How to get a Construction Regulations exemption

Construction employers, contractors and maintenance contractors, may ask for Construction Regulations exemption.

The general threshold for obtaining a Construction Work Permit is for work involving R13m, or 180 days, or 1800 man-days, or a CIDB grading of Level 6. Applications have to state the registration numbers and cellphone numbers of Health and Safety Agents.

About 400 concurrent construction sites in South Africa require Work Permits. Inspectors are currently in training on enforcing the Construction Regulations, and will be using a new data system.

DOL told Sasol and its contractors at a conference in Midrand that employers may ask for exemption from the CR by a submission to the relevant DOL provincial office, motivating how workers and the public are protected on their site.

Provincial inspectors would visit the site and add their recommendation to the submission that is sent to DOL head office in Pretoria.

Consulting body NIOCCSA advise certain categories of employers to apply for Construction Regulations exemption from some of the requirements of registration, and from the appointment of a Construction Manager for each single site.

Labour inspectors may not stop work

Labour inspectors may stop work only if they find life-threatening conditions or operations, or the risk of serious health impacts on workers or the public.

The power to issue a prohibition notice is limited to actual life-threatening activities or operations. They do not have the power to stop an entire site or factory if only one process is high risk.

A site was recently brought to a halt when an inspector issued a Prohibition Notice on finding five workers not wearing hearing protection. Inspectors may stop work in noise zones if hearing protection was not provided, to resume as soon as workers in the noise zones (above 85dB) are issued with PPE.

DOL said Labour inspectors first issue a Prohibition Notice, and have to approach the Chief Inspector, Thobile Lamati. They may also issue a Contravention Notice that the employer has to follow to rectify exposure to specific hazards or risks.

The time of a follow-up inspection is stated in Contravention Notices. Employers, inspectors and the court have to follow the principle of reasonable practicality that is enshrined in the law.

The legal period to comply is 60 days, but some inspectors give notice of a period of 30 days. Employers also have 60 days to appeal to the Chief Inspector in writing, by stating grounds for appeal.

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12 thoughts on “How to get a Construction Regulations exemption

  1. Great!!!
    So all those on the Red List of the Consultant Advisory against whom investigations were completed can now simply apply for exemption and continue to reject safety files of contractors because they know nothing about safety?
    This seems to be the new way of creating business for consultants – reject the file done by your competitor and offer to fix it at R8 000.
    Contractors are desperate for work and yet the cycle of abuse continues.

  2. Exemptions in terms of H&S law in South Africa is not unique or specific to a set of regulations or an industry. Any employer, no matter what industry or sector, may apply for an exemption. This article is misleading, exemptions it is not a special arrangement for the new CR’s. What is strange is to see that NIOCCSA now promote the exemption of CHSA consultants.

    1. What a joke, chit-chat forum spearheaded by know it all Shields and marketing platform of non-accredited body NIOCCSA.

      1. Oh boy but you do hold “accreditation” in high regard. I take it you are not a member of any professional or voluntary association as none of them are SANAS accredited. None of them are ANSI accredited or SABS approved. None of them are UN accredited. and so the list of Non-accreditation goes on and on and on.
        But there is this ONE superbody – SAQA – if you do not have their accreditation you are worthless?
        I may not know all, but I sure as hell know a lot more than you think.
        Now let me show you something.
        SAQA accredits non-profits as professional bodies.
        SAIOSH is a closed corporation – not a section 21
        IoSM is a closed corporation – not a section 21
        Do you think they are non-profits?
        SAQA accreditation is thus not credible.
        My word, even the government bodies does not comply with the PFMA.
        So what value does “government” accreditation have?????????????
        Answer me that, Spartacus!

  3. Craig
    You should attend some of my training courses in “how to read with understanding”.
    Where in this article do you see NIOCCSA promoting exemption of CHSA consultants?
    The article isn’t misleading, but there is something wrong with the nerve connecting your eyes and brain.
    As the Parker appointed Poster Boy of NIOCCSA, let me point out that NIOCCSA in another post on the topic was questioning the reasoning for registration of officers and managers if it open to exemption. I have to ask this too, as the whole idea of registration was to regulate the “competence” of these persons. By applying for exemption the incompetent ones (not eligible for registration) can continue to practice?
    What Spartacus did get right this time is that exemptions are nothing new.

  4. Good Day All,

    Exemptions in this case should not be for the full duration of the project. As the trend is towards risk based systems, realistic time frames to still comply should be set. If IDLH conditions are present, exemption of no sort should be given, this would be in contravention of the Constitution.

    Hopefully sense would prevail


  5. Perhaps the question on exemptions should be clarified a bit more.
    The DOL confirmed on Tuesday that each project requiring a construction permit will be judged on merit and the DOL will issue a permit if they are satisfied that the appointed agent is registered. As to the question of Manager / Officer status, the risks and duration of the project will indicate the need for such an appointment.

    In response to Craig Parker’s comment, NIOCCSA does not promote exemptions of any sort, but we did advise certain industries, such as telecoms, to apply for exemption of the restrictive requirements for “site bound” appointments, “site specific” H&S Specifications etc, as certain sites are constructed in one or two weeks, and are mostly of generic design.

    We still foresee major issues with Client appointed agents, despite registration, as there is a general lack of understanding of the basic legal requirements and it is a common trend that agents make their own rules and force contractors at own cost to comply with requirements the law does not impose.

    As for the registration of officers (CHSO) and managers (CHSM) we question the necessity of these categories of registration as it will only result in the bending of rules for registration as the majority does not meet the minimum requirements of the SACPCMP. Where the law imposes restrictive practices, such as minimum entry requirements for entry into a specific job market, it becomes null and void. Firstly because it is unlawful under the Competition Act, and secondly, it goes against the grain of the Constitution. For all sensible reasons, it can only be imposed from this day forward, but not in retrospect.

    In response to Peter
    I would rather not make this a personal issue. We do appreciate your support, but kindly refrain from resorting to insults to make a case for NIOCCSA. I do believe that we have by now , despite negative perceptions, established various relationships with international bodies and this in itself speaks volumes for the South African practitioners and we will continue to enhance the status and market value of our members.

    Finally, in response to Hannes
    The Consultant Advisory is a record of suspended and deregistered practitioners. It is established for the purposes of advising clients, employers and other consulting firms to perform a proper assessment of the listed person prior to engagement / employment. It is not an instrument to prevent people to practice. If an employer wants to appoint a suspended / deregistered person, it is their prerogative.
    Most listed practitioners are merely acting in bad faith, disregarding proper conduct / protocols or does not have the proper qualifications for the rate they charge. You can read more about the CA on our website.

    I tend to side with Shane and hope that sense would prevail.

  6. Mense, mense, mense. Come on now, play nicely. We all know South Africa is corrupt – how was this ever not going to effect health and safety? I wonder if there is any evidence of DOL guys taking bribes – it wouldnt surprise me.

    So now, we are back to fighting over which start up H&S membership are the best. (I include IOSM in the start up, because you would think that in 60 odd years they would have moved on from being a one man band working from a garage) . Come on now. Koos will put his money where is teeth are – I will not support any south african membership scheme at the way this fighting is going on. Very unprofessional. I will go to USA, UK or Australia or even Canada first – and theny if that isnt good enough I would be speaking to somewhere in scandinavia or ze germans. And the funny thing are, in Souf Africa, there is still arguing in the languange of H&S over regulation 6(5)(a)(iii) says this and there are these interpretations for that. Come on – a good H&S guys don’t even need the laws. He can just sommer do everything anyway in excess of the law. The law are a minimum standard – stop scraping the barrel and read some science!

    1. Koos you cannot include IoSM in startups. According to FSPBusiness, Ray is currently a SHE Risk Management Consultant (specialising in construction) and administrator for six professional OHS bodies. He owns his own safety consultancy, is Executive Director of Safety First Association and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Safety Management (IoSM).
      Which one is the start-up?

  7. Koos
    The law is the minimum standard? I think not. This approach is only for those who do not understand the law. For example, the law says you must do a risk assessment. Right?
    But it does not say which protocol you must use, or how it should look like. And that is what some are fighting over. Your risk assessment is wrong, mine is better and the law only sets the minimum standard. The law does in fact not set standards. It only imposes duties.
    Now Koos, why would anyone with cognitive ability want to do more than what the law requires?
    Because of the generality of the law, and the lack of understanding thereof those who cannot win an argument based on their legal skills opt for mantra’s like these.
    Run to the US if you wish and see if the CFR’s are any less ambigious than the Safrican OHSAct. It might be far more prescriptive, but setting best practices are still reserved for the competent safety professional.
    Have you ever thought of the fact that support for professional bodies are low because there are no supporters? Perhaps their standards are too high? Perhaps it is just too much hassle to fill in their membership forms? Yes, if after 60 years you are only a one man band, perhaps, but the start-ups are gaining momentum and that includes SAIOSH, despite their set-back with IOSH. There are many ways to look at this. It depends on what you want to see.
    But I always try something first before I jump to conclusions. It is much like not liking sushi, even if you never tasted it.
    Some are just opposed to the idea in general and depriving themselves of the experience.
    Why you do not want to support any SA body is understandable, as you are not here. You sit in the UK and do not experience what we do on a daily basis. You only experience what you read, based on your own state of mind.
    Try putting yourself in the position of those who do not know if they will be able to eat at the end of the registration process.
    As you know, the best rugby players are on the stand. And the guys on the field do not know anything about real rugby.
    There is an interesting debate on LinkedIn on the validity of the statement “All Accidents are preventable”. Now there are hundreds of views and opinions and disagreements from people those countries you mentioned.
    “And the funny thing are, in Souf Africa, there is still arguing in the languange of H&S”

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