Construction contractors at risk in registration bungle - UPDATED

2014-08-03 18:37

Construction contractors may not appoint a health and safety Agent, Manager, or Officer, unless SACPCMP registered, with required competencies and resources.

From 8 August 2014, construction contractors are in breach of the Construction Regulations unless their construction safety Officers and Managers are registered with the SACPCMP, and considered competent.

As the law stands, Officers and Managers must be registered by 7 August 2014. Should a fatality occur, it would be investigated accordingly.

Breach of statutory duty is sufficient grounds for civil claims where there was fault on the part of the employer, regardless of the effect of damage or injury.

It is thus important that the logical exemption be provided by the DOL, on or before 7 August 2014. If not, we advise companies to apply for exemption on their own accord, and keep record of such application.

According to Anthony Forgey of the SACPCMP, they “receive many incomplete applications, some of which are not sufficiently documented for processing, or are unpaid. This represents a staggering 75% of applications.”

On a request for clarity on the requirements of Construction Regulation 34(2), which exempts compliance with Permits and Construction HS Agent registration for 18 months from the date of commencement, Anthony Forgey responded;

“I have discussed the matter with DoL (Phumi Maphaha) and we have agreed that while it was not intended, it was a bit of an oversight in not specifying that the Officer and Manager categories deadline is also August 2015.”

The DOL had said that they will be issuing an exemption notice to clarify this, but with less than a week before the new regulations takes effect on projects started after 7 February 2014, no clarification had been issued.

The DOL issued a draft notice on 5 August postponing the registration process until 6 August 2015 for ALL H&S Categories.

This notice is expected to be Gazetted on the 8th of August 2014.

NIOCCSA urges members to register

Forgey also informed the consultants; “Certainly one of the most valuable assistance at this point would be to alert applicants to the requirements, and the importance of the completeness of documentation.”

“We cannot allow consultants to operate as Agents if they are not registered, as it goes against our code of ethics and conduct. It is thus important that there is a formal exemption from the DOL to allow more time for officers and managers to register.

“For a consultant to approve construction contractors’ health and safety plan, where the safety Officer is not registered, would be sufficient reason to lodge a formal complaint and institute disciplinary action. It would however be unfair, since Officers and Managers are not doing their part to register.”

Neither the DOL nor SACPCMP is to blame for this state of affairs, as the message was not conveyed properly to practitioners. Public perception that the deadline for all is only in 2015, is incorrect.

People needing more informati0n on the registration process can visit this link:

http://sacpcmp.org.za/construction-health-safety

Orginal author: Rudy Maritz

Edited by Edmund Furter for Sheqafrica.com

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