How to manage construction health and safety appointments

Construction managers must serve only one site at a time, manage health and safety appointments, and remain liable, along with CEOs.

Johann Potgieter asked; Construction Regulations 8(1) appointments are heavily debated in our company. Can a construction manager be appointed in terms of CR 8(1) for more than one project, on different sites?

The Construction Manager is the captain of the project, registered with the engineering council or the likes, as an Engineer or PrEng. He manages both projects entirely.

Refer also to sections CR 8(4) and CR 8(10). How do we interpret the wording “for a single site” in CR 8(1) and CR 8(4)? Is a site a physical location? -Johann Potgieter.

Construction appointments are site-specific

Lawyer Natalie Graaff answered; A construction manager in terms of Construction Regulation 8(1) is appointed for a “single site” as you noted.

This means the appointee can only carry this appointment for one site at a time, and not be appointed as construction manager for multiple sites.

Clearly the intention of this provision is to ensure that the manager is on site every day. A single site means a single physical location. -Natalie Graaff.

Construction health and safety appointments and registration differ

Construction health and safety registration applicants have noticed that the SACPCMP designations and scoring, differ from the scope of services in the Construction Regulations 2014.

Jurgen of Cape Town had asked Master Builders KZN Safebuild forum; The understanding of the designations [of construction health and safety officials] as per SACPCMP, does not appear to coincide with the wording or interpretation of the Construction Regulations. -Jurgen.

Neels Nortje of Master Builders KZN /DOL Acohs /Saiosh /Iosh SA had replied; In my opinion there is no need to compare definitions or titles from one Act with another.

A construction health and safety officer during a job observation. Their typical roles are to advise line managers based on system management, audits and data. (Photo; Sheqafrica.com)
A construction health and safety officer during a job observation. Their typical roles are to advise line managers based on system management, audits and data. (Photo; Sheqafrica.com)

Laws always add, never subtract

Lawyer Shavanya Subramoney commented that the SACPCMP is not established in terms of the Construction Regulations or the OHS Act, but under the Project and Construction Management Act, therefore the requirements differ.

Legal requirements that arise from the Construction Regulations are more specific to issues of occupational health and safety and public safety.

The SACPCMP is established to protect the public in terms of construction and project management. Registration with the SACPCMP is only relevant where a permit for construction work is required, as per Construction Regulation 3.

Requirements set by the SACPCMP could not be lower than requirements set by the Construction Regulations or the OHS Act.

The OHS Act and its Regulations set minimum requirements to comply with, to which the SACPCMP could only add.

shavanya subramoney

The rule of thumb regarding legislation that sets different requirements, is to follow the stricter level. All relevant legislation requires compliance, it is not a choice of one or the other. -Shavanya Subramoney.

Construction health and safety managers do not have to register

Sheqafrica.com noted; Regarding the query on the registration of various appointees with an engineering body “or the likes”, Construction Managers or Project Managers have to register as such with SACPCMP if they work on certain state projects.

Construction Health and Safety Managers are not required to register with the SACPCMP, only CHS Agents and, controversially, CHS Officers, would be required to register to work on certain projects. No other registrations are required.

See a list of all construction legal appointments, and the conditions that activate these appointments, in the health and safety law update of May 2015 on Sheqafrica.com, or the table ATTACHED below this article.

Electrical Installation Regulation 9 requires Testers and Master Electricians to register with the DOL as Accredited Persons (see the form ATTACHED below this article).

They have to state their statutory training and other qualifications, and pay R120 once off by way of a Revenue stamp (Form LAB 398E). Asbestos handlers are registered as AIAs with the DOL. -Edmond Furter.

How health and safety appointments are managed

Consultant Rudy Maritz had commented; The Project and Construction Management Professions Act (PCMP Act) of the Department of Public Works is a higher form of law thatn the Construction Regulations. However all legislation requires compliance.

The Construction Manager, in the PCMP Act and in the Construction Regulations, manages and co-ordinates, among other things, the Construction Health and Safety Manager, or CHS Officers, who act as consultants to management.

Regarding functions, the Section 16(2) appointment remains compulsory in the view of some health and safety auditors, who should be educated where it does or does not apply in construction.

The Construction Manager is appointed at principal contractor level, and there should be only one on site, unless there are two principal contractors reporting to the Client. Many other contractors are unfairly penalised for not appointing a Construction Manager.

Incident investigations and prosecutions typically look at responsibility and accountability. Section 37(1) of the OHS Act and section 332 of the Criminal Procedures Act places the duty of care on the CEO.

Where the CEO cannot provide sufficient reasons why (s)he should not be held liable, the buck stops there. DOL investigators will look at mainly two criteria; where the law places the duty and thus liability; and whether this duty was reasonably performed, as a reasonable person would.

The Construction Regulations 2014 creates joint liability, shared by the CEO and the Construction Manager. The latter has the strict duty to appoint assistants as the workload dictates.

It would thus be prudent to investigate how the Construction Manager performed the (b) part of the functions, that is, managing health and safety on site.

The regulations therefore requires the Construction Manager to have “reasonably sufficient” knowledge of health and safety to be able to manage and co-ordinate it.

The Construction Manager usually has to appoint a Construction Health and Safety Manager, but that appointment does not remove the responsibility from himself.

Whether the Construction Manager could be a Construction Health and Safety Manager, or the other way around, depends on competence in terms of the Construction Regulations responsibility, and the SAPCMP scope or services for the site or project.

If a CHSM is competent to manage the construction processes from Stage 3 onward, he or she could be the CM.

Sources; Sheqafrica.com. Rudy Maritz. Safebuild.

Attachment; Construction LEGAL APPOINTMENTS table by Hlela

Attachment; Legal electrical Application for an accredited person with DOL

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11 thoughts on “How to manage construction health and safety appointments

  1. Hi,I am employed by a large roof sheeting contractor. We have many teams working on different construction sites and typically one Contracts Manager will manage about five different sites at a time. Do I need to appoint a CR 8.1 Construction Manager? At the moment we appoint the Contracts Manager as the Sec16.2 and we appoint a CR8.7 and CR8.8. How do I comply with Construction Regulation 8?

  2. Does the principal contractor have to do safety induction to his contractors’ CEO, section 16.2, and other directors? The contractor told me if I don’t give the management a safety induction, they won’t build a safety file for the the work that was given to them.
    Their workers on site have already had a safety induction. A decision made by my s16.2. As far as I know the CEO and the 16.2 are already bound by legislation, I don’t know what their problem is, if I called the shots I would not use them anymore, but my s16.2 overrides me and talked to him. I give them the same health and safety specs that the client wants from us as the principal contractor.

  3. Hennie asked: Is it legal to carry more than one appointment in construction? We are a small company and they have appointed me on various contracts at various sites, as Safety Officer, Risk Assessor, First Aider, and Incident Investigator. Could I get in trouble with the law? As I can only get to some of the sites maybe twice a week, because I am the only one in the company that runs Sheq. Overloaded, or just underpaid!?

    In reply to the above question, there is nothing overtly preventing you from holding more than one appointment. However, you have to be able to discharge all your duties when necessary. It is impossible for one person to discharge all those functions correctly for various reasons, one of them being time. You cannot act as an incident investigator and first aider at the same time without compromising one or both of your functions. Therefore, it is not the correct H&S practice for you to hold all those appointments at the same time. It is my view that the employer must re-look at the appointments in terms of fulfilling his obligation in terms of Section 8 of the OHS Act.

  4. Hi, we are an Engineering company who provides engineering services and advise to our client. We do not perform any physical construction work, the only work we do perform in terms of the Construction Regulations 2014 is working at heights where there is a risk from falling, therefor we submit a NOC to the Dept. of Labour.

    Our team based on site, exists out of four personnel at the most. What I would like to know is, the appointments in terms of the Construction Regulations, when should I appoint a Construction Manager, an assistant construction manager and a construction supervisor.

    I have contacted the DoL on numerous occusions to try and get some clarification regarding the appointment letters, but to no success.

    If you could please maybe provide some guidance in terms of the appointments. At the moment we have appointed a construction manager and a construction supervisor.

    1. Hi Melissa. If you take a look at Regulation 8(2), it states that you must consider the size of the project before appointing an assistant construction manager. Therefore, considering the size of your operations, you must determine whether it is necessary to appoint an assistant construction manager (which you probably know the answer to already).

      The appointment of a construction manager and construction supervisor are compulsory (which you already have in place). Just remember that these appointments must be made in writing and must be specific to each project. Also make sure that the appointed people have the correct competencies.

      I hope that this provides you with some clarity.

  5. I noted in the write up the following: Construction Health and Safety Managers are not required to register with the SACPCMP, only CHS Agents and, controversially, CHS Officers, would be required to register to work on certain projects. No other registrations are required.

    I have registered under this category with no remarks about this from SACPCMP? Is there something that I missed here?

  6. Are small contractors allowed to appoint ONE person as the CR8(1) and CR8(7)?
    Under CR8(1) it stats; “A principle contractor must…” We are the principle contractor. Must our subcontractors appoint their own CR8(1)? As I see it they are a principle contractor within their own capacity.
    As I understand my structure, the Section 16(1) appoints the Section 16(2), who then appoints the CR8(1), who then appoints the rest of the required appointments. Is this structure correct?

  7. Hi Geraldine, Logically, if the Construction Manager must appoint your CR8(7), then the CR 8(1) and the CR8(7) cannot be the same person. There are very few compulsory appointments in the CR8 but those are 2 of them.

    Your sub-contractors do not need to have a CR8(1) appointment. There can only be one principal contractor per project and if you contract work further, those people become sub-contactors. There is nothing prohibiting them, however, from making an 8(1) appointment.

    You structure is correct thus far, but remember there are some appointments that must be made by the Construction Manager and some that must be made by the principal contractor or contractor. This tells us that any authoritative figure (who represents the employer) may make those appointments.

    I trust that you find this useful.

  8. We are a construction company who build low cost housing in rural areas of KZN. We are the principal contractor on site. Is it a requirement for our Health and Safety Officer to register with SACPCMP or is it sufficient that the Client has someone who is registered?

    1. Wayne, your reference is Construction Regulations 8(5) and 8(6). CR 8(5) requires that a contractor (PC or C) must appoint a part-time or full-time health and safety officer.

      From 6 August 2015 the requirements of CR 8(6) comes into effect, the appointed health and safety officer referred to in CR 8(5) will have to be registered with the SACPCMP.

  9. In the TV /AV industry, where they install TVs and projectors in boardrooms etc, what do you need [in terms of Construction Regulations appointments]? We are talking about at most a three-man team doing the installation, and a project manager that oversees the project and does the QA afterwards. The installation team is most of the time a subcontractor, but sometimes in-house technicians are used, based on project size.
    Does the TV /AV industry fall under construction? They do use ladders, get into ceilings, etc.

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