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Ten principal contractor responsibilities you must include in your Construction Health and Safety Specifications

by , 20 May 2015
When it comes to drawing up a Health and Safety Specification for construction, the responsibilities of the principal contractor are essential.

Today, we're taking a look at what responsibilities you should include in the Health and Safety Specification when it comes to your principal contractor as set out by Construction Regulations 2014.


Principal contractor responsibilites he must meet


a) The Principal Contractor shall accept the appointment under the terms and Conditions of Contract. The Principal Contractor shall sign and agree to those terms and conditions and shall, before commencing work, notify the Department of Labour of the intended construction work in terms of Regulation 3 of the Construction Regulations.

Annexure B of this Specification contains a 'Notification of Construction Work' form. The Principal Contractor shall submit the notification in writing prior to commencement of work and inform the Client or his Agent accordingly.

b) As a second point, you should state that the Principal Contractor shall ensure that he is fully conversant with the requirements of this Specification and all relevant health and safety legislation.

This Specification is not intended to supersede the Act nor the Construction Regulations or any part of either. Those sections of the Act and the Construction Regulations which apply to the scope of work to be performed by the Principal Contractor in terms of this contract (entirely or in part) will continue to be legally required of the Principal Contractor to comply with. The Principal Contractor will in no manner or means be absolved from the responsibility to comply with all applicable sections of the Act, the Construction Regulations or any Regulations proclaimed under the Act or which may perceivable be applicable to this contract.

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c) Moreover, the Principal Contractor shall provide and demonstrate to the Client a suitable and sufficiently documented health and safety plan based on this Specification, the Act and the Construction Regulations, which shall be applied from the date of commencement of and for the duration of execution of the works. This plan shall, as appendices, include the health and safety plans of all Sub-contractors for which he has to take responsibility in terms of this contract.

d) The Principal Contractor shall provide proof of his registration and good standing with the Compensation Fund or with a licensed compensation insurer prior to commencement with the works.  

e) Also include that the Potential Principal Contractor shall, in submitting his tender, demonstrate that he has made provision for the cost of compliance with the specified health and safety requirements, the Act and Construction Regulations. (Note: This shall have to be contained in the conditions of tender upon which a tenderer's offer is based.)
 
f) The Principal Contractor shall consistently demonstrate his competence and the adequacy of his resources to perform the duties imposed on the Principal Contractor in terms of this Specification, the Act and the Construction Regulations.

g) Note that the Principal Contractor shall ensure that a copy of his health and safety plan is available on site and is presented upon request to the Client, the Client's agent, an Inspector, Employee or Sub-contractor.  

h) The Principal Contractor shall ensure that a health and safety file, which shall include all documentation required in terms of the provisions of this Specification, the Act and the Construction Regulations, is opened and kept on site and made available to the Client or Inspector upon request. Upon completion of the works, the Principal Contractor shall hand over a consolidated health and safety file to the Client.

i) Another point to be included is represented by the fact that the Principal Contractor shall, throughout execution of the contract, ensure that all conditions imposed on his Sub-contractors in terms of the Act and the Construction Regulations are complied with as if they were the Principal Contractor.

j) Finally, the Principal Contractor shall from time to time evaluate the relevance of the Health and Safety Plan and revise the same as required, following which revised plan shall be submitted to the Client and/or his/her Agent for approval.

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