Department of Labour Construction Indaba

Discussion in 'Occupational Health & Safety News and Articles' started by Neil Enslin, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Neil Enslin

    Neil Enslin Moderator

    The Department of Labour Construction Indaba was held on 14 March 2019 at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga. The Department’s inspectors, particularly those involved in Occupational Health and Safety, were brought together with role players in the construction industry to discuss construction regulations and OHS compliance, in the wake of the recent structural collapses in South Africa.
    Mrs Aggy Moiloa, Department of Labour Deputy Inspector-General for Inspection and Enforcement Services, stated in her keynote address that investigations have shown that errors, shortcuts, cutting of corners and compromising on quality, is at the root of mishaps experienced in the construction sector.

    “When safety protocols are followed, and all equipment is provided - construction should not be a dangerous environment. When shortcuts are avoided and safety principles are upheld - injuries, diseases and loss of life can be successfully avoided,” said Moiloa.

    Some of the recent fatal structural collapses in SA include the Tongaat Mall, Meyersdal Eco Estate house, Grayston Drive Bridge collapse, and the Imperial Logistics structural collapse.

    Moiloa conveyed that the Department subscribes to “Vision zero harm” as an ethos and that all workplace accidents are avoidable, the construction industry being no exception. She stated that accidents happened as a result of negligence.

    According to Moiloa, no amount of regulating on paper will take us forward, “We need to inculcate a culture of compliance and safety”.

    Mr. Tibor Szana, Department of Labour Chief Inspector, informed delegates that nearly 70 percent of inspections conducted by the Department were in the construction sector with most of them having taken place in KwaZulu-Natal province. He noted that despite these efforts,"we still find ourselves in this predicament," referring to structural collapses.

    Szana cautioned that it will take more than an inspection to get things right, saying there was a need to raise health and safety champions. He stated inspections alone are not going to do this job.

    “We need to raise right leaders who will communicate the right messages at the right level. Projects such as the London Olympics proved that construction need not be characterised by incidents and fatalities. Construction and fatalities are not synonymous.”

    He stated that construction should not be a job where one should die while doing it and that there was a need to move beyond discussions.

    “It is clear that leadership is required from all of us in the construction sector. Gone are the days when we could afford passengers and benchwarmers in this sector. We have moved substantially from where we were to where we are, but the gap is still so big, hence the incidents we are having”.
    He further stated that with the Indaba, we need to get past the victim mentality that death is part of the game.

    Hilton Ganesan presented on Construction Health and Safety and highlighted the following:

    The Construction Regulations 2014 was promulgated in February 2014. An exemption for application for construction work permits was in place until 7 August 2015. 997 permits were issued from 8 August 2015 until 31 March 2018 through the country.

    Permits per provinces:

    • Eastern Cape- 79
    • Free State- 39
    • Gauteng- 349
    • KwaZulu-Natal-200
    • Limpopo- 30
    • Mpumalanga-62
    • Northern Cape 23
    • North West- 27
    • Western Cape-188
    Top three Provinces:

    • Gauteng
    • KwaZulu-Natal
    • Western Cape
    He went on to say that the construction industry experienced around 5000 injuries during January- March 2018 and that the root causes of these accidents were as follows:


    The Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Health and Safety Manager addressed the delegates by explaining the various interventions the Association has in place to assist members with compliance:

    • Submission of comments on proposed legislation
    • Free OHS surveys and advise
    • Free OHS audits
    • Free Star Gradings
    • Regional Health and Safety Competition and awards
    • National MBSA Health and Safety Competition
    • Health and Safety forums
    • On-line health and safety forum
    • Safebuild DVD
    • Live Safety Demonstrations
    • Health Clinic and Mobile Clinic Service
    These services are provided by a professional team consisting of:

    • Professional Construction Health and Safety Agent
    • Construction Health and Safety Managers
    • Occupational Medical Practitioner
    • Occupational Health Nurses
    Following the presentations, a panel discussion took place and the following matters were covered:

    The competency of the Construction Manager- Although the construction regulation does not directly reference the registration of managers with SACPCMP, it was accepted that clients could through the Health and Safety Specifications or tender qualifications, require contractors to appoint managers that are registered with SACPCMP.

    Emergency works - the department cleared up the matter regarding emergency works pertaining to the need to do notification of construction, for these works. The department advised those involved in emergency works like municipalities, to apply for exemption with the Chief Inspector.

    Construction Health and Safety Managers applying for Construction Work Permits - The department explained the rationale behind the decision and how construction health and safety managers can fulfil the role of an agent on behalf of the client. Construction Health and Safety Manager involvement are from stage 4 to 6. A client may appoint a Construction Health and Safety Agent, or Construction Health and Safety Manager based on the scope and risk profile of construction work, to represent him/her on matters of health and safety.

    Members who would like a copy of the presentations from the event, may contact the Association’s Health & Safety Manager
  2. George

    George New Member

    Hi Neil,

    I just want to find out something about the Construction Work Permit, I have a client who has a project that is intended for the duration of 90 - 120 days and costs 15 mil with CIBD 7, work intended if resurfacing of roads. I want to know if construction work permit is required?

    Thank you