Construction health and safety registration and inspection duplicated

The SA Construction Regulations of 2014 set up duplicate private structures for health and safety registration, training validation, and site inspection.

SACPCMP professional construction health and safety registration will be enforced on HS Agents (and HS Managers and HS Officers according to some interpretations and the intention of the DOL and Registrar, see contradictory Comments) from August 2015.

However four voluntary bodies also offer professional registration, and their designations are accepted as “highly advantageous” for gaining some CPD points in meeting the new competency criteria.

Training authorities duplicated

The SACPCMP is rolling out validation of health and safety training courses, recognition of prior learning (RPL), videos and exams for continued professional development (CPD), as well as workshops on how to register, however five or six voluntary bodies are accredited or recognised for various training, information and advocacy functions; SAIOSH, IOSM, SAIOH, ACHASM, BBCBE, NUM, Master Builders, SAFCEC, some others, and perhaps soon an engineering council too.

The statutory SA Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) was officially appointed as the construction health and safety registration agency of the Department of Public Works and the Department of Labour on 10 February 2014, but is itself using consultants such as CPD on Demand, Joep Joubert and others for some of these functions.

Various training validation functions of the NQF, Setas, SAQA, QCTO, NLRD and others, as well as training delivery, assessment, listing and ‘qualification’ functions by accredited providers and universities, and mentoring functions of employers, are thus duplicated in the new proliferated regime.

Construction inspectors duplicated

The Department of Labour inspectorate is appointing specialised construction principal inspectors and will get an even larger budget in the new financial year, however Labour minister Mildred Oliphant and chief inspector Thobile Lamati are also setting up a Construction Health and Safety Technical Committee to “advise on construction codes, standards, training” and “to designate persons to examine safety systems and records of companies with high incident rates.”

These designated contracted inspectors would charge fees. The draft amendment at first aimed at setting up an independent private agency to levy its own fees, and the new committee may yet develop into a body similar to the UK’s HS Executive (HSE).

Their names will soon be announced. They are expected to be drawn from the technical committee of the ACOHS that wrote and re-wrote the Construction Regulations Amendment over the last eight years, such as IOSM registrars Ray Strydom and Joep Joubert, SAIOSH registrar Neels Nortje, a SAIOH member, Master Builders official Doug Michell, academic Prof John Smallwood, Prof Nkado, SAFCEC’s James Flint, ACHASM’s Anton Krause, and new black empowerment consulting forum BBCBE’s G Mofokeng.

Fees duplicated

Among the many changes in the Construction Regulations Amendment of 2014, launched in Boksburg by a joint Labour and Public Works conference, emerged a range of privatised options, running parallel to state functions. Several voluntary and non-profit bodies, formerly run by nominal ‘volunteers’, have gained some legal sanction and revenue leverage.

Most construction health and safety practitioners and their employers now face mild initial re-training costs, and significant registration costs.

Construction health and safety officer registration fees

R____? initial training
R____? gap training to meet criteria
R 182 SACPCMP application, project report, essays
R 342 SACPCMP exam
R 171 SACPCMP registration
R1890 SACPCMP certificate
R ___ CPD on Demand workshop on how to gain points
R1100 CPD on Demand videos and online exams
R 500 VAT
R4182 +? TOTAL

CPD process fees are annual. Fees for assessment and moderation of HS Managers and HS Agents are all significantly higher, on the order of R1558, R795, R2662, and include interview fees of R2570, and may include RPL on the order of R7000. Changing registration level also incurs some fees.

SACPCMP registration enforced by inspectors

State contracts would be first to enforce SACPCMP construction health and safety registration on contractors. State employers starting with Eskom would prepare their practitioners for registration.

Work stoppages may involve scrapping or temorarily removal of he names of relevant construction health and safety practitioners from registration.

State inspections of private projects would check on registration and black economic empowerment via employment equity. Labour and Public Works inspectors would co-operate on state projects, using a contractor grading system that would now include health and safety skills.

SACPCMP continued professional development (CPD) workshop dates aimed at project managers or health and safety practitioners are; Feb 13 KZN, Feb 21 Polokwane, March 3 Bloemfontein, March 7 Kimberley, March 10 Mmabatho, March 12 East London, March 13 Port Elizabeth, March 20 Nelspruit.

Health and safety salaries to be fixed

Salaries and wages of construction health and safety practitioners, who total about 3500, or 2% of the workforce in the sector, may soon be fixed by scales linked to registration levels.

ACHASM said it had applied for recognition by the SACPCMP, but would remain a voluntary body, not a registrar, and would provide training to some of the build environment professionals at higher levels, such as engineers who function as construction health and safety Agents or Managers.

“We are not lowering training standards, but there is a construction health and safety skills shortage”, said Labour officials at the launch.

Universities said they would add dedicated health and safety modules to graduate courses relevant to construction.

• See a post on SACPCMP registration criteria for their various designations on

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25 thoughts on “Construction health and safety registration and inspection duplicated

  1. Dear Ed,

    “SACPCMP professional construction health and safety registration will be enforced at all levels from August 2015,”

    In terms of the new construction regulations the appointment of a construction health and safety officer is not compulsory. The regulations also do not require the appointment of construction health and safety manager. It is therefore not correct to say that registration will be enforced at all levels.

    1. Perhaps off topic, but CR5(7) (new) does not specify the categories for an agent either. It simply says the agent must be registered. Not registered as Agent or Manager or Officer leaving it open to court ruling. Logic will dictate the agent must be registered as such, but if the task only warrants an Officer to act as agent, the regulation does not directly prohibit it.
      Even here the appointment is not compulsory unless a Construction Permit is required.

      Notably a few errors exist in the regulations. For one, it does not apply to single storey dwellings for owners, yet notification to the DOL applies? CR4(2)
      The maintenance portion in the old defintion of construction work, were relocated to the definition of structure. Thus making no change at all in the interpretation of the definition of construction work.
      Who appoints the assistant Construction Manager? the Contractor or the Construction Manager? Both has the duty in terms of CR8(1) and (3) respectively.

      1. ” For one, it does not apply to single storey dwellings for owners, yet notification to the DOL applies? CR4(2)”
        Even I can make mistakes. After reading it again, the regulations applies to single storey dwellings as well, except CR 3 (permits) and 5 – Duties of Client.

        Quite interesting now, is that the appointed contractor in this case needs to comply with the regulations in the absence of a Client specification and Baseline Risk assessment, approved H&S plan and not subject to client audit.

    2. Good day Sir,
      Thank you so much for the feedback you always share with the community. My question is how can one access such registration process in order to comply with the deadlines as indicated.

  2. I agree with Neels, but “A contractor must, (after consultation with the client and having considered the size of the project, the degree of danger 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 health and safety related aspects on the site:”

    I think it would be unwise to accept that a construction site has such a low risk that a H&S officer will not be needed. It would be unwise not to register. We all know how the industry can get “carried away” with administrative requirements. My advice to all CHSO’s is to register immediately, and not wait until the deadline.

  3. Stop! Stop! Ek is ‘n Safety Kop.

    What qualifications does this new private eye Principal Inspecter Oke require other than being a card carrying member of a certain political party wif green and yellow in its flag? That will be a license to print money.

    1. “My advice to all CHSO’s is to register immediately, and not wait until the deadline.” – I agree.

  4. And might I add, the HSE in the UK is a govermental organisation with limited scope to charge fees for intervention, it is certainly not a license to print money. They can;t just go in and charge, they have to find something wrong first – its not gone down very well I does believe, but HSE are trying it and I’m sure many companies shut up and pay because they doesn’t want the hassle of having to fight it further – but here is the catch, paying that bill could be admitting guilt which can be used against you later . But what does ole Koos know? I can tell you all that ole Koos was in a meeting just this last week wif a HSE Principal Inspector. Mr Duvenhage can get around alright.

  5. “Salaries to be fixed”

    At present not many persons are qualified in both occupational health “and “Occupational Safety”, two salaries?. What about the environmental issues, some even do ISO9000 etc.
    As consultants should we charge for both? It is well known the “Occupational Health” services cost more, does the academic background dictate the fees, e.g. engineer, health and safety person, industrial hygienist?

    I believe that there must be a baseline fee, but a free market system must prevail


    1. Hi Shane
      The medical profession (doctors) have a nice formula to calculate their rates. But in general a SHEQ consultant, doing all the above, can calculate their hourly rate by dividing the monthly salary of an employed person by the available consulting hours. For instance, if a SHEQ Manager is on a CTC Package of R45000 pm it equates to R259.81 per hour.
      A consultant should then also add the business overheads such as rent, office administration, insurance, PII, etc. Let’s say this amounts to R15 000pm. Thus adding R86,60 per hour. It would thus be fair to pay a mid-level consultant around R360 per hour. Consultants cannot charge different rates for different disciplines, unless each discipline is managed by a specialist. SHEQ Consultants are generalists, not specialists.
      Also, the available consulting hours are not equal to 8 hours a day, as travelling and office admin (Not report writing) normally takes up some of the 8 hours. Unless of course you arrive on site at 7am and leave at 5pm, taking only an hour lunch and doing your admin between 5pm and 9pm.

      1. Hi Rudy,

        Thanks for the breakdown. I can quite safely say that when I was still “plying my trade” in South Africa over 3 years ago, I was contracted to a multinational, who provided professional services to larger organisations in South Africa, I was then charged out at R850 per hour to the client, guaranteed 45 hours per week, for over two years. I received R550 per hour, without any overheads really.

        So as you say for a mid-level consultant this would be fine. The problems arise however for the specialist, who works in higher risk areas of construction e.g. petrochemical, upstream and downstream. Would a fixed rate be applicable. In my mind it would not, so pegging rates is extremely problematic.


      2. Shane
        Personally, I do not believe pegging of rates are within the spirit of free enterprize, and most likely a form of price fixing.
        What I do believe is that the market (business clients) are not informed about the variety of competencies needed to offer top advice. If you take the legal fraternity for instance, lawyers with successful defense records in class action civil suits are worth more than the average defense attorney in drunk driving cases. Do they have different qualifications? Not in most cases. There is a minimum entry requirement and requirements to appear in the three levels of court. Their rates differ to what they are capable of achieving.

        It is the same with SHEQ practitioners – the only difference is that there is no track-record to fall back on. Would I work as a Safety File construction company for R360 an hour? Yes, anyone can make a (health and) safety file as it is currently used. Would I appear as expert witness for the defense in the Tongaat Mall Enquiry for R360 an hour? Hell no!
        But how to keep track of what rate applies to what service, requires a full time assistant, which most hardly can afford.

        In Construction, the CHSA’s will soon have to learn to do a BOQ to submit with their invoice, but for the rest of the consultants, its a simple R x H = Pay.
        The Top Notches are not perceived to be worth more than the oversupplied.

  6. According to the 2014 regs a safety officer ( section 8 (6) ) will be required to be registered already (once gazetted?)and not in 18 months time as only sections 3 and 5(7)(b) are given 18 months grace as per section 34 (2).

    There seem to be some serious errors in the new regs.

    1. Yes, I see the same issue. Would this be an oversight by ACOSH? Or a deliberate intention?

      1. Neels, do I understand you correctly, that as from 7 February 2014 all CHSO’s must be registered and they do not have 18 months to comply? Because this exactly what the regulations state. CR 5(7) only applies to agents, and is the only regulation besides CR3 that has 18 months grace period.

      2. That is how the Minister has promulgated it, yes. Even though registration has been a requirement since 1 August 2013 for CHS Officers, the DoL IES has been instructed by the CI to be “Reasonable Practicable” in applying the letter of the law. Whilst you and I made the effort to register last year the Construction Industry’s SO’s ignored to do so and that is the problem. Like you said in a previous post they need to get registered without delay.

  7. An Abortion at best! The whole process with the new regulations have been driven by the Construction Industry under the CBE. Yet, when I read the definition and scope of application, I see the telecommunications industry in there.
    “the construction, erection, alteration, renovation, repair, demolition or dismantling of or
    addition to a building or any similar structure”
    “structure” means-
    (a) any building, steel or reinforced concrete structure (not being a building), railway line or siding, bridge, waterworks, reservoir, pipe or pipeline, cable???(surely it should have meant aerial cableway?), sewer, sewage works, fixed vessels (tanks), road, drainage works, earthworks, dam, wall, mast, tower, tower crane, bulk mixing plant, pylon, surface and underground tanks, earth retaining structure or any structure designed to preserve or alter any natural feature, and any other similar structure;
    (b) any falsework, scaffold or other structure designed or used to provide support or means of access during construction work; or
    (c) any fixed plant in respect of construction work which includes installation, commissioning, decommissioning or dismantling and where any construction work involves a risk of a person falling;
    And if a building is not a building, its a building? WOW!!! that is scientific!! No wonder it took them 7 years to get it promulgated.
    Seriously, when is a building a building and when is it a structure, which includes a building?
    And a question for the designers…how do you design the construction of a cable? Steel or fibre? Do you have to inspect the cable every six months for the first two years? Is the cable underground? Do you have to excavate a trench every six months to inspect the cable?
    Did Safety Officers write this?
    Did intelligent people write this?
    I think there’s an Oliphant under my bed, is that a fall risk? Thank goodness falling out was not included. My wife would be pissed off if I had to do a fall risk assessment every night.

    1. Hi,

      Well said. I had a call from a friend a few days ago who asked the very same question. This regarded boilers and refurbishment of them together with associated structures” e.g. piping, supports etc. His engineers viewed this as “not civil ” so no need to comply.

      Interesting times ahead


  8. Hi,

    emailed SACPCMP some five days ago requesting info…….no response, not even an acknowledgement that they have received my email


    1. Shane,

      What info do you need? All the info is on their website. Application forms, criteria, proforma forms everything you need to apply. I had no problems with my application, they responded timorously, no hassle what so ever.

      1. Hi Neels,

        Exactly what we discussed telephonically, inquiring about the status of my application


  9. What I would like to know is how to change the legal appointments of the 6.1 and 6.1?? Specifically pertaining to the ‘CONTRACTOR’ not the ‘PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR’
    Reg 8.1 – construction manager
    Reg 8.2 – Assistant construction manager – both appointed by the principal contractor.
    Reg 8.7 – The construction manager appoints Construction supervisors – still principal contractor
    Reg 8.8 – The contractor appoints assistants to construction supervisors appointed by the principal contractor

    Is this making any sense to anyone? or have I totally missed the point?

    1. Yes and No.
      It makes sense, and no you did not miss the point.
      The Principal needs to appoint a 8.1 and 8.2. CM and Asst CM This duty is not applicable to the contractor.
      The CM then appoints the supervisors (who may be employees of the Contractor).
      The Contractor then appoint employees to assist the supervisor.
      The purpose of this three levels of appointments is to establish proper distribution of supervisory duties.
      On smaller projects, this is however a major compliance issue.

      1. Adding to that, it also establish a reporting structure, as most contractors do not have onsite managers due to their size. In this case, the regulations allows for the PC to appoint people employed by the contractor, reporting directly to the PC appointed CM.
        Always remember that it terms of H&S law, where a person’s salary comes from, has absolutely no relevance, unless it specifically state that the appointee must be an employee. Read the regulations carefully. You can find a competent person needs to be appointed, or in some cases, like SHE Reps, a fulltime employee must be appointed. In the case of a person, it could also be a company (as a juristic person). A good example is CR29(h) a fire equipment inspector.
        SANS1475 and the SAQCC sets standards for the inspection, maintenance and testing of FFE. Does that happen to be applied? Nope. We appoint anybody on site to do a visual inspection. And we send this person on a Fire Fighting Course. Not an approved course for the inspection of FFE prescibed by the SAQCC.
        For some odd reason someone somewhere decided these inspections must be done daily. Hence the short-cut.
        The law allows for the out-sourcing or contracting certain H&S functions to others, like H&S Consultants, tool hire etc.
        Section 37(2) will then apply and not Section 37(1).

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