be appointed by the principal contractor.
(2) A principal contractor must upon having considered the size of the project, in writing appoint one or more assistant construction managers  for different sections thereof, Provided that the designation of any such person does not relieve the construction manager of any personal accountability for failing in his management duties in terms of this regulation.
(3) Where the construction manager has not appointed assistant construction managers as contemplated in subregulation (2), or, in the opinion of an inspector a sufficient number of such assistant construction managers have not been appointed, that inspector must direct in writing the construction manager to appoint the number of assistant construction managers indicated by the inspector, and the provisions of subregulation (2) apply in respect of those assistant construction managers as if they were in the first instance appointed under subregulation (2).
(4) No construction manager appointed under subregulation (1) may manage any construction work on or in any construction site other than the site in respect of which he or she has been appointed.
(5) A contractor must, after consultation with the client and having considered the size of the project, the degree of dangers likely to be encountered or the accumulation of hazards or risks on the site, appoint a full-time or part-time construction health and safety officer  in writing to assist in the control of all safety related aspects on the site: Provided that, where the question arises as to whether a construction health and  safety officer  is necessary, the decision of an inspector  must  be decisive.
(6) No contractor may appoint a construction health and safety officer  to assist in the control of health and safety related aspects on the site unless he or she is reasonably satisfied that the construction health and safety officer  that he or she intends to appoint, has the necessary competencies and resources to assist the contractor.
(7) A construction manager must in writing appoint construction supervisors responsible for construction activities of different sections thereof including the duty of ensuring occupational health and safety compliance.
(8) A contractor must upon having considered the size of the project, in writing appoint one or more competent employees for different sections thereof to assist the construction supervisor contemplated in subregulation (7), and every such employee has, to the extent clearly defined by the contractor in the letter of appointment, the same duties as the construction supervisor: Provided that the designation of any such employee does not relieve the construction supervisor of any personal accountability for failing in his supervisory duties in terms of this regulation.
(9) Where the contractor has not appointed an employee as contemplated in subregulation (8), or, in the opinion of an inspector a sufficient number of such employees have not been appointed, that inspector must instruct the employer to appoint the number of employees indicated by the inspector, and the provisions of subregulation (8) apply in respect of those employees as if they were in the first instance appointed under subregulation (8).
(10) No construction supervisor appointed under subregulation (8) may supervise any construction work on or in any construction site other than the site in respect of which he or she has been appointed: Provided that if a sufficient number of competent employees have been appropriately designated under subregulation (8) on all the relevant construction sites, the appointed construction supervisor may supervise more than one site.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Risk assessment

(1) Without derogating from the Act a contractor must before the commencement of any construction work and during such construction work cause risk assessments to be performed by a competent person appointed in writing, and the risk assessments  must  form part of the health and safety plan to be applied on the site, and  must  at least include;
(a) the identification of the risks and hazards to which persons may be exposed to;
(b) an analysis and evaluation of the risks and hazards identified based on a documented method
(c) a documented plan and  applicable safe work procedures to mitigate, reduce or control the risks and hazards that have been identified;
(d) a monitoring plan; and
(e) a review plan.
(2) Without derogating from the Act a contractor must ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable, ergonomic related hazards are analyzed, evaluated and addressed in a risk assessment.
(3) A contractor must ensure that all employees under his or her control are informed, instructed and trained by a competent person regarding any hazard and the related work procedures and or control measures  before any work commences, and thereafter at the times that may be determined in the risk assessment monitoring and review plan of the relevant site.
(4) A principal contractor must ensure that all contractors are informed regarding any hazard that is stipulated in the risk assessment before any work commences, and thereafter at the times that may be determined in the risk assessment monitoring and review plan of the relevant site.
(5) A contractor must consult with the health and safety committee or, if no health and safety committee exists, with a representative trade union or representative group of employees, on the monitoring and review of the risk assessments of the relevant site.
(6) A contractor must ensure that copies of the risk assessments of the relevant site are available on site for inspection by an inspector, the client, the client’s agent, any contractor, any employee, a representative trade union, a health and safety representative or any member of the health and safety committee.
(7) A contractor must cause the relevant risk assessment to be reviewed—
(a) where changes are effected to the design and or construction work resulting in a  change to the risk profile;
(b) when an incident has occurred.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Fall protection

(2) A contractor must cause;
(a) the designation of a competent person, responsible for the preparation of a fall protection plan;
(b) the fall protection plan contemplated in paragraph (a) to be implemented, amended where and when necessary and maintained as required; and
(c) steps to be taken in order to ensure continued adherence to the fall protection plan.
(3) The fall protection plan contemplated in subregulation (1), must include;
(a) a risk assessment of all work carried out from a fall risk position and the procedures and methods used to address all the risks identified per location;
(b) the processes for the evaluation of the employees’ medical fitness necessary to work at a fall risk position and the records thereof;
(c) the programme for the training of employees working from fall risk position and the records thereof; and
(d) the procedure addressing the inspection, testing and maintenance of all fall protection equipment.
(e) a rescue plan detailing the necessary procedure, personnel and suitable equipment required to affect a rescue of a person in the event of a fall incident to ensure that the rescue procedure is implemented immediately following the incident.
(4) A contractor must ensure that a construction manager appointed under regulation 8(1) is in possession of the most recently updated version of the fall protection plan.
(5) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) unprotected openings in floors, edges, slabs, hatchways and      stairways are adequately guarded, fenced or barricaded or that similar means are used to safeguard any person from falling through such openings;
(b) no person is required to work in a fall risk position, unless such work is performed safely as contemplated in sub regulation (2)
(c)  fall prevention and fall arrest equipment are—
(i) approved suitable and of sufficient strength for the purpose for which they are being used having regard to the work being carried out and the load, including any person, they are intended to bear; and
(ii)  securely attached to a structure or plant, and the structure or plant and the means of attachment thereto are suitable and of sufficient strength and stability for the purpose of safely supporting the equipment and any person who could fall;
(d) fall arrest equipment is used only where it is not reasonably practicable to use fall prevention equipment.

(6) Where roof work is being performed on a construction site, the contractor must ensure that in addition to the requirements set out in subregulation (2) and (4), it is furthermore indicated in the fall protection plan;
(a) that the roof work has been properly planned;
(b) that the roof erectors are competent to carry out the work;
(c) that no employee is permitted to work on roofs during inclement weather conditions or if any conditions are hazardous to the health and safety of the employee;
(d) that all covers to openings and where fragile material exists  must  be of sufficient strength to withstand any imposed loads;
(e) that suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings or other similar means of support have been provided to be used in such a way that the weight of any person passing across or working on or from fragile material is supported; and
(f) that there are suitable and sufficient guard-rails, barriers and toe-boards or other similar means of protection to prevent, as far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any person, material or equipment.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Structures

(1) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) all reasonably practicable steps are taken to prevent the uncontrolled collapse of any new or existing structure or any part thereof, which may become unstable or is in a temporary state of weakness or instability due to the carrying out of construction work; and
(b) no structure or part of a structure is loaded in a manner which would render it unsafe;
(c) all drawings pertaining to the design of the relevant structure are kept on site and are available on request by an inspector, other contractors, the client and the client’s agent or employee.

(2) Owners of a structure must ensure that;
(a) inspections of that structure are carried out periodically by competent persons in order to render the structure safe for continued use: Provided that the inspections are carried out at least once every six months for the first two years and thereafter yearly, and records of such inspections must be kept and made available to an inspector upon request.
(b) the structure is maintained in such a manner that it remains safe for continued use and records of such maintenance must be kept and made available to an inspector upon request.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Temporary works

(7) A contractor must appoint in writing a temporary works designer to design, inspect and approve the erected temporary works on site before use.
(8) A contractor must ensure that all temporary works operations are carried out under the supervision of a competent person who has been appointed in writing for that purpose.
(9) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) all temporary works structures are adequately erected, supported, braced and maintained by a competent person so that they will be capable of supporting all anticipated vertical and lateral loads that may be applied to them, and that no loads are imposed onto the structure that the structure is not designed to withstand;
(b) the temporary works structures are done with close reference to the structural design drawings, and where any uncertainty exists the structural designer should be consulted;
(c) detailed activity specific drawings pertaining to the design of temporary works structures are kept on the site and are available on request by an inspector, other contractors, the client, the client’s agent or any employee;
(d) all persons required to erect, move or dismantle temporary works structures are provided with adequate training and instruction to perform those operations safely;
(e) all equipment used in temporary works structure are carefully examined and checked for suitability by a competent person, before being used;
(f) all temporary works structures are inspected by a competent person immediately before, during and after the placement of concrete, after inclement weather or any other imposed load and at least on a daily basis until the temporary works structure has been removed and the results have been recorded in a register and made available on site;
(g) no person may cast concrete, until written authorization has been given by the competent person contemplated in paragraph (a);
(h) if, after erection, any temporary works structure is found to be damaged or weakened to such a degree that its integrity is affected, it is safely removed or reinforced immediately;
(i) adequate precautionary measures are taken in order to;
(i) secure any deck panels against displacement; and
(ii) prevent any person from slipping on temporary works due to the application of release agents;
(j) as far as is reasonably practicable, the health of any person is not affected through the use of solvents or oils or any other similar substances;
(k) upon casting concrete, the temporary works structure is left in place until the concrete has acquired sufficient strength to support safely its own weight and any imposed loads and is not removed until written authorization has been given by the competent person contemplated in paragraph (a);
(l) the foundation conditions are suitable to withstand the loads caused by the temporary works structure and any imposed loads in accordance with the temporary works design.
(m) provision is made for safe access by means of secured ladders or staircases for all work to be carried out above the foundation bearing level;
(n) a temporary works drawing or any other relevant document includes construction sequences and methods statements;
(o) the temporary works designer has been issued with the latest revision of any relevant structural design drawing;
(p) a temporary works design and drawing  will  only be used for its intended purpose and for a  specific portion of a construction site;
(q) the temporary works drawings are approved by the temporary works designer before the erection of any temporary works.

(10) No contractor is to use a temporary works design and drawing for any work other than its intended purpose.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Scaffolding

(1)  A contractor must ensure that all scaffolding work operations are carried out under the supervision of a competent person who has been appointed in writing for that purpose and that all scaffold erectors, team leaders and inspectors are competent to carry out their work.

[Safcec comments; see section 44 of the Act.]

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Suspended platforms

(11) A contractor must ensure that all suspended platform work operations are carried out under the supervision of a competent person who has been appointed in writing for that purpose, and that all suspended platform erectors, operators and inspectors are competent to carry out their work.
(12) No contractor may use or permit the use of a suspended platform, unless;
(a) the design, stability and construction thereof comply with the safety standards incorporated for this purpose into these Regulations under section 44 of the Act;
(b) he or she is in possession of a certificate of system design issued by a professional engineer, certificated engineer or a professional technologist for the use of the suspended platform system; and
(c) he or she is, prior to the commencement of the work, in possession of an operational compliance plan developed by a competent person based on the certificate of system design contemplated in subparagraph (b) and applicable to the environment in which the system is being used, which operational compliance plan must include proof of the;
(i) appointment of the competent person contemplated in subregulation (1);
(ii) competency of erectors, operators and inspectors;
(iii) operational design calculations which should comply with the requirements of   the system design certificate;
(iv) performance test results;
(v) sketches indicating the completed system with the operational loading capacity of the platform;
(vi) procedures for and records of inspections having been carried out; and
(vii) procedures for and records of maintenance work having been carried out.
(13) A contractor making use of a suspended platform system must submit a copy of the certificate of system design contemplated in subregulation (2)(b), including a copy of the operational design calculations contemplated in subregulation 2(c) (iii), sketches and test results, to the provincial director before commencement of the use of the system and must further indicate the intended type of work that the system will be used for.
(14) A contractor must submit a copy of the certificate of system design in the manner contemplated in subregulation (3) for every new project.
(15) A contractor must ensure that the outriggers of each suspended platform;
(a) are constructed of material of adequate strength and have a safety factor of at least four in relation to the load it is to carry; and
(b) have suspension points provided with stop devices or other effective devices at the outer ends to prevent the displacement of ropes.
(16) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) the parts of the building or structure on which the outriggers of a suspended platform are supported, are checked by means of calculations to ensure that the required safety factor is adhered to without risk of damage to the building or structure;
(b) the suspension wire rope and the safety wire rope are separately connected to the outrigger;
(c) each person on a suspended platform is provided with and wears a body harness as a fall prevention device, which must at all times be attached to the suspended platform;
(d) the hand or power driven machinery to be used for the lifting or lowering of the working platform of a suspended platform is constructed and maintained in such a manner that an uncontrolled movement of the working platform cannot occur;
(e) the machinery referred to in paragraph (d) is so situated that it is easily accessible for inspection;
(f) the rope connections to the outriggers are vertically above the connections to the working platform; and
(g) where the working platform is suspended by two ropes only, the connections of the ropes to the working platform are of a height above the level of the working platform to ensure the stability of the working platform.

(17) A contractor must ensure that a suspended platform;
(a) is suspended as near as possible to the structure to which work is being done to prevent as far as is reasonably practicable horizontal movement away from the face of the structure;
(b) is fitted with anchorage points which workers shall attach the lanyard of the safety harness worn and used by the worker and such anchorage connections shall have sufficient strength to withstand any potential load applied to it; and
(c) is fitted with a conspicuous notice easily understandable by all workers working with the suspended platform, showing;
(i) maximum mass load;
(ii) maximum number of persons; and
(iii) maximum total mass load including load and persons   which the suspended platform can carry.

(18) A contractor must cause;
(a) the whole installation and all working parts of a suspended platform to be thoroughly examined in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification;
(b) the whole installation to be subjected to a performance test as determined by the standard to which the suspended platform was manufactured;
(c) the performance test contemplated in paragraph (b) to be done by a competent person appointed in writing with the knowledge and experience of erection and maintenance of suspended platforms or similar machinery and who must determine the serviceability of the structures, ropes, machinery and safety devices before they are used, every time suspended platforms are erected;
(d) the performance test contemplated in paragraph (b) of the whole installation of the suspended platform to be subjected to a load equal to that prescribed by the manufacturer or, in the absence of such load, to a load of 110 percent of the rated mass load, at intervals not exceeding 12 months and in such a manner that every part of the installation is stressed accordingly.

(19) A contractor must, in addition to subregulation (8), cause every hoisting rope, hook or other load-attaching device which forms part of the suspended platform to be thoroughly examined in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification by the competent person contemplated in subregulation (8) before they are used every time they are assembled, and, in cases of continuous use, at intervals not exceeding three months.

(20) A contractor must ensure that the suspended platform supervisor contemplated in subregulation (1), or the suspended platform inspector contemplated in subregulation (8)(c), carries out a daily inspection of all the equipment prior to use, including establishing whether—
(a) all connection bolts are secure;
(b) all safety devices are functioning;
(c) all safety devices are not tampered with or vandalized;
(d) the total maximum mass load of the platform is not exceeded;
(e) the occupants in the suspended platform are using body harnesses which have been properly attached;
(f) there are no visible signs of damage to the equipment; and
(g) all reported operating problems have been attended to.

(21) A contractor must ensure that all inspection and performance test records are kept on the construction site at all times and made available to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or any employee upon request.

(22) A contractor must ensure that all employees required to work or to be supported on a suspended platform are;
(a) medically fit to work safely in a fall risk position or such similar environment by being in possession of a medical certificate of fitness;
(b) competent in conducting work related to suspended platforms safely;
(c) trained or received training which includes at least;
(i) how to access and egress the suspended platform safely;
(ii) how to correctly operate the controls and safety devices of the equipment;
(iii) information on the dangers related to the misuse of safety devices; and
(iv) information on the procedures to be followed in the case of an emergency; malfunctioning of equipment; and discovery of a suspected defect in the equipment; and instructions on the proper use of body harnesses.

(23) A contractor must ensure that where the outriggers of a suspended platform are to be moved, only persons trained and under the supervision of the competent person effect such move, within the limitation stipulated in the operational compliance plan contemplated in subregulation (2)(c) and that the supervisor  must  carry out an inspection and record the result thereof prior to re-use of the suspended platform.

(24) A contractor must ensure that the suspended platform is properly isolated after use at the end of each working day in such a manner that no part of the suspended platform presents a danger to any person thereafter.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Rope Access Work

(25) A contractor shall;
(a) appoint in writing a competent person as a rope access supervisor with the duty of supervising all rope access work on the site, including the duty of ensuring occupational health and safety compliance in relation to rope access work. Provided that the appointment of any such person does not relieve the construction manager of any personal accountability for failing in his management duties in terms of this regulation.
(b) Ensure that all rope access work on the construction site is carried out under the supervision of a competent person.
(c) Ensure that all rope access operators are competent and licensed to carry out their work.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Power tools

(1) No contractor may use or permit any person to use an explosive powered tool, unless;
(a) the user is provided with and uses suitable protective equipment;
(b) the user is trained in the operation, maintenance and use of such a tool;
(c) the explosive powered tool is provided with a protective guard around the muzzle end, which effectively confines any flying fragments or particles; and
(d) the firing mechanism is so designed that the explosive powered tool will not function unless;
(i) it is held against the surface with a force of at least twice its weight; and
(ii) the angle of inclination of the barrel to the work surface is not more then 15 degrees from a right angle.
(2) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) only cartridges suited for the relevant explosive powered tool and the work to be performed are used;
(b) an explosive powered tool is cleaned and examined daily before use and as often as may be necessary for its safe operation by a competent person who has been appointed for that purpose;
(c) the safety devices of an explosive powered tool are in proper working order prior to use;
(d) when not in use, an explosive powered tool and its cartridges are locked up in a safe place, which is inaccessible to unauthorized persons;
(e) an explosive powered tool is not stored in a loaded condition;
(f)  a warning notice is displayed in a conspicuous manner in the immediate vicinity wherever an explosive powered tool is used;
(g) the issuing and collection of cartridges and nails or studs of an explosive powered tool are;
(i) controlled and done in writing by a person having been appointed in writing for that purpose; and
(ii) recorded in a register by a competent person and that the recipient has accordingly signed for the receipt thereof as well as the returning of any spent and unspent cartridges.

(26) A contractor must, in addition to compliance with the Driven Machinery Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 533 of 16 March 1990, ensure that where tower cranes are used—
(a) they are designed and erected under the supervision of a competent person;
(b) a relevant risk assessment and method statement are developed and applied;
(c) the effects of wind forces on the crane are taken into consideration and  that a wind speed device is fitted and provides the operator with an audible warning when the wind speed exceeds the design engineer’s specification;
(d) the bases for the tower cranes and tracks for rail-mounted tower cranes are firm, level and secured;
(e) the tower crane operators are competent to carry out the work safely; and
(f) the tower crane operators are medically fit to work in such an environment by being in possession of a medical certificate of fitness.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Vehicles and mobile plant

(27) A contractor must ensure that all construction vehicles and mobile plant;
(a) are of an acceptable design and construction;
(b) are maintained in a good working order;
(c) are used in accordance with their design and the intention for which they were designed, having due regard to safety and health;
(d) are operated by person who;

(i) have received appropriate training, are certified competent and in possession of proof of competency and are authorised in writing to operate those construction vehicles and mobile plant;
(ii) when operating on public roads, complies with the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No. 93 of 1996); and
(iii) are medically fit to operate those construction vehicles and mobile plant by being in possession of a medical certificate of fitness;
(e) have safe and suitable means of access and egress;
(f) are properly organized and controlled in any work situation by providing adequate signaling or other control arrangements to guard against the dangers relating to the movement of vehicles and plant, in order to ensure their continued safe operation;
(g) are prevented from falling into excavations, water or any other area lower than the working surface by installing adequate edge protection, which may include guardrails and crash barriers;
(h) are fitted with structures designed to protect the operator from falling material or from being crushed should the vehicle or mobile plant overturn;
(i) are equipped with an acoustic warning device which can be activated by the operator.
(j) are equipped with an automatic acoustic reversing alarm; and
(k) are inspected on a daily basis using a relevant checklist prior to use by the authorised operator or driver and the findings of such inspection are recorded in a register kept in the construction vehicle or mobile plant.

(28) A contractor must ensure that;
(a) no person rides or be required or permitted to ride on a construction vehicle or mobile plant otherwise than in a safe place provided thereon for that purpose;
(b) every construction site is organized in such a way that, as far as is reasonably practicable, pedestrians and vehicles can move safely and without risks to health;
(c) the traffic routes are suitable for the persons, construction vehicles or mobile plant using them, are sufficient in number, in suitable positions and of sufficient size;
(d) every traffic route is, where necessary, indicated by suitable signs;
(e) all construction vehicles and mobile plant left unattended at night, adjacent to a public road in normal use or adjacent to construction areas where work is in progress, have appropriate lights or reflectors, or barricades equipped with appropriate lights or reflectors, in order to identify the location of the vehicles or plant;
(f) all construction vehicles or mobile plant when not in use, have buckets, booms or similar appendages, fully lowered or blocked, controls in a neutral position, motors stopped, wheels chocked, brakes set and ignition secured;
(g) whenever visibility conditions warrant additional lighting, all mobile plant are equipped with at least two headlights and two taillights when in operation;
(h) tools, material and equipment are secured and separated by means of a physical barrier in order to prevent movement when transported in the same compartment with employees provided that vehicles used to transport employees have seats firmly secured and adequate for the number of employees to be carried; and
(i) all construction vehicles or mobile plant traveling, working or operating on public roads comply with the requirements of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996.

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Electrical installations and machinery on site

(1) A contractor must, in addition to compliance with the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009, promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 242 of 6 March 2009, and the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 1988, promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 1593 of 12 August 1988, respectively, as amended, ensure that;
(a) before construction commences and during the progress thereof, adequate steps are taken to ascertain the presence of and guard against danger to workers from any electrical cable or apparatus which is under, over or on the site;
(b) all parts of electrical installations and machinery are of adequate strength to withstand the working conditions on construction sites;
(c) the control of all temporary electrical installations on the construction site is designated to a competent person who has been appointed in writing for that purpose;
(d) all temporary electrical installations used by the contractor are inspected at least once a week by a competent person and the inspection findings are recorded in a register kept on the construction site; and
(e) all electrical machinery is inspected on a daily basis using a relevant checklist prior to use by the authorized operator or user and the inspection findings are recorded in a register kept on the construction site.

(1) A contactor must, in addition to compliance with the provisions for the use and storage of flammable liquids as determined in the General Safety Regulations promulgated by Government Notice No. R. 1031 of 30 May 1986, as amended, ensure that;
(a) where flammable liquids are being used, applied or stored at the workplace concerned, it is done in a manner that does not cause a fire or explosion hazard, and that the workplace is effectively ventilated;
(b) no person smokes in any place in which flammable liquid is used or stored, and the contractor must affix a suitable and conspicuous notice at all entrances to any such areas prohibiting such smoking;
(c) an adequate amount of efficient fire-fighting equipment is installed in suitable locations around the flammable liquids store with the recognized symbolic signs;
(d) only the quantity of flammable liquid needed for work on one day is taken out of the store for use;
(e) all containers holding flammable liquids are kept tightly closed when not in actual use and, after their contents have been used up, are removed from the construction site and safely disposed of;
(f) where flammable liquids are decanted, the metal containers are bonded and earthed; and
(g) no flammable material, including cotton waste, paper, cleaning rags or similar material is stored together with flammable liquids.

Construction Regulations 2013 draft; Employee facilities

[Showers are only a requirement after consultation with employees or their representatives.]

Construction health and safety technical committee

(1) The chief inspector must establish a construction health and safety technical committee which must consist of;
(a) a person who  is to  be the chairperson;
(b) two persons designated by the Director-General of the Department of Labour from the employees of that Department;
(c) two persons to represent the Department of Public Works, one each designated by the Built Environmental Council and the Construction Industry Development Board;
(d) one person to represent Higher Education in the field of Construction and related studies designated by the Director General of the Department of Higher Education;
(e) one person designated by the South African Property Owners Association;
(f) two persons designated by employer’s organizations to represent employers who are directly involved in the construction industry  from civils and  building.
(g) two persons designated by employees organizations to represent the unions who are directly involved in the construction industry;
(h) one person to represent  Consultants who are directly involved in the construction industry: and
(i) persons who are knowledgeable about the matters to be dealt with by the Committee who have been co-opted by the Committee with the authorization of the chief inspector.

(2) The chief inspector must appoint the members of the Construction Health and Safety Technical Committee for the period that he may determine at the time of appointment: Provided that the chief inspector of occupational health and safety may discharge a member at any time, for reasons that are fair and just, and appoint a new member in his or her place.

(3) The Construction  Health and Safety Technical Committee must;
(a) advise the chief inspector of occupational health and safety on construction related codes, standards and training requirements: Provided that any accredited or approved training must be in accordance with South African Qualifications Authority standards;
(b) designate persons in writing to examine safety systems and safety records of companies who have high incident rates and provide recommendations to the chief inspector of occupational health and safety on the findings;
(c) make recommendations and submit reports to the chief inspector of occupational health and safety regarding any matter to which these regulations relate;
(d) advise the chief inspector of occupational health and safety regarding any matter referred to the Construction Regulations Technical Committee by the chief inspector of occupational health and safety;
(e) perform any other function for the administration of a provision of these Regulations that may be requested by the chief inspector of occupational health and safety;
(f) conduct its work in accordance with the instructions and rules of conduct framed by the chief inspector of occupational health and safety; and
(g) refer appeals against decisions of the  Construction Regulations Technical Committee to the chief inspector of occupational health and safety.

(4) A person affected by any decision of the Construction Health and Safety Technical Committee may appeal against such decision to the chief inspector of occupational health and safety within 30 days of such decision becoming known and the decision of the chief inspector  will  be final and binding.

Construction Regs 2013 draft; Approved Inspection Authority (AIA)

(1) The Chief Inspector may approve as an Inspection Authority any organisation that has   been accredited in terms of the provision of the Act and these Regulations.

(2) The Approved Inspection Authority will perform its functions as prescribed by the guidance document issued by the Department of Labour for Approved Inspection Authorities performing work in the construction sector.

(3) The Chief Inspector may at any time withdraw any approval granted to an approved inspection authority, subject to section 35 of the Act.

  • The above is an extract from the Construction Regulations Amendment draft as circulated by the SA Department of Labour and industry bodies in November 2013. It is not a complete draft text, and not yet promulgated. Current Construction Regulations remain in effect until amended by the Government Gazette.
  • Visitors are welcome to comment to the DOL, SACPCMP, Master Builders, Safcec or Sheqafrica.com. Use the COMMENT window below the RELATED POSTS window.

PHOTO: Safcec occupational health and safety manager James Flint.

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Edmond Furter

Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.

4 thoughts on “Construction Regulations 2013

  1. Firstly I categorically object to the poor journalism displayed through the above article. The above is not what I wrote for this website, and has been copied and pasted from a guideline document I created, for SAFCEC members, in such a way that looses any correlation to my original works. I object to the manner in which the above misconstrues the intentions and wording of my original ‘guideline document’. Furthermore the manner in which this has taken place has made me question the integrity of people in the profession and makes me question if the person who has taken it upon themselves to do this is operating for the betterment or detriment of health and safety?

    Editor replies; James, you wrote in your circular that you acted as an agency of the Department of Labour, in gaining industry comments on the Construction Regulations Amendment draft. Since your circular was the only source of the current form of this controversial document, and part of a controversial process followed by the DOL health and safety advisory council, ACOHS, and of considerable public interest, it is public domain.
    We did you the courtesy of identifying you and including some of your comments, which appear to carry some extra weight with the legislator. The draft legislation speaks for itself, but you are welcome to guide us non-engineers in greater detail from your position of privilege.

  2. Please send me a draft of these updated regulations (construction and mining).

    Editor replies; SA Construction Regulations amendment draft, and Mining Health and Safety amendment draft, are posted on Sheqafrica.com. They are both 2012 documents, that may be promulgated in 2013.

  3. It would be interesting to see what the [Construction Regulations] Annexures look like.
    I don’t quite know if the numbering is in line with the Regulations, because construction vehicles and mobile plant is under section 21, not 27.
    I hope someday that power tools will have it’s own subsection, as they are not explosive power tools, and do not quite fit in under Electrical Installations either.
    I’m glad they are looking at the client and the consultant and not expecting the contractor to be the only responsible party.

  4. Query from Johann Botes; If a landlord is responsible for maintenance of the building, fire extinguishers and such, what responsibility as tenant do I have, regarding the landlord’s contractors working on property that I rent? In terms of the OHS Act, do they need to submit a safety file to the tenant also?

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