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If you don't take these eight steps before you start your construction project, the DoL may shut you down

by , 01 December 2014
Construction work is very dangerous. That's why you have to take the right steps to implement health and safety on site before you even start your construction project.

That's why the Construction Regulations 2014 clearly outlines what you have to do to make sure your construction project is safe. If you don't comply with these regulations, the DoL may stop your project midway and that could cost you millions of rands.

That's why today, I'm going to show you eight steps you need to take before you start your construction project so you comply with these regulations and avoid the DoL shutting you down...

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Is your site compliant with the new Construction Regulations 2014?

Take these eight steps before you start your construction project

Step #1: Plan the project and appoint an agent (Construction Regulation 5) 
When you plan out your project, decide whether to appoint an agent with full or partial control.
The agent must advise you on the health and safety requirements you have to address during the design phase of the project. Your agent will be in charge of managing the health and safety of the project.
Step #2: Prepare the Health and Safety Specification 
You must do a base-line risk assessment using the input from your agent and designers. Your principal contractor will use this to do his task specific risk assessment.
Develop a Health And Safety Specification for the project. Send this document to everyone involved in your project (Construction Regulation 5(1)(b)). Designers must consider your Health and Safety Specification as well (Construction Regulation 6(1)(b)).
Step #3: Prepare your Health and Safety Plan 
The company tendering must attach its proposed Health And Safety Plan to the tender documents. They must budget for the cost of implementing health and safety (Construction Regulation 7(1)(a)(b))).
Step #4: Draw up an agreement between yourself, or your agent and the principal contractor (Section 37(2) of OHSA)
If you're employing the contractor to perform construction work, then you're responsible for the employees. 
Step #5: Demand proof of Compensation And Competency 
Ask the principal contractor to show you proof of good standing with the Commissioner of the Compensation for Occupational Injury and Diseases Act (COIDA). He can do this by getting a registration certificate and/or letter of good standing from the Commissioner.
Step #6: Draw Up the Duties of the Principal Contractor and Contractors
The principal contractors must:
Keep a list of all contractors on site. Keep this list in your Health and Safety file (Construction Regulation 7(1)(f));
Ensure the workers are competent to do their work (Construction Regulation 7(1)(c)(iii));
Give each contractor a health and safety specification for the work they must do; and
Get proof of competence from each contractor. And get a documented health and safety plan.
Step #7: Supervise All Construction Work 
Principal contractors must appoint full-time, competent managers. They may appoint assistants to help managers and supervisors for various parts of the project (Construction Regulation 8(1), 8(2 (8(7)). 
Contractors must appoint full-time employees to assist the supervisors. They may also appoint a full- or part-time health and safety officer (Construction Regulation 8(5)).
Step #8: Fulfill Your Admin and Training Duties
The contractors should:
Elect full time employees as health and safety representatives. Ensure they're familiar with your  workplace (OHSA Section 18).
Hold regular health and safety meetings. Keep minutes (OHSA Section 19).
Provide information, instruction and site-specific health and safety induction training to all employees. Employees must keep proof of this with them on site. (e.g. a letter, card, identity badge or something similar) (OHSA Section 8(2)(e) and Construction Regulation 7(5)).
Provide health and safety training to all visitors entering the site. File proof of this in a health and safety file. Proof could take the form of an indemnity agreement (Construction Regulation 7(6)). 
Only once you take these eight steps can you actually start your construction project. 
For more information on how to prepare your health and safety programme for your construction project, check out the Health and Safety Advisor.

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