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Industry News & Updates

Construction Health and Safety Supervisor Appointments - You Need To Know

by Admin | 17 April 2019

Principal Contractors and Contractors are often forced by individuals, who portray themselves to be Construction Health and Safety “Professionals”, to adhere to their unproven interpretations of legislation. Reasonability and practicability are often not considered and the implementation of certain of these items may expose the project, the client, principal contractors and/or contractors to unwanted risks. My opinion is just that, an opinion from a qualified professional and has yet to be tested in a court of law.

Construction Regulation 2014 Guidelines, as published on 02 June 2017, is clear when it comes to the appointment of and competency requirements for a construction manager (CR 8(1)). What is often overlooked is that the aforementioned guidelines clearly state that CR 8(1) may make all statutory appointments in terms of health and safety. This is further proven in Construction Regulation 8(2) and 8(3) where, in 8(2), it is stated that the principal contractor must appoint an assistant construction manager/s and continues, in 8(3), where it states that “Where the construction manager has not appointed assistant construction managers……”. The latter implies that the CR 8(1) is acting on behalf of the Principal Contractor.

There are no problems with the CR 8(1) holding the assignment of Section 16(2). These are separate pieces of legislation which do not contradict or pose a conflict. This practice is often done in the industry.

Furthermore, Supervision is required to be appointed by the Principal Contractor in terms of CR 8(7) and it is very clearly stated that the Contractor’s Supervision must be appointed in terms of CR 8(8). The latter states: “A contractor must, upon having considered the size of the project, in writing appoint one or more competent employees for different sections thereof to assist the construction supervisor contemplated in sub-regulation (7), and every such employee has, to the extent clearly defined by the contractor in the letter of appointment, the same duties as the construction supervisor: Provided that the designation of any such employee does not relieve the construction supervisor of any personal accountability for failing in his or her supervisory duties in terms of this regulation.” It is extremely important to note that the legislation clearly states that the “contractor” must appoint the CR 8(8) and not the Principal Contractor or the Construction Manager.

It cannot be expected of the Principal Contractor to take responsibility for the appointment of the contractor’s employee. The Contractor is an employer in its own right. The Principal Contractor cannot exercise control over or ensure the competency of this person.

Written by - Armand de Koker

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