Feb 10, 2014
Construction Regulations 2014 provide legislative platform to address health and safetyBack
Construction|Design|Environment|PROJECT|Projects|Safety|System|Systems|Equipment|Proper Infrastructure|Systems|Infrastructure|Mildred Oliphant|Power|Thulas Nxesi
© Reuse this
The 2014 regulations amended the first South African construction regulations promulgated in 2003. The process to amend the original regulations had started in 2006, after which the revised regulations were published for comment in 2010.
Speaking at the launch of the regulations, Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant said for the country’s economy to grow, proper infrastructure, which included cities and towns, was needed and the only industry that could make this possible was the construction industry.
“[However], even though this industry is the heart and soul of our economy, it continues to be bedevilled by poor health and safety management,” she said, adding that while some efforts were made to improve health and safety, the industry was still not up to standard.
“The safety of employees must be an absolute priority. It is unacceptable that on average two South African construction workers die every week,” Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said, also speaking at the promulgation.
He added that, according to extensive research by the Council for the Built Environment a deficiency of regulation in the area of construction health and safety was one of the fundamental reasons for the current poor standards of health and safety management in the delivery of construction projects.
“We are satisfied that with these regulations we have addressed concerns raised by a number of stakeholders, including the Construction Industry Development Board, with regard to the need to have regulations amended to promote optimum health and safety throughout all phases of a project, particularly in the conception, initiation and detailed design phases,” Oliphant stated.
She further noted that the new regulations, aside from providing a legislative platform for addressing health and safety, also sought to harness the power of the different competitive forces to work together for the good of projects, identifying and also placing certain legal responsibilities on different key stakeholders.
“All stakeholders, including workers, bear responsibility for creating and maintaining safe construction workplaces, with clients holding the greatest potential leverage, which is the authority to influence the behaviour of others,” Oliphant explained.
The Minister further said, importantly, the Construction Regulations 2014 introduced the concept of a construction work-permit system that would require an application to be lodged with the DoL 30 days before construction work was undertaken.
“Being granted a construction work permit will not be automatic. Each application will properly be scrutinised to ensure that it meets the requirement for granting such a permit,” she said.
Another important aspect introduced in the regulations was the registration of construction professionals in three categories, namely construction health and safety agent, construction health and safety manager, and construction health and safety officer.
This registration would have to be done through the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions, and professionals would be subject to a process, including an interview or exam to test their competence.
“Some of the more tangible benefits that are expected from the regulation of construction health and safety professionals were, among others, the improvement of health and safety management on all construction projects, increased employee and public confidence in employer construction health and safety projects, and enhanced quality of life,” Nxesi stated.
Oliphant further announced that she had instructed the health and safety chief inspector to establish a construction health and safety technical committee, which would consist of various industry stakeholders.
“The primary role of this committee will be to advise the chief inspector on construction-related codes, standards and training requirements, and to designate persons in writing to examine safety systems and records of companies which have high incident rates and provide recommendations to the chief inspector of occupational health and safety on the findings,” Oliphant explained.
“This will be achieved by [among other measures] including occupational health and safety requirements [in] the grading system for contractors,” he said.
The department would also enforce necessary measures to ensure compliance by those involved in early project planning and design stages, as well as to ensure that bills of quantities by bidders or contractors encompassed a site-specific health and safety plan.
Nxesi added that the DPW was also currently conducting scheduled inspections on all construction sites to ensure that all contractors provided protective clothing and equipment to their workers.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has partnered with Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) professor and founder and CEO of PanAvest Partnership Dr Douglas Boateng to publish a series of books on executive supply chain management aimed at...
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010.
Rwanda has joined a number of East African countries seeking to import electricity from Ethiopia as its demand grows. After it became apparent several generation project it is implementing will not come on stream early enough, now plans to import 400 MW from Ethiopia...
Metrorail’s first new passenger train will arrive in November next year, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana. “Next year we will be able to put our hands around the infrastructure and equipment we have been talking about for so long.”
The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into what it says are “price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to original equipment manufacturers” (OEMs, or vehicle...