Apart from large construction projects, contractors are often used for general maintenance, air conditioners, plumbing, electrical repairs, cleaning services and painting.
Both clients and contractors have responsibilities under OHS Legislation.
1. Why a Safety File?
Safety files are often one of the biggest roadblocks for contractors but it is a legal requirement. It contains the Health and Safety Plan and related documents which proves the contractor is competent to do the job while adhering to the safety legislation.
These files are site specific and the format aligned to the client specifications. The contents includes documents such as:
- Contractor appointment letter. (Construction Regulation 5(3)(f) of the OHS A)
- Section 37(2) Agreement between client and contractor
- Notification of Construction Work
- Copy of the OHS Act
- Occupational Health and Safety Management Plan
- Company Occupational Health and Safety Policy
- Letter of Good Standing
- Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used (if required)
- Risk Assessments
- Safe work procedures
- Fall Protection plan
- Legal appointment with proof of training (Risk Assessor, First Aider, Safety officer)
- Incident reporting procedures
- Incident reports (General Administrative Regulation 9 (3) – Annexure 1)
- Incident registers
- Reports of accidents
- Emergency preparedness documents
- First aid documents
- Induction records
- Medical surveillance records
- Safety communication (e.g. Toolbox talks)
- Minutes of safety meetings
- Inspection registers
Is there a template I can use?
The common question everybody asks is if there is a template they can use.
You can certainly get templates for these documents from online sources. The act and regulations are however very clear in the fact that certain aspects MUST be done by competent person/s. A good example of this is fall protection plan templates that are being sold online. But a plan will not be legally accepted without proof of competency, and a competent person will not have a need for a template. Your obligations under the OHS act and regulations is hardly the place to take shortcuts. So attend Fall protection planner training or appoint a competent person to develop it.
If I buy a sick note template online and complete it myself, will it be legally acceptable?
Construction regulations are clear about the fact that “no contractor may appoint a safety officer who are not registered with the SACPCMP.
You have to appoint “competent” people to conduct risk assessments, develop fall protection plans, investigate incidents and train your team. The appointed “competent”person will be expected to compile and implement the file. avoid site delays and get it done by a registered competent person.