South African Labour Department Hosts Construction Sector Seminar


Ahead of the implementation of the registration of Construction Health and Safety professionals and the implementation of the Construction Work Permit in terms of the new regulations, the Department of Labour is to host a Construction Sector Seminar.

This initiative was prompted by a need to work towards creating safe and healthy working environments in construction and maintenance sites in South Africa.

The Seminar will be held at the Emperor's Palace in Boksburg. It is planned for 9 July 2015. The Seminar proper on July 9 will be preceded by a comprehensive and specialized training session targeted at departmental Provincial Inspectors, Specialist Inspectors and Principal Inspectors.

The inspector's training will focus on the elements of administering of the new Construction Regulations 2014 to be in force in August following last year's promulgation; and how to administer the permits that will regulate the management of construction projects.

Held under the theme: "Construction Regulations 2014 - Implementation Phase" - more than 650 delegates are expected to attend the event.

The Seminar follows the promulgation last year of the Construction Regulations 2014. The new construction regulations are going to kick-in in August.

The construction sector has also been under the spotlight in the past two years following the fatal Tongaat Mall collapse in 2013 and the subsequent appointment of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the tragedy; and the Meyersdal Structural Collapse Incident in Gauteng.

The launch of the new Construction Regulations 2014 is intended to advance the "Zero Harm" initiative in workplaces and promote a meaningful social dialogue in occupational health and safety matters. The department in its endeavours to advance the Zero harm initiative has signed a number of Accords with various sectors including the Construction Sector.

The first Construction Regulations were promulgated on the 18th of July 2003, this was after Government (Department of Labour) and the Construction fraternity identified the need for a sector based regulations rather than using the General Safety regulations which was inadequate in addressing matters of construction health and safety.

The growth and diversity of the construction sector as compared to other high-risk sectors further necessitated that the current regulations be amended, and as such the Advisory Council of the Minister of Labour on Occupational Health and Safety Matters appointed a Technical Task Team in 2006 which was comprised of Government, Organised Business and Organised Labour.

Almost five years after publishing the draft regulations for comments and thorough consultation in all provinces with various stakeholders and the state-law advisors the Department of Labour through the OHS Advisory Council and The Construction Technical Task Team together with Organised Business, Organised Labour and last but not least the South African Council for the project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) the Construction Regulations 2014 were promulgated last year.

Last year the Department of Labour, Department of Public Works, industry bodies, labour, business signed the Construction Health and Safety Accord. This agreement is designed to improve the status of health and safety in the construction sector in South Africa.

The agreement acknowledges that the South African construction sector contributes immensely to alleviation of unemployment and economic growth and as such all necessary interventions are taken to ensure that health and safety objectives are attained concurrently with infrastructure development, poverty alleviation through employment creation and positive economic growth.

Expected to deliver a keynote address at the Construction Seminar is Department of Labour newly-appointed Deputy Director-General of the Inspection and Enforcement Services, Aggy Moiloa on the vision for the industry.

There will also be a speaker from the Compensation Fund who will dwell on the innovations in regard to issuing of "Letter of Good standing"; a presentation of the key aspects of the Construction Regulations 2014 update on how the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) will regulate the standard of registered persons; and presentations on Construction Regulations 2014 guidelines, and work permit system.

Department of Labour.