Temporary woks designer

Discussion in 'Scaffolding, Formwork & Support Work' started by Francois Kloppers, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Francois Kloppers

    Francois Kloppers New Member

    Good day

    I will really appreciate some guidance in the following issue:

    We have an issue regarding the CR12(1) appointment on temporary works.

    The appointed designer do not have an engineering or architecture qualification but have 20 years’ experience in the designing and erecting of formwork decks and other formwork.

    The safety consultant on the site do not accept the appointment because the appointed designer do not possess a formal qualification as a design engineer or architect. He also do not accept the sign off documentation of the formwork by this designer.

    His reason being that if you look at the definition of a competent person and designer it states that if there is a formal qualification this must be regarded as the required qualification and competency.

    My question is, does he interpret the regulation correctly or is the amount of experience of the designer enough to being regarded as competent to sign off the design.

    Please see below our interpretation of the regulation.

    The temporary works designer is in all terms and criteria a Competent person ie:

    "competent person"means a person who—

    a) has in respect of the work or task to be performed the required knowledge, training and experience (the designer has 20+ years of experience)

    b) and, where applicable, qualifications, specific to that work or task (No formal qualification regarding formwork) Provided that where appropriate qualifications and training are registered in terms of the provisions of the National Qualification Framework Act, 2000 (Act No.67 of 2000), those qualifications and that training must be regarded as the required qualifications and training; and

    b) is familiar with the Act and with the applicable regulations made under the Act;

    Furthermore a Designer doesn’t refer to an Engineer but again to a competent person ie

    "designer" means—

    (a) a competent person who—

    (i) prepares a design;

    (ii) checks and approves a design; or

    (iii) arranges for any person at work under his or her control to prepare a design

    The formwork contractor appoint their CEO in writing in terms of the act ie

    CR 12

    (1)A contractor must appoint a temporary works designer in writing to design, inspect and approve the erected temporary works on site before use.

    I will really appreciate if someone can give me advise on this issue.
  2. Neil Enslin

    Neil Enslin Moderator

    Good day Francois,

    in terms of an competent person: As for the “qualification” it appears that no prescribed standard exists. ECSA only has B.Sc, B.Eng and B.Ing listed as recognised qualifications, but no reference to any former National Diplomas or Higher Diplomas or the old T3 and T4 or even NTC’s (Where the bulk of experienced engineers are found). ECSA has no standard for Formwork designers. There is no listing on the NQF (with formwork or form work as search term) related to the engineering field.

    I think a Pr.Eng Structural would be a slight over-kill in normal building works. A “diplomated” engineering technician should have sufficient knowledge of strength of materials, physics and mathematics to be able to design formwork, but it surely depends on the scope of the structural design(permanent works).

    I guess one has to fall back on the proviso in the definition and assume none exists as yet.

    I personally would argue more toward the “specific to that work or task” phrase within the definition and assess competency accordingly. Designing formwork for a 2 storey office block is very different to designing formwork for a hanging bridge for instance. Another assumption is the ECSA code of conduct prohibiting a registered person for taking on work for which they are not competent, allowing for some introspection by the person concerned.

    see an attached document that summaries the debate surrounding temporary works which were hosted by the KZN MBA and DOL.


    Attached Files:

    Zenzi likes this.
  3. Francois Kloppers

    Francois Kloppers New Member

  4. Francois Kloppers

    Francois Kloppers New Member

  5. Change Agent

    Change Agent Member

    This subject has been the cause for many debates and I am happy to see the DOL finally taking the same view as I have held all along. The "design", "inspect" and "approve" functions are separable, but many safety people get stuck at "and" and wants a three-in-one appointment.

    While I agree with Neil, I still believe clarification on the above-underlined "Where applicable" is necessary, and my take on it is that it is "applicable" when a regulation or H&S standard calls for it. It is not "applicable" in the opinion of the consultant or safety officer. The latter's duty is limited only to "ensure" the form work contractor has made a proper assessment of the scope of design, the competency required for the task, and have made an appropriate appointment.

    For a safety consultant to become prescriptive in "which qualification" will open them up to lawsuits on both sides of the coin. Firstly from preventing a "competent person" to work regardless of years of experience, training and skills, and secondly, when the slab do collapse and the "prescribed" qualification are found not have covered form work design in the curriculum.
    I recently received a copy of a letter from a safety consultant serving as a typical example of how not to do it.
    They are insisting that a free standing access scaffold of 6 m or higher be designed by a structural engineer, and even quoted the DOL as supporting this totally over-the-top opinion.
    It was very specific in stating:
    "The Designer who Design (the Person who sign of the Drawing which reflect the Design for the specific Application) the Temporary Works (Formwork for Slabs, Beams, and/or Columns), should have the following qualifications/competency:
    • An Engineering Degree or Diploma which cover a 3 year study period and contain a subject or module which cover Structures.
    • Specific Training by the Manufacturer/Supplier of the specific type of Formwork System used.
    • At least 6 months experience with the specific type of Formwork (Temporary Works) at the time."
    It further went on to become very prescriptive in HOW this must be done:
    "It is not enough that the Appointment for the Designer and/or Inspector has an Appointment Letter with a copy of the Degree or Diploma, there should be a document attached to the Degree or Diploma which can clarify that the Person has done Structures as part of the Training."
    According to the author it "represented discussions with Mr. P. Maphaha (the Director for Civil Engineering in Department of Labour) (Part of Civil Engineering is the Construction Regulations)."
    All of the above was "Legally required" to erect a scaffold 6 meter or higher.
    If an employer now follows this advice and something goes wrong, the consultant in question could be liable.

    What is apparent from all these "wild west" requirements, are that consultants are running scared of prosecution by the DOL / SACPCMP and in the process opening themselves up to civil claims.

    This brings me to another question...
    What is the difference in competency between a C.CHSA and a Pr.CHSA? Luck of the draw?
    Zenzi likes this.