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Occupational Health and Safety - MBSA Congress

Monday, 02 October 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ernest Roper
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During the Master Builders South Africa Congress which was held from 10th to 12th  September in Cape Town, during a break-away session a panel discussion was held on Construction Occupational Health and Safety.  

The following panelists were as follows:

  1. Tibor Szana, Chief Inspector Department of Labour;
  2. Neil Enslin, OH&S Manager Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal;
  3. Dave Marais, Chief Executive Officer Thabo Training;
  4. Vincent Harmse, Executive Manager OH&S SACPCMP. 

 Topics were tabled for discussion:

  • Construction Work Permit (CWP) applications and contractual implications
  • Financial provision for Health & Safety – Creating a Standard
  • Medical surveillance and fitness management - What? Where? When?
  • Managing risk in transport – Responsibility and liability
  • Safety awareness in the workplace – Are employers doing enough?
  • Factors impending the professional registration of Construction Health and Safety Practitioners

 The main discussion points were:

  • Medical surveillance and fitness management - What? Where? When?
  • Managing risk in transport – Responsibility and liability
  • Factors impending the professional registration of Construction Health and Safety Practitioners

Medical surveillance and fitness management - What? Where? When?
Main discussion points:
  • Complaints with regards to clients demanding specific confidential medical information 
  • Annexure 3 (medical certificate of fitness) is not completed in detail
  • Labour brokers who supply labour to contractors - who will be responsible for medical certificate of fitness of their employees?

Action points and matters for consideration:

  • Clients to be educated on what information may be disclosed or not
  • Before disclosing any information about a patient to a third party, you should seek the patient’s consent to the disclosure. There are a variety of reasons for which personal medical information may be requested: education, research, monitoring and epidemiology, public health surveillance, clinical audit, administration and planning, insurance and employment.
  • Principal Contractors to provide labour only contractors with Occupational risk exposure profile (OREP) related to scope of work that will be performed.

Resolution and what was agreed: 

  • Obtain consent from patient before disclosing information to third party,
  • Contractors to ensure that Annexure 3 completed per occupational risk exposure profile
  • Don’t amended Annexure 3 to suit your needs, use as provide within the Construction Regulations. 

Managing risk in transport – Responsibility and liability

Main discussion points:

  • Employees are still being transported in open and unprotected vehicles,
  • When does DOL get involved in an accident investigation e.g. accident on public roads,
  • Transport or Traffic Legislation can be a minefield and complex to understand or interpret

 Action points and matters for consideration:

  • The OHS Act still serves as the watchdog over safety 
  • Managing Risk in Transport Operations STARTS with baseline risk assessments in terms of relevant legislations!
  • ACTION PLAN: Section 49 and other Liabilities / OHS / CPA Consignor & Consignee Legislation / AARTO:
  1. Vehicle capacity assessments and Profiling: Reg 236 - 237 (Reg 330C) AND TRAINING TOP TO BOTTOM
  2. Immediate compliance with Consignor / Consignee  Act (Sec 74 & Reg 330)
  3. Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection training (Management and Drivers) – revise vehicle checklist i.t.o. Chapter V NRTA and SANS 10047 Vehicle Fitness
  4. Risk Assessment Driver Training – RAD Risk Assessment Driving Training (Perception/Reaction/Lag Times VS Human Factor/Forces/Distance to stop
  5. Driver contracts: Detailed Job Descriptions with KPA’s addressing all of the above!! (AARTO sanctions)
  6. Section 49 workshops with Management and Section 51 Appointments
  7. Transport Disciplinary Code with relevant Sanctions
  8. Manage Mandataries / Subs for compliance with the above 
  9. Safety Practices Policies / Procedures / Instructions regulating w.r.t. Operations / Management / Training

 Resolution and what was agreed:

  • Principal contractor can play to a more aggressive role ensuring that employees are not transported in open vehicles, whether their own or sub-contractors,
  • DOL only investigate Section 24 incidents and any accidents on public roads will be investigated under the applicable legislation;
  • We need to understand our responsibilities and the requirements of these legislations to operate safely and to regulate Transport operations to become compliant and safe,
  • We cannot depend on Law Enforcement agencies only to ensure safety in Transport operations.

Factors impending the professional registration of Construction Health and Safety Practitioners

Main discussion points:

  • Which categories were prioritised to reduce the backlog 
  • Incomplete applications
  • Low pass rate of CHSA, CHSM and CHSO poses a challenge

Action points and matters for consideration:

  • In the beginning, CHSA received priority
  • 2016 applications now being processed
  • Time to clear current backlog - about a year
  • Only correct and completed applications being processed 
  • On-line assessment are faster

Resolution and what was agreed: 

  • Local MBA offices to assist the SACPCMP regarding facilitating as exam centres,
  • SACPCMP to continue running assessor’s workshops 
  • Registered CHSA, CHSM and CHSO to make themselves available to become assessors and assist and clearing the backlog.

The audience agreed that it needs to look into the minor and ensure it does everything possible to ensure employee safety on their projects and not to blame others for non-conformance with OHS legislation.

In summary, ‘People are our most important resource’ should be our motto on construction projects.

Neil Enslin | Health and Safety Manager 

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