New Construction Regulations; 2014

labour-guideBy Fanie de Swardt

Most people are under the impression that the construction regulations would only be applicable to the construction industry itself, thus reasoning that the above mentioned changes will not have an effect on them.

According to the Regulation 2 (1); these Regulations are applicable to all persons involved in construction work. In cases where the construction work carried out is in relation to a single storey dwelling for a client who intends to reside in such dwelling upon completion thereof, Regulations 3: Application for Construction Work Permit and Regulations 5: Duties of Client would not applicable.

In order to clarify the issue, we need to look at the new meaning of the new definition for ”construction work”?

According to the new definition it means:

  • the construction, erection, maintenance, alteration, renovation, repair, demolition, or dismantling of or addition to a building or any similar structure; or
  • the construction, erection, maintenance, demolition, or dismantling of any bridge, dam, canal, road, railway, runway, sewer or water reticulation; or the moving of earth, clearing of land, the making of an excavation, piling, system or any similar type of work.”

It is clear from the definition that a large amount of everyday activities like maintenance, alteration and renovation to buildings and structures form part of ”construction work” and would be addressed by the Construction Regulations.

The new ”Construction Regulations, 2014” were officially published on the 7th of February 2014 through the Government Gazette (Notice 37305 of 2014).

However; in terms of section 40 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993) the Chief Inspector; granted the following temporary exemptions:

  • All construction works where physical construction started after the 7th of February 2014 must comply with the Construction Regulations 2003, and such construction works are exempted to comply with the Construction Regulations 2014 until the 7th August 2014, 6 months after the commencement of these Regulations, thereafter the Construction Regulations 2014 shall apply with the exception of Regulation 3 and 5 (7)(b) which will come into effect on the 7th August 2015, 18 months after the commencement of these Regulations.
  • All construction works where physical construction had started on or before the 7th of February 2014 must comply with the Construction Regulations 2003, and such construction works are exempted to comply with Construction Regulations 2014 until the 6th August 2015 and thereafter the Construction Regulations 2014 shall apply.

The following timeframes would be applicable when we look at the above mentioned notice from the Chief Inspectors Office.

Timeframe 1: 6 Months exemption period – where physical construction started after the 7th of February 2014

The Construction Regulations 2003 would be applicable until the 6th of August 2014. In practical terms, most of the provisions of the new Construction Regulations 2014 would come into an effect from the 7th of August 2014.

Timeframe 2: 18 Months exemption period – where physical construction started after the 7th of February 2014

Temporary exception would still be applicable to Regulation 3: Application for Construction Work Permit and Regulation 5 (7)(b): Notification of Construction Workuntil the 6th of August 2015. For the purpose of this news letter we will briefly look at the new stipulations of Regulations 3 and 5 (7)(b).

Regulation 3: Application for Construction Work Permit.

A client who intends to have construction work carried out, must at least 30 days before that work is to be carried out apply to the provincial director in writing for a construction work permit to perform construction work if the intended construction work will –

(a)  exceed 180 days;

(b)  will involve more than 1800 person days of construction work; or

(c)  the works contract is of a value equal to or exceeding thirteen million rand or Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading level 6.

The client will make the application in a form similar to the new Annexure 1 that is provided in the new regulations. The provincial director will then have 30 days to grant a construction work permit and assign a site specific number for each construction site.

Regulation 5: Duties of Client

Regulation 5(5) and 5(6) of the new Construction Regulations refers to the appointment of a “competent agent” by the client.

The client must:

“… appoint a competent person in writing as an agent to act as his or her representative, and where such an appointment is made the duties that are imposed by these Regulations upon a client, apply as far as reasonably practicable to the agent so appointed”.

According to Regulation 5(5) an agent must manage the health and safety on a construction project for the client where a construction work permit is required in regulation 3(1): Application for Construction Work Permit.

Regulation 5 (7)(b)refers to the ‘agent’ who must be registered with a statutory body approved by the Chief Inspector as qualified to perform the required functions.

In terms of Government Gazette No 37305, notice R85, the Department of Labour has approved the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) as the statutory body, as contemplated under section 5(8) of the Construction Regulations and for the registration of 3 levels of Construction Health and Safety professionals.

(The SACPCMP is prescribing the official registration of the Construction Health and Safety Agent; Construction Health and Safety Managers as well as the Construction Health and Safety Officers. The Scope of Service and the relevant registration documents can be downloaded from www.sacpcmp.org.za)

Construction Regulation 5(6) stipulates where notification of construction work is required (in terms of regulation 4(1)) the client may:

“… appoint a competent person in writing as an agent to act as his or her representative, and where such an appointment is made the duties that are imposed by these Regulations upon a client, apply as far as reasonably practicable to the agent so appointed: Provided that, where the question arises as to whether an agent is necessary, the decision of an inspector is decisive”.

Regulation 4(1) refers to the “Notification of Construction Work” by the contractor to the provincial director.

The new regulation stipulates that a contractor who intends to carry out any construction work other than work contemplated in regulation 3(1): Application for Construction Work Permit, must at least 7 days before that work is to be carried out notify the provincial director in writing in a form similar to Annexure 2 if the intended construction work will –

(a)  include excavation work;

(b)  include working at a height where there is risk of falling;

(c)  include the demolition of a structure; or

(d)  include the use of explosives to perform construction work.

Timeframe 3: 18 Months exemption period – where physical construction started before the 7th of February 2014

The Construction Regulations 2003 shall apply until the 6th of August 2015 and thereafter the Construction Regulations 2014 shall apply.

I trust that the above mentioned information would be helpful.

For more information contact safety@labourguide.co.za

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