A Construction Regulations exemption postpones the whole amendment to August 2014, and postpones health and safety Agents’ SACPCMP registration to August 2015.
Construction Clients have to appoint a health and safety Agent, required by the amended Construction Regulation 5 (7) (a) to “manage the health and safety on a construction project for the client, and (b) be registered with a statutory body approved by the Chief Inspector [the SACPCMP] as qualified to perform the required functions.” Their registration is postponed to August 2015.
The exemption also postpones the new Construction Regulation 3 (Application for a construction work permit) to August 2015, and re-instate the previous regulations.
The amended regulations were “pushed through by stakeholders” and to “fulfill performance requirements” of the minister and DOL officials. Among the stakeholders are the Council for the Built Environment (CBE), civil engineering body Safcec, registrar SACPCMP, Master Builders, and three voluntary health and safety associations offering voluntary registration.
The voluntary bodies and Master Builders were instrumental in drafting the amendment during the last four years. SAIOSH registrar Neels Nortje is also a member of the Labour minister’s advisory council, ACOHS, and works at Master Builders.
IOSM leader Ray Strydom met with DOL officials 50 times to “represent” health and safety practitioners, and IOSM executive member Joep Joubert is a consultant to the SACPCMP.
SACPCMP is the only statutory construction health and safety registrar, but it “recommends” and grants 5 CPD points for membership of the three voluntary associations, among which ACHASM is dedicated to construction health and safety.
Distinction between the legally sanctioned SACPCMP, and the voluntary bodies could become blurred. SAIOSH have offered to assist with assessment of the health and safety skills of applicants, while SACPCMP could then only do the final construction-related skills assessment.
The health and safety bodies want to register practitioners working in other industries, in anticipation of a similar blanket requirement for registration to be enforced, or at least supported by the DOL, under an OHS Act amendment in future.
A string of objections against the initial draft of the Construction Regulations Amendment two years ago, and against recognition of IOSM, managed to postpone but not avert the sectoral, partial, duplicated and expensive registration enforcement, that now appears to have encountered practical or administrative problems as well.
Construction health and safety officers are supposed to have registered with SACPCMP already since last year, but have not. Construction health and safety managers may have to register later. Legal opinions on the amendment and the DOL’s letter apointing the SACPCMP, indicate that they do not have to register.
No other industry requires health and safety registration. Most employers evaluate and appoint practitioners on their training qualifications and experience.
Subject to these legal grey areas, clients and principal contractors now require proof of registration of OHS practitioners in tenders and contracts, but do not specify the level of registration required. Some appointees register at the lowest level just to meet new tender requirements.
Consultants comment on CR postponement
Consulting body Nioccsa executive member Rudy Maritz commented in his private capacity; “The postponement comes as no surprise. The DOL was led by the nose into the promulgation of a set of regulations that is riddled with compliance issues. They could fix the mistakes with proper advice.
“The SACPCMP now has six months to get construction HS Officer and HS Manager registrations sorted. The permit system and HS Agent registration is unaffected, the deadline remains 18 months after promulgation.
“Current construction projects could run until completion under the former regulations, up to 6 August 2015. We will now see a dual system of compliance at companies who have projects on both sides of the deadline.
“The 2014 regulations needs quite a bit of panel-beating to align it to the market. It applies not just to the construction Industry, but to construction work within any industry.
“The DOL should revisit some of the regulations, such as the definition of Construction work, the Scope of application, and the definition of Competent person. There no need to make a fool of yourself twice.
“The DOL needs new advisors. IoSM still clings to the traditional parallel system, running health and safety as a separate management function.
“There is also possible conflict of interest with the SACPCMP code of conduct in that Neels Nortje serves SAIOSH and Master Builders and ACOHS. Which cap does he wear when advising the Labour minister on the ACOHS?
“NIOCCSA adopted a policy document after DASH received a number of complaints from contractors on the conduct of consultants, which resulted in the decline of 1300 applications for NIOCCSA Accredited Professional status.
“Part of the problems identified is the consultant’s lack of understanding of their authority in terms of the new regulations as appointed Agents. This policy document also incorporates the requirements of two international standards; EN16114 and CWA16275.
“The SACPCMP criteria for Agent registration are not completely aligned to the OFO 2013 for professionals. There is also misalignment of the SANQF with the European EQF and the UK’s NVQ.
“With more foreign involvement in infrastructure development, and entities such as the Green Building council coming to the party, the 2014 Construction Regulations does not adequately address the issues of Agents and their required competencies. SACPCMP registration should be the minimum, not the ultimate.”
Construction Regulations exemption 2015 text
Department of Labour Government Notice R [unnumbered] of March 2014, titled “NOTICE REGARDING APPLICATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS 2014, under the OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, regarding the CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS of 2014” reads;
“Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Thobile Lamati, chief inspector, grants these temporary exemptions in terms of section 40 of the Act:
1. All construction works where physical construction started after 7 February 2014, must comply with the Construction Regulations 2003, and are exempted from the Construction Regulations 2014 until 7 August 2014. Thereafter the Construction Regulations 2014 shall apply, with the exception of Regulation 3 and 5 (7)(b) which will come into effect on 7 August 2015, 18 months after the commencement of the Regulations.
“2. All construction works where physical construction had started on or before 7 February 2014 must comply with the Construction Regulations 2003, and are exempted from the Construction Regulations 2014 until 6 August 2015 and thereafter the Construction Regulations 2014 shall apply.”
• See the full text of the Construction Regulations 2014, and several articles and comments about its implications, on Sheqarica.com
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