Safety Agent

Safe Working Practice acts as Safety Agent on sites throughout South Africa, conducting more than a thousand audits per month. 

The 2014 Construction Regulations have changed the way we manage Health and Safety on construction sites.  The most important changes in the Construction Regulations were the inclusion of health and safety in the pre-construction phases, the professional registration with SACPCMP of OHS practitioners and the introduction of a construction work permit for certain categories of construction projects.

The duties of the Client (Client means any person for whom construction work is being performed) is set out in Section 5 of the Construction Regulations. 

Safe Working Practice’s Safety Agent services include:

Construction Work Permit Application

A Client must apply for a Construction Work Permit from the Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) at least 30 days before construction is due to start on site. No construction may start before a permit has been issued by DoEL and the permit number must be displayed at the entrance of the construction site. A PrCHSA must be involved in the stages 1-4 of all new construction projects.

If the permit is not applied for timeously or in the correct format it can be rejected which will lead to delays. Safe Working Practice will prepare all the required supporting documents and submit it to DoEL. We will facilitate the negotiations with DoEL should there be any queries till the permit number is issued.

The current threshold for sites requiring a construction work permit where the intended construction work:

(a) exceeds 365 days and will involve more than 3600 person days of construction work; or
(b) the works contract is of a tender value equal to Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading level 7,8 or 9.

Safety Specifications and Baseline Risk Assessments

As per the regulations a client must prepare a Baseline Risk Assessment and site-specific Safety Specification. The specification contains all the relevant safety requirements for the construction project and must be issued to the designer and the contractor. The designer must take the safety specification into consideration during the design process.

The Safety Specification must be included in the tender document to ensure that the potential contractors include the Health and Safety costs and requirements in their tender submission. The contractor must prepare his site safety documentation in line with the requirements in the safety specification.

Duties of the client as per CR2014:

  1. (1) A client must—

5(1)(a) – Prepare a baseline risk assessment.
5(1)(b) – Prepare a coherent site-specific hand safety specification.
5(1)(c) – Provide the health and safety specification to the designer.
5(1)(d) – Ensure that the designer takes the health and safety specification into consideration during the design stage.

5(1)(f) – Ensure that the health and safety specification is included in the tender documents.

Assessment of Safety Plans (Principal Contractor and Contractor)

Safe Working Practice ensures clients’ compliance with the regulations by assessing and finally approving the principal contractor’s Safety Plan. A principal contractor must compile a Safety Plan in response to the Safety Specification in the tender document. The Safety Plan must be assessed and tested against the Safety Specification, if found sufficient it can be approved and the contractor can start work.

Duties of the client as per CR2014:

  1. (1) A client must—

5(1)(g) – Ensure that potential principal contractors submitting tenders have made adequate provision for the cost of health and safety measures.
5(1)(h) – Ensure that the principal contractor to be appointed has the necessary competencies and resources to carry out the construction work safely.
5(1)(i) – Ensure co-operation between contractors appointed by the client to enable each of those contractors to comply with the Construction Regulations 2014.
5(1)(j) – Ensure before any work commences on a site that every principal contractor is registered and in good standing with the compensation fund or with a licensed compensation commissioner.

5(1)(k) – Appoint every principal contractor in writing for the project or part thereof on the construction site.
5(1)(l) – Discuss and negotiate with the principal contractor the contents of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan and must thereafter finally approve the plan for implementation.

Auditing of Construction Sites and meeting attendance

Safe Working Practice ensures clients’ compliance with the regulations by auditing sites on at least a monthly basis (we would however recommend more frequent audits on higher risk sites). The site is audited in line with the Regulations, Act, Safety Specification, and the contractor’s Safety Plan. Safe Working Practice’s consultants complete reports on an application with pre-set audit formats. The quality of the audit report is of the utmost importance for the client as it is a legal document that will be used in court should there be any serious incidents or accidents on site.

The site audit is twofold.

Physical: The consultant will do a site walkthrough to determine any physical shortcomings. All findings will be noted on the audit report and photos will be included.

Administrative: All safety documentation will be audited, and the findings recorded on the audit report.

All audit reports are quality checked before distributing to the involved parties as per the distribution lists.

Safe Working Practice’s consultants will attend all required site meetings to ensure accurate reporting and efficient problem solving.


Duties of the client as per CR2014:

  1. (1) A client must—

5(1)(m) – Ensure that a copy of the principal contractor’s health and safety plan is available on site.
5(1)(n) – Ensure that each contractor’s health and safety plan is implemented and maintained.
5(1)(o) – Ensure that periodic health and safety audits and document verification are conducted at least once every 30 days.
5(1)(p) – Ensure that a copy of the health and safety audit report is provided to the principal contractor within 7 days after the audit.
5(1)(q) – Stop any contractor from executing a construction activity which poses a threat to the health and safety of persons which is not in accordance with the client’s health and safety specification and the principal contractor’s health and safety plan for the site.
5(1)(r) – Where changes are brought about to the design or construction work, make sufficient health and safety information available to the principal contractor to execute the work safely.
5(1)(s) – Ensure that the health and safety file is kept and maintained by the principal contractor.

Close Out Audits

At the completion of the project Safe Working Practice will do a final Close Out Audit. This consists of a physical and administrative section. The physical audit is to ensure that all services and the site itself was made safe upon final departure of the contractor. The administrative Close Out will assess the Safety File and documentation of the contractor throughout the project.