Consultants ask DOL to scrap external safety registration

Consulting body NIOCCSA formally asked the DOL to scrap external construction health and safety registration with the SACPCMP.

NIOCCSA director Rudy Maritz wrote to Department of Labour Deputy Director-General, Thobile Lamati, proposing that the DOL register health and safety people directly, as it registers electrical contractors and some other approved inspection authorities (AIAs).

“We refer to our public call for objections to enforced registration of Construction Health and Safety Officers via the SACPCMP. Based on the initial response, the majority of OHS practitioners oppose the registration.

“Before we lose more scare skills, please consider our proposal in the interest of the public at large. We herewith submit our formal request to amend the Construction Regulations in accordance with the attached proposal. The key motivations for this request are:

1. Registration to be handled by the Chief Inspector (DOL) directly in the same fashion as registration of Electrical Contractors.

2. Fees to be paid annually for the issue or update or replacement of Certificates of Registration.

3. The Chief Inspector may withdraw these certificates where an inquiry or investigation reveals incompetence or negligence.

4. Construction Health and Safety Officers are currently not engaged in Project Planning, Design Development and Contractor Procurement.

5. Construction Health & safety Officers are due to market demands and past practices, not properly trained to be involved in these stages.

6. Registration with the SACPCMP will not benefit the professional development of these individuals, and will add to unnecessary costs of construction.

7. The requirement for the appointment of a Construction Health & Safety Officer is not a strict liability on contractors, and will result in uncompetitive practices by large clients, preventing the EME contractor from participating in main stream business.

8. The criteria of the SACPCMP are not acceptable to the majority of Construction health & Safety officers.”

NIOCCSA still supports the SACPCMP in respect of Construction Health and Safety Agent registration, as contemplated in regulation 5(5) and (6).

However the consultants will oppose any attempts of the SACPCMP to enforce their IDOW rules on Construction Health and Safety Officers and Managers (the latter are not required by law to register, for reasons unknown).

Future OHS practitioners must consider registration

“As an alternative, we will accept the exemption from registration with the SACPCMP of all health and safety practitioners who were qualified to NQF level 5, prior to the commencement of the Construction Regulations 2014 (7 February 2014).” queried NIOCCSA on whether this option may leave newcomers in health and safety practice in the same situation that current practitioners find unacceptable.

NIOCCSA replied; “Future practitioners will have the choice to enter the profession knowing what is required. This is standard practice for most professions. One of the reasons the current set-up is unacceptable, is that the criteria were developed without proper consultation with practitioners.

“If the DOL exempts current practitioners, it will strengthen the scrapping of registration of HS Officers with the SACPCMP. The proposed registration is to be directly with the DOL, which should be a mere formality, such as the NLRD list, and not a lucrative business with contrators.

“It is unfair to penalise current practitioners just because the very industry insisting on this process, caused the perceived problems. Lower qualified practitioners are employed as site safety officers. These people as Candidates, would only create opportunities for unethical and corrupt activities, and not serve the interest of the profession.

“We are not convinced that Clients want skills benefits, other than to shift responsibility and liability. Very few have since the new regulations, issued properly drafted baseline risk assessments and site specific HS Specifications.

“We still find Agents auditing contractors on standard forms, with no reference back to the ‘approved’ plans. We still find the engagement of Agents at stage 4, and no moves have been made to engage CHS Agents at stage 1. We still find engineers and architects at the design risk stage, without H&S skills or H&S input.

“NIOCCSA will as currently only represent accredited consultants. Future practitioners will need a proven career path to get there. We could guide the DOL to raise the bar in terms of qualifications to NQF level 6.”

Proposed Construction Regulation Amendment 2015 [NIOCCSA DRAFT]

Construction regulation 8(6) should be amended as follows: No contractor may appoint a construction health and safety officer to assist in the control of health and safety related aspects on the site unless he or she is reasonably satisfied that the construction health and safety officer that he or she intends to appoint is registered by the Chief Inspector in terms of Regulation 3A and has necessary resources to assist the contractor.

Construction Regulation 3A – Application for registration as a registered person

1) In this regulation, a registered person shall mean a competent person holding a valid certificate of registration issued in terms of subregulation 4.

2) An application for registration as a registered person shall be made to the chief inspector in the prescribed form together with the prescribed registration fee.

3) Any natural person who satisfies the chief inspector that he or she
a) has sufficient knowledge of the scope of services listed in Annexure 4;
b) has sufficient knowledge of the Act and these regulations; and
c) has at least 1 year full time practical construction health & safety experience, shall be registered as a Construction Health & Safety Officer as contemplated in Regulation

4) The chief inspector shall furnish a registered person with the appropriate certificate of registration and enter such registration into the national database.

5) The chief inspector may at any time withdraw any certificate of registration, subject to section 35 of the Act.

6) A registered person shall on request produce his or her certificate of registration to an inspector, an approved inspection authority for Construction Health & Safety, a client, client agent or a contractor.

7) A registered person shall inform the chief inspector of any changes affecting his or her registration within 14 days after such change.

Proposed Annexure 4 [NIOCCSA DRAFT]


a) Attend site tender clarification meetings with contractors;
b) Assist in the preparation of project specific health and safety documentation for distribution to contractors for inclusion into their tender submissions;
c) Assist with the evaluation of the contractor(s) competencies, knowledge and resources to carry out the works safely;
d) Assist with the preparation of contract documentation related to health and safety requirements for approval and signature


a) Assist with the preparation of a construction health and safety plan;
b) Confirm necessary documentation was submitted to the relevant authorities;
c) Attend project planning meetings;
d) Assessments and approval of contractor(s) health and safety plans;
e) Attend the contractors site handover;
f) Attend regular site, technical and progress meetings;
g) Facilitate site health and safety meetings;
h) Identification of the hazards and risks relevant to the construction project through regular coordinated site inspections;
i) Establish and maintain health and safety communication structures and systems, distribution of health and safety specific documents to sub-contractors;
j) Compiling project specific emergency response and preparedness plans;
k) Testing the effectiveness of the emergency response plans;
l) Conduct site safety inductions;
m) Evaluate the levels of compliance of subcontractors to the project specific health and safety plan and client specifications through inspections and audits;
n) Oversee the reporting and investigation of project related incidents;
o) Oversee the maintenance of all records;
p) Participation in management reviews of the health and safety systems;
q) Use of trends analysis to identify system deficiencies and incident trends, outline relevant improvements;
r) Incorporation of changes into a health and safety management system;
s) Review and update the health and safety plan;
t) Development of technical reports in relation to health and safety issues and communicate through presentations to diverse groups of decision makers.


a) Review, discuss and approve contractors’ consolidated health and safety file with the contractor(s)
b) Monitor site health and safety during the defects liability period
c) Prepare the consolidated project health and safety file for the client

• Note that the proposed legislation text in this post is not an official state or Labour Department proposal, but a proposal by a body representing consultants, including OHS consultants.

* Comment below, or below the other post on ‘Comments on construction health and safety registration’, where opponents and alternative proposals are listed;
Or cooment to NIOCCSA at

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59 thoughts on “Consultants ask DOL to scrap external safety registration

  1. Hi Rudy, Start a website where you can collect the names/signatures of persons who would rather register with DOL than the SACPCMP. I will gladly back your proposal. Mike Botha

    ==== Editor notes; You may comment below the article that lists registratoin scheme objections, alternative suggestions, and objectors;

  2. The regulation should read:

    “No contractor may appoint a construction health and safety officer to assist in the control of health and safety related aspects on the site unless the construction health and safety officer that he or she intends to appoint is registered by a SAQA recognised professional body approved by the Chief Inspector.”

    The Chief Inspector can then list approved SAQA recognised professional bodies e.g. SAIOH, IOSH SA, IOSM, IRMSA etc. It should not be limit to only the SACPCMP. Problem solved as thousands of construction health and safety officers are already registered by one or more SAQA recognised professional body.

    ==== Editor notes;
    * IRMSA serves only enterprise risk practitioners, and does not deal with operational risk management.
    * IOSH SA /SAIOSH is a voluntary body, and the Department of Labour will not legitimise voluntary bodies. The chief inspector has confirmed that position.
    * SAIOH serves only occupational hygienists, of which SA has only 200.
    * Voluntary bodies counted together have not ‘registered’ (as they label it) ‘thousands of construction health and safety officers’. Even the number of theoretical, potential CHS Officers is low, and SACPCMP registration is very low.
    * SAQA recognises every man and his dog as ‘professional bodies’.

    Problem compounded, cost escalated.

    1. Dear Ed, quite a bold statement you making saying that the likes of ECSA, HPCSA, FBCSA etc are every man and his dog. As much as some might get exited about Rudy’s letter, the Chief Inspector will not even take note of it. If the sun does rise from the west and the Chief Inspector accepts the proposal, do you for one moment think that shifting the registration to DoL is going to make the process any better or cheaper? Not in your wildest dreams.
      There should be no registration required at safety officer level, if DoL insists on it, then use the SAQA professional bodies, at least the poor officers do not have to register twice.

      ==== Editor notes; Everyman refers to health and safety bodies.
      However, the Financial Services Board has some case study lessons for us. They had just enough teeth to appoint contractors to examine, re-examine and register practitioners. Now they have split into two boards with two sets of rubber teeth and rubber stamps. The saga is recorded in Noseweek, one article under the subtitle of ‘suitcases full of cash in the parking lot’.
      Speaking of watchdogs, The security industry registration saga also has some case study lessons for us.
      We could also learn from pre-SAQA bodies such as ECSA, for example how they manage to keep the number of slab collapses low.

      I would rather watch DOL listing, than semi-private bodies with their contractors (SACPCMP CPD provider/s), and consultants (Joep Joubert and others), and board members (vested interest fan clubs); or voluntary bodies split into boards and operative contractors (IOSH SA /SAIOSH, and IOSM /OHSAP, or perhaps the other way around).

      I agree there should be no registration of OHS Officers. Let alone twice. At tertiary level, I doubt the capacity of the bodies to even wag their tails. DoL wants some appointed bodies to register graduates, like appointing some tails to wag the dog.

      1. Ed, watching the DOL doing the listing will be like watching paint dry. I can understand the call for scrapping the registration of safety officers, but asking for it to be done by another government department is not going to help anything.
        Rudy, Did the DDG acknowledge your letter?

        ==== Editor notes; I agree that scrapping registration of multi-disciplinary practitioners is a better option. DOL listing would be a mere formality, a duplication of the SAQA National Learnership Record Database (NLRD), no peer grading, no amateur exams, no half-baked CPD, and boring. HR people would have to check the training, trainers, and experience of every applicant. Boring is good.
        The SACPCMP is not a state department, but provided for in its own law, thus a law unto itself.

      2. Mark
        The DDG never responds to anything we submit, until it hits the media. Then he delegates the response to his deputies.
        They should have learnt by now that NIOCCSA is not to be ignored. And where the DDG did not respond, the Minister of labour has in the past, asked them very politely to do so.
        We are not in a hurry, and have time until May 2015, when we will launch our final appeal. We are giving the DOL ample time to listen.

  3. Awesome article Rudy. It is uplifting to read a proposal that targets and promotes the core principles of our profession and not some “give me your money for nothing” enforcement. scheme. I also recommend a dedicated website for practitioners to voice their opinion andstrenghten the above registration and amendment proposal.

    ==== Editor notes; You may comment below the post ‘Comment on construction health and safety registration’ listing registration objections and suggestions, and various proponents;

  4. I would like to have been the fly on the wall in Mr Lamati’s office (and the other fly(ies) on the SACPCMP office walls) after Rudy”s formal request was read. The proverbial cat is among the pigeons! I support Darren Simes’ recommendation for a dedicated website.

  5. Good afternoon Rudy, I was waiting for and expecting a proposal of this nature to surface, great man, you have my support!

    However regardless of whether the DOL react positively (or at all) to the above proposal we are still faced with the predicament of enforcement or policing of the OHS Act and Regulations. The way I see it, unless the DOL can deploy an adequate and competent number of “inspectors” to ensure compliance with the Act and Regulations as they currently stand or as proposed, this whole exercise will be fruitless.

    Does the DOL realize how many Contractors, SMME Contractors, Developers and Municipalities in the industry will not be able to function legally by 7th August 2015?

    Surely we will find that the demand for SACPCMP Registered OHS Agents, Managers and Officers WILL NOT meet the industries needs, there just aren’t enough. So now we have the predicament where Contractors, SMMEs, Developers and Municipalities wont be able to “legally” continue with the alleviation of unemployment, and now instead be contributors!

    Even if there were enough Agents, Managers and Officers registered with the SACPCMP, without adequate and competent enforcing and policing by the DOL, or whoever, legislation and registration does not necessarily equate to a healthier, safer workplace and environment.

    ==== Editor comments; The authorities rely in part that employers would appoint only registered practitioners, who would then report non-registered practitioners. A mpimpi scheme.

    1. Hi, The only major problem i have is who is going to assess the people. Merely having a qualification (at any level) is not enough. Years of experience may also be an indicator, but what people actually do in those years is debatable… many safety chaps have sat on their buts for 5-10 years, whilst others have done eveything in 2.
      So, at the end of the day, assessment is still needed, who will do it?
      Writing in my personal capacity – from now (28/11/2014) till eternity.
      Regards, Shane, CMIOSH

      ==== Editor responds; The only people that have legitimate and material interests and professional functions in assessing practitioners, are employers, specifically the departmental executives and HR people who decide on appointments. They also intimately know the deliverables, and the relative worth of relevant trainers, and of kinds of experience at other employers in their industry. Designations are cheap (well, actually, way too expensive for their low worth to industry), but employers buy the beef.

      1. Yip, back in old RSA at least until after the festive season. May return to the Uk, however ia am trying to diversify, recruiting HSE people and engineers for the middle east. SA citizens are the flavour of the month in the UAE, Saudi etc.

        If i return i will give you a call……good solid chat about HSE in SA will again be on the agenda


      2. Hi Shane, welcome back. This request to the DOL is not about registration for the top end professionals in CHS. The call by Rudy is for DOL to take over registration of the safety officer level. This level is the entry level CHS person that only require short courses at NQF 2-3, and 2-3 years experience.
        Yes the Pr. CHA that require formal qualifications and a minimum of 6 years experience must be put through a formal assessment and evaluation process. It is not necessary to put a person at the lower end of CHS through a formal registration process, just accept their professional registration with a SAQA accredited body, it is simple.

        ==== Editor notes; I doubt the capacity and motives of the current willing authorities and bodies for assessing and evaluating and examining and CPD’ing graduates or novices. They want to ‘serve’ the lower end of the market most of all; more services, longer client lifespan, more admin, more contractors, more board duties, more fees.
        If they could not, and perhaps did not want to, jack up the tertiary training, research, secondary education, state services such as Setas, and employer ethics that we are dealt with, they are band-aid for the price of prevention and hospitalisation.
        This ‘formal registration’ and ‘SAQA accrediation’ nonsense would merely formalise our current dire OHS skills situation, soothe some corporate consciences, make us pay up for nothing, and sustain structures that we would all carry like albatrosses around our necks for decades.

      3. Reply to editor: Surely this is a tongue in cheek answer. HR does not even know what to advertise for in 90% of the adverts, as for being around in MEGA Industry for many years, the level of persons employed for at least 60% of the companies i have visited do not know their …es from there elbows, that why i get brought in to help.
        Lastly, if this is not ‘tongue in cheek’ , why are you so dead against professional bodies, it works and is respected in the first world, e.g. USA, Australia, UK etc. I have read your comments many a time, often just passing over them, do you have the profession at heart, or are you just ‘stirring’. Shane

        ==== Editor responds; Shane, knowing the shortcocmings of some HR practitioners as you do (they are all registered with their own professional bodies that may or may not be failing them and their employers), you would agree that they may be prone to misinterpreting OHS designations, particularly if there were four different bodies selling four designations each. And prone to avoiding the slog of assessing applicants.
        HR may mis-advertise and under-perform, but appointment decisions are usually made by department heads. Yet they could only appoint the best candidate for the budget, and that is a board issue.
        Some aspects of South Africa is first world, but some aspects of our OHS education, training, legislation, state structures, semi-state structures, and institutions are not first world. IOSH UK confirms this view in word and in deed.
        I support every initiatve to improve our situation. The alphabet soup bodies could not, as I and many others have clearly pointed out in correspondence with DOL, SAQA, and in some relevant posts (for example motivations listed in the post about ‘Comment on construction health and safety registration’, to which you are welcome to respond point for point).The SACPCMP saga confirms some of our motivations.
        As for relying on the likes of Ray Strydom and others to assess whether a candidate could do this or that, or calculate the wet bulb temperature for measuring heat exposure, the short answer is no. – Edmond Furter

  6. Hi Mark, thanks for the welcome back. My point is this, registering the lower levels with DOL still places one in a quandry, as these chaps will still not be able to take the essential decisions, possibly be not competent enough to make the assessments as described in the article above, This still requires the higher levels to be assessed, So we are in the same boat, not much has changed, unless they are assessed in order to do the above requirements in construction.
    Remember, the 2 week course is broad, unless one accepts the NEBOSH Construction certificate only, and then some. Just look at (h) and (t) in the article – we now will expect the H&S Officer to do technical reports – this is asking a bit much, unless he is assessed to be able to do so. I have come across some graduates that cannot even do this.

    These are my concerns, are we just placing these chaps some-where else when their is possibly no need to. Some thoughts.

    1. Shane
      “Just look at (h) and (t) in the article – we now will expect the H&S Officer to do technical reports – this is asking a bit much, unless he is assessed to be able to do so. I have come across some graduates that cannot even do this.”

      Did you know that this is currently also required in the scope of services of the CHS Officer of the SACPCMP? If this is asking too much, why then not oppose the SACPCMP?

      I also want to comment on the suggestion by Mark that SAIOSH takes over this role.
      SAIOSH does not “assess” the competency of their members. They merely issue a certificate based on the documents submitted. If SAIOSH is “capable” of doing this, why not the DOL?
      I think SAIOSH does not understand its own role in the profession.
      Internationally speaking, professional associations are “agents” for the profession. This means that they keep the profession up to date, and protect the profession from requirements that will have a negative impact on the profession. SAIOSH seems set on promoting the SAQA agenda, and suck up to the DOL, instead of keeping both in line. I see the DOL as a race horse, running towards their own goals, and SAIOSH should be the jockey holding the reigns, keeping the DOL in step with the objectives of the profession. Increasing costs and re-examining competencies is not acceptable by the profession and SAIOSH should stop the race horse from running away.
      The same would apply if you see the DOL as a cart donkey. If they are not running fast enough, the jockey should urge it to step in line with professional practice.

      1. Identification of the hazards and risks relevant to the construction project through regular coordinated site inspections;

        If this is too much to ask, then they should not be accepted by the DOL.

      2. Hi Peter, Saiosh does not assess its members, IOSH SA does, after Grad level.
        IOSH SA is the registered body, not Saiosh.

        ==== Editor notes; Firewall, firewall, who is the fattest board of all? Said Humpty Dumpty as he squeezed through a crack in the wall. Their accounts are probably separate.

      3. There is something weird here.
        IOSH SA is the recognised body.
        SAIOSH does not assess practitioners, but IOSH SA does.
        SAIOSH however issues membership certificates.
        I could not find ONE certificate on the SACPCMP database issued by IOSH SA, “the recognised professional body”.
        So, my questions:
        1. Who received points for being a member of IOSH SA and how did they prove it?
        2. What is the value of a SAIOSH Certificate?

        — Editor notes; You could get a few ‘free’ SACPCMP points for being a member of either Saiosh, Iosm, Achasm, or Master Builders. At high cost of course.
        These bodies are all recognised by SAQA for trying to be institutes, and for awarding their members gold stars for a parallel process of CVs, portrolios, and meetings. Employers, and informed HR practitioners, ignore memberships.
        Weirdly, the SACPCMP accepts even Candidate membership as worth some points. The uncles and aunties in the registration racket have some cosy deals with one another. The word racket comes to mind. It is not really about skills, more about peddling influence, misleading the public, pretending to do something about construction incidents, and shifting liability to people who merely advise line management.
        Rather spend your time, effort and money on real training, building a real CV, and applying for real health and safety jobs.

  7. We thank everyone for pledging their support. We are keeping a watchful eye on developments within the profession and the process going forward.
    We will respond in due time and have taken note of the suggestions made by practitioners, on both sides of the fence, that is directed at improving the profession itself.

    NIOCCSA does not stand to gain financially from this drive. We thus have no financial interest to protect. We do this purely as a matter of principle in the interest of protecting the OHS practitioners. If we do gain anything, it will be your support and recognition as a professional institute that takes the profession seriously and serve the interest of the OHS practitioners.
    We want to see the enablement of the profession to play an active role in preventive OHS and the uplifting of education standards, which is the root cause of the problem. We want to see an increase in the market value of practitioners to be aligned to other professions at the same level. And we do not believe the process we are now being forced into, will achieve these objectives; but have the opposite effect.

  8. Quote: “The DDG never responds to anything we submit”.

    Rudy this is not the first time that you have publicly stated that you have submitted letters to the Department of Labour with no positive response. The previous time was under the umbrella of DASH, you informed the public that you wrote to the Minister and that she was going to put a hold on the construction regulations until you submitted a position paper, this never happened. You should rather become part of BUSA or NEDLAC where your voice will be heard.

  9. Mark, you must be a safety officer of some sort. You only read parts of a regulation and then expect the contractor to comply with your interpretation.
    And you are probably also one of those that believe a SHE rep has to inspect the workplace once a month.

  10. DASH wrote to the Minister of Labour in August 2013 to request postponement of the launch of the regulations in October 2014. This request was granted and it was launched in February 2014.
    I started with DASH SA during this period and we have reached agreement with NIOCCSA to separate our efforts. NIOCCSA focuses on professionals, while we focus on contractor development. The combined efforts have already resulted in more contractors being able to comply with H&S requirements.
    We support NIOCCSA to scrap the registration of safety officers with the SACPCMP, as contractors will be required to comply with requirements that will not be feasible to sustain their businesses. Obviously the Marks of this world forgot to assess the financial implications of the registration process if handled by a state initiated NPO.
    We would much rather see the DOL registering safety officers at an affordable fee paid once off. In the end, the biggest motivation for registration is the ability to issue sanctions for negligence. If one compares the SACPCMP rates versus councils outside of the CBE, there is a huge difference in fees. Why is that? Because part of the income is spent on the CBE? or KFC?
    If the DOL registers practitioners, they could set up a research body, like the mines have. I am not suggesting the funds raised from registration will be sufficient to fund research, but the mines have levies. Why not levy construction companies? They have money to waste on penalties for tender rigging, why not safety? It seems not important to them.

    ==== Editor notes; The CBE may be scrapped, according to state policy discussions, as posted elsewhere on KFC and other soft drink fees would probably not be affected.

    The mining research body has been less active in recent years, and now has contracted the CSIR to set up a centre of research excellence, as posted on last week (see the second page after the homepage). Some OHS disciplines are pooly served by universities, who are funded and mandated to do research. CSIR is a semi-private technology organisation, aimed at devices, and its results are not likely to benefit education, training, or management practice.

  11. Here’s the challenge to NIOCCSA, publish the Minister’s response that indicated that NIOCCSA was granted postponement on the CR’s. You will not be able to because nothing of the sort ever happened. Also, publish the DOL’s response to your call to scrap the registration with SACPCMP. It is one thing to get everyone exited on a public forum but another to provide proof of what is claimed. No sarcastic comments required, just the response from DOL please.

  12. Mark
    You have been noticed to push SAIOSH to be the chosen body for the profession. However you seem to miss the possibility that SAIOSH can also benefit from the NIOCCSA initiative. Instead of doing everything in your power to discredit them, consider working with them.
    There is no legal requirement on any level of OHS practitioner to register with the SACPMCP. The legal duty lies with contractors who are prohibited from employing an unregistered person. This ads expenses to contractors most cannot afford and they will either circumvent the requirement or loose out on tenders/contracts.
    The DOL is always referring to their duty to save lives in construction. They are not going to achieve this by expensive registration and questionable CPD.
    The SACPCMP has since the start of the registration process done nothing to “change” the level of competence of practitioners. SAIOSH on the other hand has done a great deal more and are still doing so.
    At R295 per annum, nobody will complain if they have to register with SAIOSH to get DOL registered would they?

    Perhaps NIOCCSA should just drop their efforts, and let everybody suffer for two years maintaining the costly CPD and annual fees. Let the jobless suffer to find work because of a lack of funds to register. Let unemployment rise to unknown levels in OHS, and let the construction industry suffer the same fate as the people they put out of jobs. That is what the proponents of registration wants.

  13. Hannes, I agree with you. The safety fraternity have been doing a great job thus far in raising compliance levels albeit in some cases over the top.
    But forced registration is not going to solve the problems we have in South Africa. It has never worked internationally, and will fail in SA. People will still die, and accidents will still happen. The DOL and its cronies are barking up the wrong tree. They should regulate construction clients – not safety officers. Just look at the Tongaat Mall as example. Yet the company is still in business. If a company ignores a court order, what illusion does the DOL have that they will employ a safety officer, let alone a registered one.
    The problem lies with education – fix that and everything else will come right.
    OHS cannot compare itself to other professions. Other professions have dedicated qualifications. OHS has more qualifications on offer than people to employ.
    Professionalising OHS is not possible in this context. Let safety officers carry on with their work. Give them more teeth, rather than reducing the number by a stupid ill-fated process designed to enrich a select group of wannabee millionaires.

  14. But what do you do if the regulator / enforcement authority is incompetent? Who regulates the regulator? Perhaps you should be talking to them or auditor general maybe? Perhaps there should be an investigation into what other countries have in terms of regulators / enforcement authorities – and how they can confirmed as competent to draft and issue legislation – or what is in effect the Health and Safety Management System for Republic of South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Oh wait, that has happened to some extent and it goes way back.

    I will quote my reference to research conducted on the RSA system. Professor Smallwood was listed as a contributing author to the paper. In recent doctoral research IN SOUTH AFRICA, as published by F.L. Geminiani et al. / Safety Science 53 (2013), the following was found:

    “According to Hermanus (1999) it is indisputable that South Africa needs to overhaul its OH&S system. The evidence is unequivocal. Inconsistencies in policy, law and approach as well as organisational discontinuities represent formidable obstacles to developing a consistent approach to OH&S in South Africa. Currently there is no DoL OH&S Inspectorate model per se. The supposed functions of the DoL Inspectorate are primarily to enforce legislation by conducting inspections and investigation. From the findings of this study, it is evident that these functions are not being conducted effectively.”

    It continues……

    “The DoL Inspectorate operated with a shortage of inspectors with OH&S competencies in terms of knowledge and skills, and also that the vacancy rate was 47.8%. Reasons for the vacancy rate include a lack of experience in the engineering disciplines, and the poor remuneration being offered by the DoL.”

    …and this gem:

    “Based on the survey of the literature and the empirical findings presented aforementioned, it generally appears that the South African DoL Inspectorate is not effective in conducting their duties. Judging from the findings obtained in this study it appears that there is a distinct need for change in the South African DoL Inspectorate.”

    Shockingly, the paper finds the following regarding the masters of these wonderful new construction regulations:

    “Based on the degree of concurrence relative to various findings, there appears to be a lack of construction related
    competence encompassing, inter alia: adequate knowledge, skills, construction experience, qualifications and assessment capabilities amongst DoL inspectors. The DoL Inspectorate also needs to adopt a policy of better liaison and promotion with stakeholders and intermediaries relative to issues on a national level which will maximise the impact and success of assuring OH&S”.

    I rest my case your lordship. Banging your head against the proverbial brick wall? I think so. You can write all sort of letters to DoL, it won’t change a thing.
    Why? Because the rot starts at the top
    Why? Because that is just the way it is – call it politics. There isn’t the political will power.
    Why? Because there are bigger fish to fry, like the rampant murder rate and building fancy state homes.
    Where do we go now? Lobby for change – but target the right people. Highlight the incompetence on a global stage, get the people to voice their concerns. This is a political game.

    If that doesn’t work, go somewhere where it does work. I have and it’s brilliant!!!!!!

  15. Koos
    I will not comment on the DOL’s competence. I personally believe there are some good inspectors out there somewhere. However, even if the rot starts there, there is no valid reason to shift responsibility. Politics? Yes of coarse. There was an election remember. And the DOL had targets to meet to maintain public perception. If the media did not get hold of the Tongaat Mall story, do you think the investigation (now a year in the making) would even have happened at the high level it is now?
    Having said that, and the fact that the OHS Officers were blamed by the registration supporters, for all 83 deaths in the construction industry, the DOL is yet to fail another day. The registration of safety officers with two week courses and some odd number of years experience is not going to solve the problem. NOT NOT NOT!!!!
    The fact is that these courses should NEVER have been allowed to become the norm in OHS Qualifications. Universities have failed in delivering quality education in OHS. People opted for the less expensive courses; the quick fix, and industry bought it like on a Black Friday sale. NOW!!! The DOL is trying to tell the general population that this is no good?
    And those who believe that SACPCMP registration are for their benefit, is about to catch a cold. The SACPCMP is a public body, and just like people are whining about FNB and dearly beloved STEVE, they will jump at the opportunity to complain about a safety officer’s conduct, and then? Has any registered practitioner thought of this? NO!
    Because recognition outweighs all other risks – even the risk of unemployment.
    Scrap the Crap!!!
    DOL should register the OHS officers. Get an application, award a certificate and charge R150 for it – as simple as that. No other crap is needed. I wonder what the ethnic distribution of OHS is at the lower levels. I am convinced that black OHS practitioners do not have a voice. And they are most likely the ones who needs this more than ever!

  16. I support this initiative. There is no need to register health & safety officers with the SACPCMP and make them jump through hoops.
    On each site, there will be a “registered” client CHSA. This person should take the lead on site H&S and the safety officers are merely there to assist in the distribution of information and communicating this to their employees.
    The key competencies we need to prevent accidents during construction as well as building collapses thereafter, lies within the Design Risk Management field.
    In my opinion, this is the function of the architect, structural engineer and other designers (CR6).
    Safety officers are needed, and we need to keep record of them for the purposes of issuing permits, although the regulations does not make this obligatory like with the agents. The Application form for a Construction Permit, is the only place where the CHSO’s name would appear.
    Clients can save themselves millions by appointing their own safety team. Agent and officers to manage the project under ONE OHS system. This reduces confusion, streamlines compliance and makes costing for OHS so much easier.
    I agree with Peter Shields – Scrap the Crap!

  17. In response to Mark’s comment; “No contractor may appoint a construction health and safety officer to assist in the control of health and safety related aspects on the site unless the construction health and safety officer that he or she intends to appoint is registered by a SAQA recognised professional body approved by the Chief Inspector.”

    This is not currently an option as there are three SAQA recognised professional bodies with Health & Safety designations. This will only result in further degradation of the profession.
    If Joe Samuels and his team change their position regarding this, and force SAIOSH, SABPP and IoSM to form one body, then only will this work on the basis that registration with this new body, is part of the DOL criteria for registration as CHSO.

    In response to Shane’s concern about who is going to assess practitioners…
    Why do you feel the need to assess them? Is the training provider that is registered with SAQA and the SETA’s now also incompetent to do assessments of the qualifications they issued? Tell that to NOSA!
    Scrap the Crap!!!

    1. In Response; Check the list of items that the H&S Officers are expected to do in the article – not excluding a TECHNICAL Report.
      Enough said.

      1. Check the list and compare it with the SACPCMP’s list. IT IS THE SAME THING!!!!
        For this very reason, we should scrap the bulky registration process to test their competency knowing the outcome. Just register them wih the DOL and keep them on a list of registered persons. As Shane pointed out elsewhere, not even the SAQA approved professional body goes this far at officer level.
        And why did Saiosh not oppose the list if it s such a tall order? Because it was hijacked? Yes the SACPCMP system smells like the outdated and outvoted IOSM! VOTE THEM OUT TOO

  18. Some more interesting news is that Thobile Lamati will not respond to NIOCCSA. From 1 December 2014 he is the Director General of the DOL and probably have bigger fish to fry than the plight of safety officers.

  19. Even if the DOL remove the external registration of CHS Officers from the CR’s it will not solve the problem. In terms of Section 18(1)(C) and 18(2) of the Project and Construction Management Professions Act 48 of 2000, CHS Officers may not practice unless registered with the SACPCMP. This has been the case since August 2013 – Notice 113 of 2013 Government Gazette 36525. The Department of Labour merely reinforced this by adding it into the CR’s. The call for scrapping the registration of CHS Officers should therefor be at the door of the Department of Public Works not the DOL.

  20. That might be the case, but this piece of legislation is stand-alone and only governs the DPW. It places no duty on employers, or practitioners. It only prohibits non-registered persons from practicing under a “registered” designation. As long as you do not call yourself a CHSO, you are fine. This has been a long term argument since the draft came out. The only link is the Construction Regulations.
    Scrap the crap!

    1. If what you say Mark, is correct then every single person would have been practising illegally for the past 14 years.

    2. Another point. There is no mention of CHS in Section 18, only “specialised categories”. The term CHS is given effect by the DOL approval of the SACPCMP, which should be withdrawn for CHSM and CHSO, paragraphs b and c of the approval.

      1. Notice 113 of 2013 – “The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions is empowered by Section 18(1) (c) of the Project and Construction Management Act (Act No. 48 of 200), to prescribe any specified category which is the basis by which it is now prescribing the registration of the Construction Health and Safety Officer.”

        Not illegal for the past 14 years Donovan, it only came into effect on 1 August 2013 and there was an extension of time, can’t remember how long, think it was 12 or 18 months.

      2. Construction Managers and Project Manager that have not registered in terms of the PCMP Act 48 of 2000 have been practicing illegally for the past 14 years, fortunately there are some 5000 that have registered since the promulgation of the Act in 2000.
        CHSO, CHSM and Pr. CHSA is the latest specified categories in terms of Sec 18(1)(c) of the Act, it was gazetted on 31 May 2013.

        ==== Editor notes; The 5000 consturction managers in 14 years (357 per year, one per day) seem eventually as many as the crowd needing loaves of bread, but by accumulation, not miraculous multiplication.
        Construction health and safety numbers are closer to the fishes before miraculous multiplication.

      3. Mark, those are only the registration rules. It still does not make it enforceable.

  21. Mark, you sound desperate to get this hogwash implemented. I cannot find a valid reason why safety officers should be regulated. The SACPCMP deisgnations clearly indicate that only AGENTS are deemded Professional. Hence the ‘Pr’. Do you see ‘Pr’ in front of CHSM and CHSO?? NO, because it is NOT intended to be a professional designation.
    Safety officers are EMPLOYED, and the CEO carries the liability to ensure they are competent, trained, retrained and trained again. There is no valid reason for government interference in the job market. Except if they intend to upgrade NSkandalig again.

    1. Poster boy, seams like you are the one that cannot read. How can quoting a section from an Act of Parliament be an attempt of desperation to get something implemented if it is already implemented. Not only implemented but gazetted and enforceable. But hey you go with whatever tickle your fancy.

      1. Ha ha ha. Poster boy or love-child of a DoL inspector and a two-week trained elf ‘n safety consultant?

        I is just are stirring, because quietly, I am laughing to myself at the debate which is as I have said before based on patently flawed legislation. Carry on……Koos likes a good joke.

  22. Any company who refused a safety officer employment in construction because of SACPCMP registration is in breach of the law. Report them to the CCMA.
    And that Mark is a fact! The thing is, you don’t know why I say so. And I am not going to tell you right now either. But wait and see.

  23. Perhaps those who have been downgraded and rejected should share their experiences seeing that Steve here cannot as he is not registered.
    The SACPCMP rejected a QS with 27 years experience who applied for Pr.CPM during an interview, which they said he qualified for, due to “lack of experience” as Project Manager. If they did a proper job, they would not have called him from the Middle East to attend the interview. But if you can make double the application fees, why not?
    And the interview is recorded, and you have to say that it was “fair”. Just so you could not sue them afterwards.
    Happy Registration!!! See you at the UIF!!!

    ==== Editor notes; Unfortunately there may be some unfair advantage in going along for the ride, paying for meaningless registration to score a few quick points with HR, paying more for meaningless voluntary registration to score a designation and the few points you get on the basis of your training and experience being ‘recognised’ twice.
    There are some inherently dishonest aspects to ‘professionalising’ a multi-disciplinary practice.
    And there is something inherently impractical about registering a generic practice in only one industry. It had to be construction, prone to over-regulation and ethical relativity.

  24. As at November 2014;
    42 OHS applications have been finalised and awaiting outcome.
    902 applied, of which 448 are in process.
    159 still has reports outstanding
    289 have not yet paid fees.

    Nobody wants this.
    Raise your objection today! Click on SACPCMP Objection.

  25. The SACPCMP is a disaster of note. After complying with all their registration requirements [in construction or project management] some years back, they claimed to have lost all my registration documentation and thereafter failed to reply to all further communication.

    In these days of forced name changes and cadre employment through the discriminative use of affirmative action, how about renaming the SACPCMP? What springs to mind is the South African Council for the Chamber of Horrors (SACCOH).

  26. OMG! So now you have no idea who has access to your ID document, certicates, etc, etc.
    So much for protection of personal information. Which incidentally is another issue.
    The SACPCMP uses a product registered in the USA to manage their “register of registered persons”. USA data protection laws are slightly different from the POPI we have in South Africa, and although not in full effect yet, there are a number of issues to be addressed.

    ==== Editor notes; The complainant is (or was) probablay registered as a Construction Manager or Project Manager, and is perhaps an engineer. These management designatories, for whom the SACPCMP was created, probably have to submit portofolios of evidence, with qualifications, expeprience records, scenario essays, proof of payments, etc.
    These kinds of documents in some professions, particularly ones submitted by the best successful candidates, have a way of being emulated by other applicants, as valued examples of the correct format of applications. Or it was just misfiled and will turn up again.

  27. Hi, why should there in the first place be an option if a contractor may appoint a HSE officer? What about HSE Manager? Why not there will be a HSE Officer/ Manager on site as per section 17. This is South Africa we talking about…….

    1. OK, please tell me you also want to be registered?
      Section 17 is not part of the debate. But if you believe the HEALTH and safety Representative and the registered CHS Officer is the same person, HOUSTON! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!!!
      This kind of misunderstanding of the law would dissappear like mist at sunrise, once the SACPCMP gets to rule the profession. Gone are incompetence! And that my friend is why the dear old professor wants you to register. So that all your incompetencies can vanish! We do not need training in the law and how to apply it, we need a certificate to say we are registered as candidate CHS Offers and we bribe people to sign our logbooks. THAT is now worth more than any PhD.

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