Construction management academic Prof John Smallwood defended safety registration schemes, and accused consulting body NIOCCSA of lack of support.
“Dear NIOCCSA, Your grammatically incorrect and unfounded communications are not in the interest of health and safety (as opposed to safety).
“Please provide proof of the statement that you have “sufficient support that the majority of practitioners in South Africa does not want the SACPCMP to be the regulator, due to its lack of transparency, costs, and CPD that would prevent further education of practitioners to be addressed at the proper level in the Department of Education”.
“Regards, Professor John Smallwood, PhD (Constr Man), Pr CM, Pr CHSA, MACHASM, MACPM, FCIOB, MESSA, MICOH, MIoSM, MSAIOSH, Head, Department of Construction Management, Programme Director, MSc (Built Environment) Programme, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.”
Prof Smallwood copied his email in support of health and safety registration to SACPCMP Registrar Nomvula Rakalote, DOL Director General, DOL Construction head, DOL Chief Inspector, and other academics, including Occumed.
He is also well known for criticising some organisations and providers for neglecting the occupational health component of Sheq mangement and training.
Consultants explain their proposal
NIOCCSA director Andrew Winder responded; ”Dear Professor Smallwood, our statement might be grammatically incorrect, but it is not unfounded, nor against the interests of health and safety.
“Client Agents are not affected here, they are the only professional category in this entire fiasco, and that should be enforced [regulated].
“The new Construction Regulations Amendment does not put enough responsibility on Clients to ensure the effective management of OHS on construction sites.
“Some clients have opted to call entire provinces their construction sites in order not to appoint a Construction Manager on each site or having to issue a site specific OHS specification. Client Audits are still as generic as alphabet soup. We have achieved nothing to date.
“Non-Construction related companies like Telkom, Vodacom, Eskom, Sasol, etc, perform construction work on a daily basis, yet have full-time OHS personnel acting as Agents.
“The Scope of Services of CHS Officers (those with two week courses or less) you will not find them involved in the upstream construction processes. These levels of practitioners are NOT professionals, as the SACPCMP designation also implicated with the omission of the ‘Pr’ Pre-nomen.
“Even Agents admitted that Officers cannot perform these functions as they are not properly educated.
“Registering these individuals will not serve the purpose of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but will allow for the Construction Clients to appoint these lower level practitioners at agent level to keep costs down.
“The registration process is not designed to entice them to further training into tertiary level, but will create a “short-cut” via CPD.
“We want DOL to register these level practitioners in a once off, affordable process in similar fashion as electrical contractors.
“We want the Department of Higher Education to step up the establishment of the QCTO, so that those practitioners with two week courses can get credits for study and experience to enter into the Tertiary institutions.
“We want Universities like your NMMU to offer degree courses aligned to the unit standards on the NQF so that RPL can take its proper place in the education system and to make it accessible for the full-time employed.
“We want a pathway to be created where SACPCMP registration as Pr CHSA is the ultimate goal to achieve, with proper study; not some hogwash CPD. Reserve CPD for those already qualified at Agent level. That is what it is designed for in the international market.
“Officers and Managers should study to get there, not attend conferences and workshops which are not related to the NQF.
“You may have forgotten that the bulk of the individuals we are referring to and affecting with the registration process are from designated groups. If you and the supporters of professionalism want to make a change, get their employers to pay for their education, and make their education worth the effort. There is hardly enough skills in OHS for the Construction Industry.
“Why eliminate the little we have? The SACPCMP has issued an extension of time for CMs and CPMs who have been functioning as Candidates since 2009, to become properly registered by 2018. The same will happen for CHSOs. We will have Candidates working for the next 10 years and NO formal education will take place.
“I assure you that our efforts to stop and prevent HEALTH and safety officers (with no Occupational Health training in any of the courses listed) being subjected to an ill-fated registration process.
“I am surprised by your response, Prof Smallwood, as I expected you to understand our logic and objective in requesting health and safety officers to be removed from the “profession” until such time as they STUDY to get their Agent status.
“You have only succeeded in motivating us more to stop the process. Do not alienate the “worker ants” of the Construction Industry. They are not to blame for mall and slab collapses.
“Rather address the fact that Construction Managers, Project Managers, Architects, Engineers are not required by the Construction Regulations to be registered with the SACPCMP.
“Rather address the fact that local authorities are not adequately empowered in the OHS Act to assist in law enforcement on Construction sites. -Kind regards, Andrew Winder, NIOCCSA.
• The alternative proposal on health and safety registration to the DOL, is also posted on Sheqafrica.com
• See comments in and below the post ‘Comments on safety registration’ or these other forums;
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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