Construction health and safety registration exemptions to 2016

The DOL accepts SACPCMP applications as construction health and safety registration exemptions. Construction permit exemptions are based on project cost.

Current SACPCMP registration applicants will receive interim construction health and safety registration exemption verification letters on 3 August, to exempt their employers for a year, up to 31 July 2016, provided that the required fees were paid, and requried documents were submitted.

Projects of more then R130-m now require construction permits. Only about 300 projects are expected to require permits for the rest of the year, and then the level will be lowered, reports Edmond Furter from a DOL /SACPCMP seminar at Emperors Palace on 9 July 2015.

[] Permits for projects above R130-m, or CIDB level 9, are required now, from 7 August 2015.
[] Permits for projects above R40-m, or CIDB level 8, would be required from 7 February 2017.
[] Permits for projects above R13-m, or 365 days, or 3600 person days, would be required from 7 August 2018.

The earlier requirement as promulgated, would have stopped work on many sites, for lack of DOL capacity to process the permit applications required in the Construction Regulations Amendment, and for lack of the newly required registered CHS Agents and Officers.

The permit exemptions, and registration verification letter exemptions, will be officially published in July 2015. Other health and safety laws apply as usual.

DOL construction safety head Phumi Maphaha told Sheqafrica.com that construction health and safety practitioners must already be competent, in terms of the SAQA unit standards, based on training, skills, and experience.

CHS practitioners should also have already registered by 2014, strictly speaking, however the DOL inspect and prosecute based on competence, as defined by the Construction Regulations and the SACPCMP (see another post on differences between the scopes of service, on Sheqafrica.com).

There are several registration enforcement points for CHS Agents and CHS Officers, not just the permit phases, said Maphaha.

Some employers have already been prosecuted for lacking competent construction health and safety appointees. These are based “on the merits of each case”.

The SACPCMP said it has only one registration assessor, and uses some voluntary assessors via voluntary associations.

More assessors are welcome, even if they are not yet registered. Assessors are trained by SACPCMP contractors.

The DOL and SACPCMP have already conducted 24 workshops or seminars on how to apply for construction health and safety registration.

Construction health and safety Agents have applied in “sufficient numbers”, however at a slow pace. There are said to be 3856 applications, however another official said there were 2500 applications. Twelve applicants are eligible for writing registration exams, the rest are “in process”.

Most applications lack payment of some of the relevant fees; or lack proof of experience; or have submitted poor or plagiarised experience reports; or await SACPCMP capacity.

SACPCMP hints at health and safety training

The SACPCMP has identified some skills gaps between the scope of services, and popular safety degrees or OHS courses, and will “create training modules” at CHS Manager level.

The resulting “skills interventions”, probably a training course or video-based CPD module, will be announced later.

Any training initiative may place the SACPCM in conflict with the SAQA policy on professional bodies, that prevent registrars from offering training related to the designations they sell.

The DOL appointed the SACPCMP as Registrar in 2014, backed by the other built environment professions, and by voluntary OHS bodies. The second round of construction health and safety registration exemptions were announced in 2015.
The DOL appointed the SACPCMP as Registrar in 2014, backed by the other built environment professions, and by voluntary bodies. The second round of construction health and safety registration exemptions were announced in 2015.

Some CHS practitioners abuse the law

Some candidate construction health and safety Agents and Officers, or members of group applications, are using their SACPCMP correspondence to pose as CHS Agents or Officers. Some use false names.

Some SACPCMP registration candidates misrepresent the law by falsely implying that they have to be hired for the employer to comply, said the DOL.

[UPDATE FROM THE SACPCMP WEBSITE;] Construction health and safety registration exemptions, labelled registration verification letters, are issued on the SACPCMP website, and are proteced by ae QR code to verify the details on the letter.

“When this QR code is scanned with QR Code scanning software loaded on any smartphone, the ID number as well as the name and surname of the applicant is displayed.

“The details must be an exact match to what appears on the letter. This is an additional security measure to verify the details of the applicant online. When this QR code is scanned the surname of the applicant is displayed.

“A pre-loaded URL in the QR software will direct the inspector to the online search facility. The scanned surname can then be pasted into the online search box and the details of the applicant can be independently verified.” [-END OF UPDATE]

Meanwhile the DOL and SACPCMP are forming a construction health and safety task team to be announced in November 2016. The move could give effect to an earlier plan to form an autonomous safety inspection body as in the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with wide powers.

Master Builders sell electronic law enforcement

The Master Builders Associations (MBAs) will launch electronic construction law enforcement software in August 2015, named the CoC OHS-IT platform, to be sold at about 0.1% of project value, said MBA official Doug Michell.

The MBs have been developing the law enforcement smartphone application for four years, and will train construction companies how to use it.

The Department of Labour welcomed the CoC OHS-IT self-enforcement initiative as “exciting”, and said that enforcement was a government, business and labour joint initiative.

The system verifies individual SACPCMP construction health and safety registration details, permit details, audit reports, whether auditors were on the audited site according to GPS data, medical certificates, and other compliance checks, on companies and contractors.

Michell said the burden of Construction Regulations Amendment implementation is thus spread to business, by self-regulation, in real time, to support the DOL. The new system enables audits and inspections.

The CoC OHS-IT software is named after the term ‘Certificate of Competence’ as used in some technical crafts.

Some CHS registration exams are written at MBA offices, and volunteer interview panellists are flown to provincial offices.

DOL deputy director of inspection and enforcement, Aggy Moiloa, said construction compliance hovered around 50%. Her speech was read at the conference by another DOL official, who noted that mining seemed to be generally safer.

Judging by compensation claims, only steel workers sustain more injuries than construction workers.

Several presenters mentioned concrete slab collapses and other engineering and procurement issues as pressing reasons for professionalising construction health and safety practice, while critics have pointed out that only CHS Agents may have some insight and influence on these issues, and CHS officers have none.

“Collapses are due to lack of competent health and safety skills in design, construction, and handover, including management and supervision of health and safety,” said DOL construction safety head, Mphumi Maphaha.

Construction health and safety registration BEE plans

Construction health and safety registration applicants are 95% white and 5% black, said the SACPCMP registrar, Nomvula Rakalote. The SACPCMP had started a student registration chapter, as well as a mentoring scheme for black CHS workers.

The DOL and some voluntary associations also have health and safety micro enterprise and BEE programmes to “rectify” the racial data.

A black health and safety institute was announced last year, where the DOL announced the appointment of the SACPCMP as designated CHS registrar.

The Competition Commission (CC) is somehow involved in the racial issue that the SACPCMP raised at the registration conference.

However the CC has also received complaints against the construction health and safety registration scheme, for restricting access to work by raising barriers to health and safety practitioners at small enterprises that cannot afford registration.

Safety registration seminar was ‘consultation’

The DOL /SACPCMP health and safety registration exemption workshop changed into a kind of consultation session when visitors were asked to ‘represent’ their organisations, and to make recommendations.

The DOL also added “resolutions” to the agenda, “to get consensus and buy-in”. These “resolutions” remained unstated, to be circulated later.

Among the recommendations were;
[] Combine permits for construction, engineering, and other work.
[] Inspectors should register with the SACPCMP.
[] Ask the contractors’ body CESA to appoint and recognise construction health and safety Agents as professionals, with suitable powers, to prevent a disconnection between their designations and functions.
[] List the names of registered construction health and safety Agents.
[] Compensate health and safety practitioners who paid various registration fees in anticipation of the August 2015 deadline.
[] Standardise the cost of hiring registered construction health and safety Agents.
[] Allow CHS officers to work under registered CHS Agents.
[] Allow organisations such as consulting companies to act as CHS Agents, provided one of the consultants is a CHS Agent.
[] Construction contracts should cite health and safety costs.
[] Present more free DOL workshops with CPD points, of two days duration (the half-day seminar carried only two CPD points).
[] Make a guidance video on the registration process.

Recommendations would be considered for possible inclusion in the DOL Construction Regulations 2014 guidelines for implementation. The guidelines are already six months overdue.

Some proposals at the DOL /SACPCMP seminar came from DOL ACOHS members, MBA members, and SACPCMP council members themselves.

Further recommendations on implementation of all the aspects of the Construction Regulations Amendment, and health and safety registration exemption, are welcome by email to the DOL or SACPCMP, where the DOL ACOHS and the SACPCMP health and safety task tem would consider them, or via Sheqafrica.com in the Comment window below.

Construction permit exemptions to 2017, 2018

Construction permit applications require three documents; construction health and safety specification; HS plan with timeframes; and baseline risk assessment, as in Annex 1, 2, and 3.

DOL officials, however, check 17 documents before issuing a construction permit, including registration of the CHS Agent, if applicable.

DOL officials say they check project values against CIDB ratings, to reveal attempts to evade permit applications by dividing costs.

Single storey developments of high value will be added to the projects requiring permits, and the focus will shift to smaller projects later.

Notification of construction work, and construction permit applications should be sent to derrick.claase@labour.gov.za or to the DOL provincial office.

About 200 documents sent to the DOL head office are considered ’lost’ every month.

Permit applications are free, but applicants may be charged a fee later in the implementation process.

* Sources; DOL. SACPCMP. MBA North. MBA KZN. SAFCEC. Sheqafrica.com.
* The DOL is reviewing the General Safety Regulations, and may move some generic work, such as work at height, from the Construction Regulations, and into the GSR.
* The DOL is also reviewing the OHS Act.

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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.

39 thoughts on “Construction health and safety registration exemptions to 2016

  1. So they got egg on their faces! Hehehe. “There shall be no further exemptions,” was the famous words uttered by the DOL at their SAAIOS conference in November 2014. Bhwahahahaha!
    Sorry, but I am trying to stay in my chair laughing too much.
    Refund! Hehehe lekker man lekker!
    And from uitstel kom afstel. Now we are on the right track. So uncle Joep, here is option 7 – Scrap the crap! Let this stupid idea go once and for all. I had to read this article twice. I guess there are a few people who can say “I TOLD YOU SO”.

    ==== Editor notes; Many practitioners predicted some sort of exemption. However it is clear from the Regulations, from government, state, corporate and volutary ‘institutional’ policy statements, reported earlier, and from this report, that the professionalisation donkey is here to stay. They were in indecent haste to ‘let the bodies run’, as the bodies wanted, in return for selling out health and safety to the agendas of construction employers and government.
    We will have to find ways to work with various albatross bodies around our necks. They will become more, and heavier each year. An exodus from construction health and safety would not help. The trojan horse, or Greek ‘gift’ of professionalisation of heatlh and safety officers, and thus of employees, shall follow us into other sectors. Just to make the DOL, government, employers, autie Nomvula and the other board members look good, and to spread legal and reputational liability for incidents.
    There is much at stake. From the dates to be promulgated, they will blame the health and safety officer, because he was there, and he had signed up to be professional.
    We have warned the affected parties, but only about 265 added their names to the protest. Some are fooled by the false idea of quick gain by buying a CASHCOW designation; some are just intimidated by their employers and the government’s donkey drivers; and most are silent as usual. Some egg on the DPW, many bad eggs for us to dodge.
    The exemption I would like to see, is to remove registration of health and safety officers, at employee level, from the Construction Regulations. Let consultants and Agents register as they seem to have asked. -Edmond Furter

  2. The editor must have taken a nap during the DoL /SACPCMP seminar. Application for permits will still commence on 7 August 2015.
    Deadline for registration with SACPCMP remains 7 August 2015. There were no provisions made for application via DoL for registration exemption verification letters.

    ==== Editor notes; Applications for construction permits “should have started 30 days prior to 7 August 2015,” but for the next year, the new permit requirements apply only to projects over R130-m. Please correct me if that date is wrong.
    Construction health and safety registration will also be enforced by private inspector Doug ‘Cleausseau’ Michell with his smart Master Builders cellphone.
    The interim letters, that apply for the next year, are actually not exemptions, but proof that the relevant applicants are ‘in process’. You may recall that the DOL /SACPCMP called for a round of lukewarm applause for the exemptions, when they did not hear the expected “sighs of relief”. Some registration early birds were unhappy that they will not get the expected unfair jump ahead in the job queue, now that all applicants will get a magic letter.
    Either way, we await the DOL’s Government Notice in black and white. Or perhaps another shade of grey.

  3. Edmond was to busy watching the aunties and uncles around him. Permit application and registration deadlines did not change. It is still with effect from 7 August 2015 and not 2016 as reported above. The CHS Officer is not linked to project values it is applicable to all projects.
    You cannot apply for exemption registration letters from the DOL, as reported above, it will automatically be issued by the SACPCMP.

    ==== Editor notes; The registration enforcement date applies to employers, since they will be required to hire registered people. The deadlines and exemptions therefore also apply to employers. Issuing ‘exemption’ letters to practitioners therefore is a kind of interim competency qualification, or Brownie point, to enable the files of their employers to ‘comply’ to a missed goalpost.
    The construction permit is a DOL enforcement mechanism, therefore peprmits and registration are linked at least in this respect. The role of the Master Builders private compliance cum enforcement system in enforcing hiring of registered people, is a grey ‘enforcement collaboration’ area.
    Even if all of the about 3000 applicants are deemed provisionally competent (by the magic wand of uncle Joep, and the magic cellphone of uncle Doug), many sites would inadvertently operate in contravention.
    This shortfall would apparently be covered partly by phases of selective enforcement, and partly by applicants signing off on the CHS work of those formerly deemed competent (now demoted by the magic Joep wand and magic Doug phone). Or signing off by members of consultants who have an applicant among them. Or who know an applicant.
    Thank you for pointing out that applicants need not apply for proof of their applications, I will make that correction in the report. The DOL had applied for the letters on behalf of applicants. -Edmond Furter

    1. Dear Ed, there are more corrections to be made in your report but I will leave it up to you to figure out what it is, you are after all the award winning editor. In the interest of “safety” your readers should rather refer to reports that are more reliable. Even Danny’s interpretation is more accurate.

      ==== Editor notes; Thank you, I called Phumi Maphaha and confirmed the dates, as Danny posted, and made the correction. I added some words from Phumi Maphaha on implementation. He will also publish a Government Notice. And he will circulate the elusive ‘conference resolutions’. And DOL will publish the Construction Regulations Amendment 2014 Guidance before 2016. None of this were on the DOL website intially.
      Let the reader beware that there are no definitive answers to some of the registrataion enforcement details yet, except that ‘you should already have registered.’ Inspectors enforce health and safety competency, which is good news, and have prosecuted some employers, also good news. I support competency, not registration.
      Journalism used to be the first rough take on history, but now history, and accuracy, and some of the ‘facts’, are revisionist. There was no document to report from at the conference, just slides and rhetoric. That is why it took seminar number 25, R600 000, and reminders of slab collapses, and board member Doug Michell to explain registration enforcement.
      Some people were so busy figuring out how to score Scouting badges and Brownie points, that they missed the purpose of the announcement; to privatise construction health and safety inspection and enforcement to Master Builders. Since their members paid collusion fines to government, they are a law unto themselves. Like the stadiums and e-tolling infrastructure that they built.
      Meanwhile note that construction supervisors are also being elevated to co-responsibility and accountability for incidents. Instead of managers, engineers, CEOs, contractors, and clients, the construction super (a non-professional employee) and the ‘professional’ CHS Officer, will stand in the corporate, criminal and civil docks, to camouflage the real causes of slab collapses.

  4. The Department of Labour in conjunction with the SACPCMP hosted a Construction Regulation (2014) implementation phase Seminar on 9 July 2015 at the Emperors Palace in Gauteng. Some 600 delegates attended this workshop. The workshop programme included a presentation by newly appointed Chief Inspector, Tibor Szana as well as the following implementation phase announcements:
    Application for Construction Work Permit:
    Phase 1
    A client who intends to have construction work carried out, must at least 30 days before that work is to be carried out apply to the provincial director in writing for a construction work permit to perform construction work if the intended construction works contract is a value equal to or exceed R130 million or Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) 9. This will be in effect from 7 August 2015 until 6 February 2017.
    Phase 2
    A client who intends to have construction work carried out, must at least 30 days before that work is to be carried out apply to the provincial director in writing for a construction work permit to perform construction work if the intended construction works contract is a value equal to or exceed R40 million or Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) 8. This will be in effect from 7 February 2017 until 6 August 2018.
    Phase 3
    A client who intends to have construction work carried out, must at least 30 days before that work is to be carried out apply to the provincial director in writing for a construction work permit to perform construction work if the intended construction work will –
    (a) exceed 365 days;
    (b) involve more than 3 600 person days of construction work ; or
    (c) the works contract is a value equal to or exceed R30 million or Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) 7. This will come into effect from 7 August 2018.

  5. About SACPCMP registration; Any person that has applied for registration with the SACPCMP for CHS Officer, CHS Manager, or Pr CHS Agent, prior to 7 August 2015, who has not been registered by 7 August 2015, will be issued with Registration Verification Letter, made available on the applicants’ SACPCMP online profile, and is subject to the following:
    • All the application documents must have been submitted prior to 7 August 2015
    • Application fee payment must have been made prior to 7 August 2015.

  6. You wrote: “And that I changed one of the dates in the report by following the circular that Danny posted here.” A very import correction you made to your report Edmond, it now reads correct in that application for permits will still commence on 7 August 2015. The circular that Danny posted is from an article on http://www.saiosh.co.za.

    ==== Editor notes; Yes Corrie. After Danny’s post, I confirmed with the DOL that the R40-m phase starts in February 2017. Danny was right as usual. That was the important correction. That exemption level applies for 18 months, throughout 2015 and 2016. The registration exemption letter applies only for a year (that is where 2016 come into the text), but let us not haggle about the dates floating in the SACPCMP teacup.
    DOL will have it all again on their website. Perhaps they were just waiting for confirmation from Saiosh?
    Yes, we know that by the letter of the law, CHS people should all be registered already. And all construction employers should already in theory hire registered CHS Agents and CHS Officers. Deja vu, we have been here before, as in the immortal song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Van Zyl.
    On a historic note, SACPCMP official Anthony Forgey told NIOCCSA early last year; [[QUOTE FROM FEBRUARY 2014; “I have discussed the matter with DoL (Phumi Maphaha), and we have agreed that while it was not intended, it was a bit of an oversight in not specifying that the CHS Officer and CHS Manager categories deadline is also August 2015.” The DOL had said that they would issue an exemption notice to clarify this, but with less than a week before the new regulations take effect on projects started after 7 February 2014, no clarification had been issued.” END OF QUOTE FROM FEBRUARY 2014]].
    Maphaha clarified that current prosecution is based on CHS competence, not registration.
    It thus seems clear that registration is currently irrelevant, since competency could readily be determined by practitioners, employers, HR people, DOL inspectors, and the courts. Since the law provides for employers to hire competent people, some employers are already prosecuted (as Maphaha also confirmed), for not hiring competent people. Registration is just a convenient way of outsourcing the checking of competence (training, skills, and employment records). And registration is convenient for outsourcing some inspection functions. And some liability. -Edmond Furter

    1. Come now Edmond, man up and admit that you made a blunder by incorrectly reported that phase one is only required from 7 August 2016. Everyone saw it in your original report and we all also saw that you sneakingly corrected it. Anyone can make a mistake, no hard feelings Ed.

      ==== Editor notes; Among my notes I noted two corrections, and acknowledged that that one was imporant. Three days later, the newsletter circulated, with the dates as intended. And thank you for contributing.
      The report did not, and does not, use Phase numbers.
      CHS Registration exemption letters apply up to August 2016, if my notes on the SACPCMP goalposts are correct, but I removed that date from the report to avoid potential confusion with the DOL dates. Permits and registration are not directly related. The construction permit will be only one of the construction registration enforcement mechanisms.
      I await the wording of the forthcoming exemptions and mechanisms from the DOL, which I will post verbatim. It may incidentally cover the DOL’s ‘oversights’ of 2014, when their regulation left some greay areas in the registration scheme, as I noted earlier.
      I may also sneak back to change some details in the report. As I did by adding some DOL quotes before the newsletter circulation. If and when I change a report after newsletter circulation, I use the flag ‘UPDATE: …’.
      Enough about me and revisionism. Let’s talk about whether we feel healthier and safer on site, under formwork and slabs cast in the brave new professional dispensation, that is legally already in effect. Or should we talk after August 2015? Or after August 2016 when the corporate exemption letters turn into professional competence stamps? Or after the DOL algorhythym for calculating compliance, changes the 50% into their more customary 80%?

  7. Be that as it may. It is clear that the Construction Regulations in its current form is not aligned to the needs of the SA economy or common practice. This is the first set of regulations which had more exemptions and “clarifications” published in 12 months, than any other set ever published in the history of South African health and safety law. It is clearly a reflection of the manner in which consultation did not take place.
    And the permits is not the only regulation that will come under fire. Regulations 6 and 12 will open a can of worms. I can already see a stream of equipment rental companies refusing to accept the appointment of temporary works designers and acting as “contractors” on site.
    But hey… when the DOL was given the opportunity to get experts to review the regulations, did they jump at the opportunity? No, why should they have? They already had the support of a few people, why listen to industry or the country? If ever there was a bad set of rules, the Construction Regulations Amendment 2014 takes the prize!

  8. FOUR STEPS TO HEALING THE OSH ACT.
    Step One: Scrap the idea of a construction HS Agent (consultant) and replace with construction HS Manager.
    Step Two: Refine the CHS Manager scope of work by merging the current scopes for a CHS Agent and CHS Manager, and by removing duplication, and dump ideas like copying project information for use on the next project; no two projects are alike. (Already an unprofessional act that may lead to failure as a result of one person’s unprofessional opinion, subsequently shared by a group of followers, and endorsed by SACPCMP).
    Step Three: Scrap the idea of SACPCMP registration and allocation of professional designations, and the registration of people.
    Professionals and experts did not prevent incidents in the past, as almost all incidents associated with design flaws, structural collapses, poor project and construction management, are directly or indirectly caused by designated professionals. Maybe because they are followers, and as a result, answered the customary and sometimes irrelevant questions correctly. As one professional said to another; “I have had enough of this useless man… I have taught him everything I know about our profession, and still he knows absolutely nothing!”
    Step Four: Implement Step One.

    ==== Editor notes; The rot is only in the Construction Regulations, not yet in the OHS Act. But the DOL and the ‘bodies’ want to infect the OHS Act, and thus other industrial and business sectors.

  9. So as unregistered Safety Officer, do i still need to go ahead with this registration thing before August 2015?

    1. Nonki, as indicated above this article will confuse the uninformed. Although the dates have been corrected by the editor, the heading of the article is still misleading. The registration thing as you call it is still effective from 7 August 2015 but it is not a cut off date. Our kids will still be able to register in 10 years from now, that is if we are stupid enough to allow them to enter this “profession”.

      ==== Editor notes; I changed the heading. However, the permit exemptions do have some implications for registration; in terms of appointment requirements; and in terms of the main mechanism of enforcement on employers. Thus the permit exemptions add to the registration exemptions, in practice.
      By the letter of the law, Nonki should already be registered, and his employer may already be non-compliant. Unless he is competent, which his human resources people must have checked, and must have proof of on his file. That has been the law, and best practice, for years.

      1. You getting closer and closer Edmond, just a couple more corrections to your report and you will no longer confuse the readers. Your heading is still wrong. If the “DoL Donkey Drivers, Uncles, Aunties, Cash Cow Bodies, DPW Egg Faces” as you term them, as well as the general plebs and employers that attended the seminar got it right then it doesn’t really matter what you write.

        ==== Editor notes; I do not have all the answers yet. Nor do some people who attended the seminar. I did not label anyone plebian.
        Here is query from M, who attended the seminar; “Is the exemption also going to cover the employer, and the employee, if the project is already at an advanced stage, if the current CHS Agent applicant is reclassified [as CHS Officer, or as candidate], because he could not demonstrate sufficient training, understanding, practical experience, and/or fail the interview or exam? I did not want to ask the questions in an open forum, I have currently enougth SACPMCP registration problems of my own.”

  10. A quick question on the registration of construction HS Officers. As I read the Act, construction companies will be required to have an HSO as a minimum in their company. Does this mean that even a small one-man band like myself, with only a few employees, need to have an HSO on permanent staff? And what if I am working on multiple projects? Will I need a separate HSO on each site? According to the article, the SACPCMP claims somewhere between 2500 to 3500 people have applied, and only 12 people have ‘passed’ [to the examp phase]. Does this mean that there are only that many construction companies in this country?
    The entire regulation needs to be reviewed, as in it’s current form, it does not make sense. For example, if your geyser bursts, the DoL would need to be informed seven days before the plumber could touch it. Let alone all the separate managers, supervisors and assistants he would need to appoint (none of which can be the same person, and none of whom can be appointed to any other site).
    Surely there must be some sort of time/cost limit under which these requirements would be exempt? Because a simple plumbing job could soon go from costing only a few hundred bucks to a few thousand, just to stay inside the framework of the regulations. Comments please!

  11. I have been very quiet on this matter for a while now. But let me give some readers a piece of my mind. I worked at the DOL when the now chief inspector was still a student in his second year. With us was a civil engineer who has been working as consultant since he left the DOL, probably a year or three after I did, say 1996. He applied for Pr CHS Agent. He is now only a candidate agent, as according to the SACPCMP, he does not have sufficient experience.
    The truth of the matter is that no single person has sufficient experience in the scope of the CHS Agent, as none have ever been involved in the first 3 stages of construction until the SACPCMP made it part of their function.
    I have given up on H&S as a profession. It will never be one. Not now, not in 2 years and not by the time my children retire. Ladies and gentleman! If you want to create a profession, start with a qualification. Decide on ONE only H&S qualification in SA. Not 10 different diplomas, and another 10 different degrees. In doing this, you are just proving my point. H&S is not a profession. Do you want salad or chips with that? My dentist is a H&S Practitioner. He did SAMTRAC. But my safety officer is not a dentist. He did SAMTRAC too.
    I also agree with Deepchund’s comment posted elsewhere on the 8000 accidents. H&S is a tickbox exercise. And I doubt if you even need Grade 10 to perform that task.
    And poor ole Joep calling for unity. Sir, I admire your guts, but I think you are 40 years too late. You have as much luck in unifying H&S as the old apartheid government ever ruling SA again.
    And Danny, you are the Julius Malema of H&S. You say things others are too scared to say. Allthough I may not always agree, I always have a nice chuckle.
    What you H&S people need is leadership. You need a person with not only the right ideas, but the right dream for this wannabe profession. You do not have leadership. You have labels you can cling to. You have logos and nice affiliations that makes your CV look the same as the 100 others. You have abbreviations besides your names that makes Veterinary medicine look cheap. But as Eskom and all the other large machinery of government has realised that skills are in great demand, you will soon come to the same conclusion, even if it takes another 8000 accidents.
    I wish you all well in your battle of the brightest. You may not have noticed but there has been a decline in H&S job seekers. There has been a decline in the number of H&S consultants. There has however been an increase in liquidations and business rescue cases, and the number of retrenchments. What are you doing to H&S practitioners? What are you doing to the SA workforce?

  12. About; “What you H&S people need is leadership.” Rudy, you are the HS leader. ACT Advantage /Sheqafrica.com and thousands of readers followed your lead. You led the anti-registration campaign and gathered 200 odd signatures in just under two years, have you given up on that as well?

    ==== Editor notes; Actually, I started the anti-registration campaign, supported initially by consultants in mining and MHIs, who found better things to do than to write letters to SAQA and the DOL, or attend Master Builders and various ‘institute’ events. I contributed to convincing the DOL to not appoint IOSM and SAIOSH as designated professional bodies. They snuck themselves, and several other bodies, into the ticket racket by selling three SACPCMP CPD points per five year cycle, for their additional membership/s. I have lost count of the NGOs, agencies and contractors that have sprung up to feed from the registration trough.
    Training providers also have better things to do than to care whether clients, employers, contractors, consultants, and CHS Agents meekly accept registration, and share some liability.
    But some of these people, and most CHS officers, never agreed to this scheme. And OHS practitioners outside construction will not bow before zapping by a private COC OHS-IT scanner. Hou daai ding van my lyf af.

    1. Rudy is right the H&S people in this country need a true leader. A leader with balls, not someone hiding behind a pen. You missed out on a golden opportunity Edmond, you should have gathered your anti-registration campaigners and protested with placards that read “SCRAP THE CRAP” at the DOL / SACPCMP Construction Regulations Implementation Phase Seminar held on 9 July 2015. It would have boosted your campaign, unlike this incorrect report of yours that have been changed 5 times now and is still not correct.

      ==== Editor notes; Since you ask about protest. You may recall that I stood on the podium at the founding meeting of SAIOSH Gauteng, and warned friends, Africans, and Arikaners against registration schemes run by people who do not have thick glasses and white socks (qualified, professional education, training, and QA specialists), and whose agenda is not to praise Sheq, but to bury her under fees, exams, stamps, videos, designations, contractors, and tea parties. That was one of my Les Misrabeles street battle moments, when I stared into the muzzles of the cannons of the state and construction business PPP. It must have been rent-a-crowd, commanded by some engineering officers (Safcec etc), because they formed a Gauteng branch anyway, motivated by a promise from Neels that they would escape the Ray Strydom dictatorship of IOSM and his exams and slow stamps. Now there are severay Rays of safety, exams, and stamps.
      You may recall that I attended an IOSM meeting once. It is true. Every question received the same answer; talk to Ray afterwards. And if you are naughty, we will make you sit on a low chair in the middle of the assessment panel. True story.
      You may recall that I also asked awkward questions where the two or three quality bodies were considering forming an umbrella body for auditors, so they could all get SAQA designations. I do not have enough staff to follow up on what the Q-alphabet soup and SAATCA etc situation is.
      If not for my pen, many practitioners and managers would have heard about this nice new construction health and safety registration scheme via SAIOSH, IOSH SA, IOSM, OHSAP, MBA KZN, ACHASM, SACPCMP, SAIOH, the Event Safety Agency, on the radio, in the New Age, and at DOL seminars. And wondered who, what, where, when and how all these bodies and boards came from.
      It is too late for red berets and a fight for economic freedom from registration now. The 600 people at Emperors Palace were ready to buy registration letters, and Amway products too.
      But my busy days are not filled with protest only. I support the Institute for Work at Height and their registration scheme. And I was part of the forum that wrote the OHS Prac cirruculum standard for the MQA /QCTO /OFO, which is part of the solution. Unless Joep and company hijack that too, and set up a mining OHS registration scheme. -Edmond Furter

    2. Craig, I never claimed to be the leader of anything, but thank you for the vote of convidence, even if sarcastic 😉
      I was however not sarcastic when I said H&S in SA needs a leader. I am probably one of three or four people that sees Construction H&S the same way. I have the greatest respect for guys like Prof Smallwood, Advocate Raynard Looch, Shane Lishman, Tibor Szana and Phumi Maphaha to name but a few whom I have been talking to in the last 2 years. But sadly, I also encounter too many people with absolutely no valid reason to be in the profession.
      And I will stick to my guns. Get the qualifications sorted out for H&S in SA. No-one ever mentioned any ‘legal’ knowledge in any proposed curriculum, yet we all deal with legislation. Everyone screams HEALTH and safety, but nobody addresses HEALTH in the training they so desperately want to label as “required”.
      Even the proposed OHS Prac curriculum published in a post elsewhere on Sheqafrica.com falls short in this regard. It is a sad state of affairs and I wish you all only the best, but until SAIOSH, ISOM, ACHASM, NIOCCSA, the EVENTS BODY, SAQA, DOL and whoever else stop and smell the coffee, we will not have an H&S profession in this country.

      1. I have to disagree with you Rudy. You and the persons you have mentioned as well as thousands of others in this country are living proof that we do have H&S Professionals and therefore do have a H&S Profession in this country. We all started somewhere at the bottom and followed a career part, all be it back then our own career path, done some short courses, obtained related formal qualifications, gained practical experience and finally became true H&S Professionals. A couple of years ago we as H&S Professionals complained that our profession is a free for all and that any man and his dog with a 2 week course can enter our “profession” and be permitted to practice at the highest level. The HS Profession is finally regulated by statutory and non statutory bodies, to distinguish between beginners and professionals, and to prevent the beginners to practice at the highest level.
        I can understand that the beginners are upset about this as they are now forced to only practice at a level related to their competence. What I don’t understand is that some of the H&S Professionals, like yourself, complain about it.

      2. Craig, you have been misinformed. Firstly, a non-statutory body has no regulatory powers. Secondly, the professionals like me who complained, did not complain about regulation of the profession. We complained about the manner in which is was done, and the “every man and his dog” courses that are still accepted. In fact, if you recall, most of us have always supported the idea to regulate the consultants (professionals), as they are the people who give advice and take you money as “experts” in their field.
        The balance is a bit off in the new hierarchy, as the people in charge of health and safety (the CMs and CHS Managers) at principal contractor level, do not have to jump through the same hoops as those employed at contractor level.
        Yet look at what principal contractors pay CHS Officers on projects like Medupi; as low as R7500 per month? Then this person has the balls to reject a H&S file that was done by a much better qualified (and paid) person?
        And frankly Craig, 30 years ago when I started at the DOL, I did not have the option to do a two week course and then follow a career path. I had to have a T4 or NHD to start my career path. And that is how it should be. That is how it is in all other professions.

      3. There are plenty of health and safety qualifications at high educational levels including honours and masters degrees. Outside South Africa of course. In South Africa, of course there is the UNISA national diploma and BTech. That should be the standard, unless someone can offer something better.

        Health and Safety is fundamental to life. Yes, we will all die, but the timing of that can be prolonged by considering certain fundamental principles. Like if you fall from a height of 7m or more, you are highly likely to have a chest trauma, with injury to two or more organs. So what do you do? You take steps to prevent falls from height. Enter the Health and Safety professional who can advise on a wide range of risks that are likely to cause injury to humans or affect their health and thus quality of life or sadly lead to an untimely death. This advice can help other professionals like project managers, architects, engineers who also need to consider Health and Safety in their disciplines. Poor health and safety management impacts adversely time, quality and ultimately the bottom line, cost. It is therefore fundamental to the success of projects.

        It is a profession – ask the thousands of people in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA who earn in excess of £40,000 a year as Health and Safety professionals (that are R720,000 for dose wifout da calculator on they computers). There are entry points into the profession with lower level qualifications, but unless you have fantastic experience, the door won’t open for strategic type roles unless you have the right qualifications and professional membership. Things that affect safety at a site level occur long before a Safety Occifer walks around with a clipboard identifying issues.

        SA doesn’t need a leader for Health and Safety. It needs a revolution.

      4. Howzit Koos my old friend. Your practical approach is always welcome.

        You and I are of the same cloth, let the body do the registration – like IOSH UK feeding into OSHCR if necessary. You and I just have to produce our card in Europe and middle east, Australia, USA and Canada, and they know what our capabilities are.

        Have a good summer
        Cheers
        Shane

      5. Thanks Rudy. I am busy looking at other ventures and to possibly do HSE part-time. It’s become too stressful for me in SA. In the good old days, I was hired on my abilities. I have registered, trying for Pr CHS Agent, but I have a sneaky feeling I will also be a Candidate – my two mega projects at $1.7-b and 365-m pounds, I don’t think will count. But let’s see.

        The new curriculum I have glanced at is another one, where are the pure sciences that are needed?

  13. OK so the solution to the registration problem is:
    1. Call yourself a Construction Health & Safety Manager,
    2. Make sure you are appointed in terms of CR8(2). According to the DOL presentation this is the correct way.
    Now answer the following:
    a) Which regulation states the CR8(2) must be registered?
    b) which regulation requires a prinicpal contractor to appoint a Construction Health & Safety Manager that is registered with the SACPCMP?
    Voila SA, let’s carry on… business as usual.
    We need 8000 volunteers for accidents. Anyone?

    ==== Editor notes; Correct, CHS Managers are not required by law to register [UPDATE: However CHS Managers are requried by a Government Notice in terms of the SACPCMP Act to have already registered in 2013. The notice applies to construction in terms of the appointment of the SACPCMP as designated body, and it could thus set requriements. The law is clear. The process and enforcement are not. END OF UPDATE].
    However you have to be competent, so keep your training certificates, conference and workshop records, work records, project references, mentoring log book, committee minutes, legal registers, system records, reports, presentations, etc. Ask your employer to re-assess the job spec, and check the scope of service, and your skills, and fill the gaps.

    About the incidents, let us hope that CHS Officers are sooner allowed to do the same, and catch up on competence, and exempted from paying for applications, POE’s, re-assessments, exams, certificates, seminars, CPD videos, additional memberships, upgrades, and interviews. Between construction safety files, registration, permit applications, and COC OHS-IT inspections (waar is jou dom-Pas?!) under DOL /Master Builders franchise, who has time to manage OHS on site?

    1. CR8(2) deals with the assistant construction managers, not H&S managers. CR8(5) deals with H&S Officers. But it is so vague as to whether or not you actually must appoint one. CR8(6) deals with being registered and competant.

      1. Damien, go to page 37 of the Presentation circulated by SAIOSH in pdf format. Look for these words on the right side of the page, and tell me how you understand it.
        “• Construction manager
        (16.2) OR 8(1)
        – Construction Health and
        Safety Manager (CHSM)” <—–in red.

      2. Thanks for the link Danny. I think what they are trying to do here is make the CM also responsible for ensuring that the OHS Act and CR are complied with. It doesn’t seem like they are insisting that he/she must be registered with any body, but must just be competent. If that is the case, CR 8(5) would then mean that, if an inspector deems it necessary for a CHS Officer to be appointed (because the risks are too great for the CM to manage), that CHS Oifficer would need to be registered.
        Unfortunately, I didn’t attend the presentation, but if I read that correctly, it means that it is not necessary for a registered CHS Officer to be appointed, and that the CM can operate as a CHS Manager, and still remain within the framework of the CR. Does that sound about right?

        ==== Editor notes; Construction Managers and Project Managers, who work on DPW state projects, have to register with the SACPCMP, as CMs or PMs.
        They have always been partly responsible for managing CHS, also in private construction, but not directly.
        CMs working as CHS Managers, could be one of the reasons that they are not required to register (again) with the same body? Also they would be in the firing line of liability, and prefer that liaibility is ‘delegated’. And they are not numerous enough to make CHS registration viable (profitable and capable of building a bureaucracy with boards and perks). Let the CHS Officers pay up, said the construction industry, and the voluntary bodies.

      3. No problem Damien
        I think people should really try and understand the intention of the law. That applies to the DOL too. The CR8(1) is for all intended purposes the CEO on the site. Where the 16(2) is only an optional appointment if your company has more than one director, the CM appointment is NOT optional. The DOL did say the 8(1) can also be a 16(2), which is correct and probably only to shut up those who do not understand the difference.
        Another point to consider (for those auditors and believers of fairy tales) is that CR8(1) applies only to Principal Contractors. A sub-contractor or co-contractor does not HAVE to appoint a CM. The idea in theory is that there is always just ONE CM on any given site with over all authority and including H&S Management on site. Now when it comes to 8(5 an 6), the CHSO has to be appointed having considered the size of the project in consultation with the client. The choice is not between do or don’t we appoint, but between full or part time. In any and all cases the general prohibition on a contractor still stands and no CHSO may be appointed unless he is registered with the SACPCMP. Although the CR’s does not specifically allow for it, it is my understanding that the DOL inspector may insist on a CHSM level appointment instead of a CHSO level if the inspector is of opinion that the latter would not have sufficient competencies to deal with the scope of the risks. This would however have to be done in the form of an Improvement notice allowing the employer to appeal against the inspector’s decision.

      4. What I want to know is, on a big site, where you have 60-70 sub contractors, does every one of them need to have their own CHS Officer? Or is only one (from the main contractor) needed on a site?
        For a lot of us subbies, we just don’t have enough staff to cover all of these various sites, just for the administrative appointments. As it is, I very seldom have more than four guys on site, excluding my supervisor, so I have never needed to even appoint a first aider on site!

        It just seems a bit redundant to have the subbies having to be as loaded as the main contractor is, when some of us are only on site for short periods at a time. I’ve been in at the start of some 24 month contracts, and not had to go back to site until the end again.
        As the Act and CR currently read, I would have to appoint about 5 admin people to that site only, and not be able to use them on other sites, which really doesn’t make sense to me.
        I’ve already been penalised by one of the external auditors because my admin staff weren’t on site at the time of the audit, even though we weren’t due on site for another week!

  14. What is this COC SHIT the MBA is talking about? Sounds like a very infectious sexually transmitted disease.

    1. It is another blunder by Edmond. It is not a product of the MBA’s. He did not look at the slides that Doug presented and did not even notice who the product belongs too.

      ==== Editor notes; CoC OHS-IT was developed and presented by Master Builders SA and Master Builders North, two MBAs, or “We”, as Doug Michell said, with those two MBA logos on his slides. (Although his royal ‘We’ may include Master Builders KZN. And the SACPCMP, where he is a founding and leading board member.)
      Master Builders probably have an IT contractor for this project. Like the guy selling similar gizmos on Master Builders KZN website .
      If you have always secretly wanted to be an inspector, you could help the DOL with enforcement too.
      I am happy to acknowledge and correct my errors. Let us know if the technology belongs to someone else.

  15. I do believe that NIOCCSA offered a product on the Master Builders forum that allows contractors to perform MBA audits via their cellphones. According to the MBA however, they did not give permission for the MBA audit to be used by others. The software provider still offers the audit, but does not call it an MBA audit, and it does not actually give an audit score once completed. I guess the objection was based on the fact that they wanted COCSHIT to take the lead and not have another company sell their same ideas.
    One other comment, I do not believe I am selling franchises, mr editor. I am offering consultants the opportunity to offer their clients a workable solution to the ever increasing load of H&S paper that they have to generate and regenerate project after project. Do the maths. How many copies of the CR’s have been printed nationally to get a H&S file approved? 10 million? 100 miliion? But these people all have smartphones and tablets and all they need to do is post a link to http://www.acts.co.za/occupational-health-and-safety-act-1993/index.html on site and all employees can access the Act and all the Regulations.
    But so typically of some H&S people is the belief that everything has to be on paper. We have created an online H&S File system where your entire file is on a mobile phone. Even your inspections are done via mobile, signed, and returned to your H&S department. Call it a gizmo if you want, but if people cannot see the benefit of this service they are really stuck in the dark ages.

  16. About COC OHS-IT, well it must be on someone’s phone, as Google surely knows nothing about it.

  17. On 7 August 2015 the legal requirement for CHSO’s and CHSA’s to be registered with the SACPCMP in order to be appointed and to practice in terms of the CR’s has become effective yet the award winning editor’s article still reads “Construction health and safety registration exemptions to 2016”, this not withstanding the fact that the readers have pointed out the numerous errors in this article and the editor has amended it several times. Happy reading everyone!

    ==== Edmond notes; The requirement for CHSA’s, CHSM’s and CHSO’s became effective in 2013. The latest exemption allows employers to appoint certain applicants up to a certain date in 2016. Enforcement exemptions also apply, based on project cost, up to certain dates in the next three years.
    I had made two corrections to the text, about three days before the post was circulated in the newsletter. I commented about that at the time, and you have already crowed about it in several comments.
    If you want to play the ball, explain how your interpretation of the regulations and their exemptions, or the requirements and their exemptions, differ from the report, and from what other visitors have commented?
    And perhaps why 7 August was a happy day for you? Construction OHS practitoners have been working under exemptions, and by the grace of the Labour inspector and the DPW registrar, for two years already.

    1. “The latest exemption allows employers to appoint certain applicants up to a certain date in 2016.” This is not correct, there are no further exemptions. The effective date for those that have to be appointed and registered was 7 August 2015. SACPCMP announced that they will issue verification letterd to those that have applied (in full) but not yet registered. SACPCMP further announced that these letters will only be issued until 31 July 2016 to new applicants. 7 August is therefore not a “happy” day, it marks the day of the DOL’s last exemption for persons to be registered in order to be appointed in terms of the CR’s.

      7 August 2015 therefore marks the day that if you are appointed in terms of the CR’s as Construction HS Officer or Construction HS Agent, and you do not have a SACPCMP registration certificate or verification letter, your employer could be slapped with a notice. Depending on the mood of the the DoL inspector he or she can issue a prohibition notice, improvement, or contravention notice. Trust me this is not a happy day, not for anyone.

  18. I received my SACPCMP letter. It just states ‘registered in a Construction Regulations H&S Discipline.’
    If all letters are like this, CHS Agents or CHS Officers could claim to work as either.

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