What to expect from your CHSA
By Neil Enslin, Health and Safety Manager, Pr. CHSA, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal
With the Construction Regulations requiring projects over R40 million to have a construction work permit, an increasing number of our members find themselves having to work alongside a Construction Health and Safety Agent (CHSA) who are duly registered with the The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP)1 and carry the title Pr. CHSA.
The Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Health and Safety Department has received a number of enquiries from members regarding what their project teams should expect from a CHSA.
To this end we have compiled the following overview:
The Construction Regulation 5(7) reads as follows: “An Agent contemplated in sub regulations (5) and (6) must: (a) manage the health and safety on the construction project for the Client.”
What does managing Health and Safety on a construction project entail?
Managing can be divided into a few aspects namely:
Procurement Management – procurement is the acquisition of goods, services or works from an external source.
Cost Management – cost management is the process of planning and controlling the health and safety budget on the project.
Hazard Identification Management – hazard management is the cornerstone of health and safety management systems and the key tool for meeting employer obligations to “take all practicable steps to prevent harm or injury”.
Risk Management – risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritisation of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimise, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximise the realisation of opportunities.
Accident or Incident Investigation Management – an accident is as an undesired event that results in personal injury or property damage. an incident is an unplanned, undesired event that adversely affects completion of a task. investigations and implementation of alternative control measures form a critical part of the management of accident / incidents.
Legislation and Regulation – the client’s Agent must keep the Client and contractors continuously informed of changes to legislation and regulations applicable to the project.
Health, Hygiene and Environmental Management – such as advising on applicable occupational hygiene measurements, occupational medicals and so on.
Communications Management – This is the systematic planning, implementing, monitoring, and revision of all the channels of communication on project, and between different parties on project that also includes the organisation and dissemination of new communication directives connected with the project.
Emergency Preparedness Management – taking into considerations risks, hazards, distance to nearest hospital, resources on project, location of project and related information.
During project initiation and briefing of the project, the CHSA will conclude the terms of agreement with the Client. Here the Agent will outline the scope of work and service that will be provided during the project life cycle. It is clear that the Construction Regulations require the Agent to manage the health and safety on the project; this will be accomplished by a mutual agreement between the Agent and the Client, clarifying this process during the construction cycle or stage 5.
At various seminars and presentations hosted by the Department of Labour and SACPCMP it was agreed in principle that the Agent will not be capable to manage projects by themselves and will employ a person to assist. This person should be registered with SACPCMP as a Construction Health and Safety Manager and will not the authority to do the following:
– Stop construction work;
– Make changes to Construction Health and Safety documentation;
– Approve any plans or works;
– Issue conservation fines.
The above mentioned can only be done by the CHSA of the project. The CHSA will have the responsibility to doing the following, but not limited to:
– Attend the technical – and progress meetings;
– Revise health and safety specifications and risk profile if the scope of work changes;
– Monitor implementation of health and safety plan;
– Audit compliance with health and safety plan;
– Monitor health and safety file compilation and maintenance;
– Perform incident and incident investigations if needed; and
– Approval of health and safety payment certificates.
In order to ensure that your project runs smoothly, it is important that the team meet in advance with the appointed Pr. CHSA to ensure and establish a workable channel of communication to avoid any conflict situations during the construction project.
Should you need further assistance related to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Master Builders Association KZN Health and Safety Department or the Master Builders Association in your region
1 The SACPCMP prescribes the registration of Construction Health and Safety Agents who, once registered, may use the title “Construction Health and Safety Agent”, abbreviated as Pr.CHSA.