How To...

How to manage construction health and safety appointments

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

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

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

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

Construction appointments are site-specific

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

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

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

Construction health and safety appointments and registration differ

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

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

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

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

Laws always add, never subtract

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

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

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

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

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

shavanya subramoney

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

Construction health and safety managers do not have to register

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

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

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

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

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

How health and safety appointments are managed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources; Sheqafrica.com. Rudy Maritz. Safebuild.

Attachment; Construction LEGAL APPOINTMENTS table by Hlela

Attachment; Legal electrical Application for an accredited person with DOL

Sheqafrica
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