Rules in place to manage work sites

2013-11-22 00:00

CONSTRUCTION can be a dangerous activity, especially where working at heights is concerned. This is according to the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) health and safety specialist Rudolph Murray.

Safcec has a professional component that provides members with guidance and advice regarding health and safety matters, legislation and best practice, and is a national representative of civil engineering contractors.

He said South Africa is looking far better when compared to other developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (Brics).

“We actually fare far better than them,” Murray added. He said, though, it was uncommon for buildings to collapse while they are being constructed.

Cosatu in a statement yesterday claimed the construction sector in South Africa has the highest on site accident rate and that “this is worrying”.

“We further argue that many of these incidences go unreported. We call upon all workers at all construction sites and other work­places to report such incidents without fear or favour,” it said.

Murray said accurate statistics are difficult to obtain as the compensation commissioner has challenges in providing the latest figures of how many people die or get injured on duty at construction sites.

However, he said according to Federal Employers Mutual, 58 fatalities and 5 386 accidents of various types were reported to them thus far this year.

“Of the fatalities, 31 were the result of motor vehicle accidents and 10 due to falls to a different level,” he told The Witness.

Murray believes that checks and balances should always be in place before a structure of the magnitude of the Tongaat mall is constructed.

“From the design and procurement stages, safety should be a major consideration and it is vital that competent and experienced professionals should form part of the team. Adequate supervision is also non-negotiable.”

He said it is not only in the construction firms that employers hire unqualified labourers.

“As a responsible employers’ organisation, we obviously discourage such practices … there is a sectoral determination in place, which specifies minimum wages and employers are legally compelled to pay these wages,” he added.

Murray said there are factors that are beyond the control of the contractor, such as speeding motorists on road construction projects.

Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) president Abe Thela said South Africa has stringent legislation and regulations that must be complied with before construction of a building should commence.

“These include the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated construction regulations, National Environmental Act, municipal bylaws for zoning and more.

“Compliance with these regulations coupled with the appointment of competent engineers based on quality including experience and expertise rather than lowest price, and with adequate supervision allowed for will avert unfortunate failures such as this,” said Thela.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.