Important changes that put the onus on the Client

It has become evident to MRC Group in recent times, that many of our clients are not familiar with the Occupational Health Safety Act No 85 of 1993 and its associated regulations and standards and in particular the Construction Regulations 2014. In terms of section 43 of the Occupational Health Safety Act No 85 of 1993 the Construction Regulations were amended by Government Gazette notice R84 on 7 February 2014. The full implementation of the amendments came into force on 7 August 2015.

The major change that has taken place is the onus on the Client to perform certain duties, and they need to instruct their Principal Contractor / Contractor on various items.

*Non Compliance means the CEO and other high level managers may liable for R 100 000 fine and/or 2 years in prison.

Health & Safety Minimum Requirement Checklist

Click on the below image to find our downloadable checklist to ensure that all your contractors including maintenance personnel are compliant with the minimum requirements of health & safety.

The Client must: (Section 5 of the Construction Regulations 2014)

  • prepare a baseline risk assessment for an intended construction work project;
  • prepare a suitable, sufficiently documented and coherent site specific health and safety specification for the intended construction work based on the baseline risk assessment contemplated in paragraph (a);
  • provide the designer with the health and safety specification contemplated in paragraph (b);
  • ensure that the designer takes the prepared health and safety specification into consideration during the design stage;
  • ensure that the designer carries out all responsibilities contemplated in regulation 6;
  • include the health and safety specification in the tender documents;
  • ensure that potential principal contractors submitting tenders have made adequate provision for the cost of health and safety measures;
  • ensure that the principal contractor to be appointed has the necessary competencies and resources to carry out the construction work safely;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure co-operation between all contractors appointed by the client to enable each of those contractors to comply with these Regulations;
  • ensure before any work commences on a site that every principal contractor is registered and in good standing with the compensation fund or with a licensed compensation insurer as contemplated in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993);
  • appoint every principal contractor in writing for the project or part thereof on the construction site;
  • discuss and negotiate with the principal contractor the contents of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in regulation 7(1), and must thereafter finally approve that plan for implementation;
  • ensure that a copy of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan is available on request to an employee, inspector or contractor;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that each contractor’s health and safety plan contemplated in regulation 7(1)(a) is implemented and maintained;
  • ensure that periodic health and safety audits and document verification are conducted at intervals mutually agreed upon between the principal contractor and any contractor, but at least once every 30 days;
  • ensure that a copy of the health and safety audit report contemplated in paragraph (o) is provided to the principal contractor within seven days after the audit;
  • stop any contractor from executing a construction activity which poses a threat to the health and safety of persons which is not in accordance with the client’s health and safety specifications and the principal contractor’s health and safety plan for the site;
  • where changes are brought about to the design or construction work, make sufficient health and safety information and appropriate resources available to the principal contractor to execute the work safely; and
  • ensure that the health and safety file contemplated in regulation 7(1)(b) is kept and maintained by the principal contractor

The new focus is Competency

The focus of the New Construction Regulations is on people being ‘Competent’. It is no longer of case of choosing a staff member, and adding Health and Safety to their portfolio, as they will not be deemed competent. Risk can only be identified and rated by someone who has been trained to do so. As Risk Management and Identification form the backbone of Health and Safety, it is vital that this be done correctly and by a ‘Competent’ person.

This is a brief summary and not intended as a replacement or interpretation of the Regulations, but information purposes. Please note we have a registered Technical Member with SAIOSH as part of our team, and is able to assist you in these matters.

The MRC Group approach is, that we engage with our client on Health and Safety from the outset of the project through to project completion.

Please CONTACT US should you require assistance or advice.