Construction industry’s compliance is ‘mindblowing’, says Department Inspector General

Tibor Szana, Inspector General: Department of Employment and Labour, says that the construction industry has a “mindblowing” compliance rate of 76% when it comes to health and safety and ranked in the top five sectors in relation to compliance. Szana was speaking at a virtual award ceremony for the Master Builders Association (MBA) North Construction Health and Safety (CHS) Regional Safety Competition.

He noted that around 15% of all inspections conducted by his Department related to the construction industry, and the good compliance rate shows that safety is a priority for the industry. This is something to be proud of and shows that people have worked hard at safety in construction. He added that one issue across all sectors was a lack of systems and structures, and he called on members of the industry to ensure that these were in place.

“Health and safety committees must work,” he says.

He reminded the audience that the new Occupational Health and Safety bill would introduce new ways of enforcement that will affect employers.

“I am looking forward to a time when the industry has a 90% compliance rate, but meanwhile keep up the good work,” he concluded. “When it’s necessary, we are always available to sit down with the industry to iron out any issues.”

Gerhard Roets, Construction Health and Safety Manager at Master Builders Association North said that the competition had been in existence for more than 40 years, and showed the industry’s commitment to health and safety. It provides a way for companies to benchmark their health and safety implementations, with a strong field of competitors entering this year after a sharp fall-off last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a very successful competition this year and saw ten new entries. We welcome the new entries as it’s good to see new arrivals taking health and safety on site as seriously as we do. The growth in participation shows that competition is healthy in the region,” says Roets.

The award-winners honoured are:

Category I: R750m upwards: Enza Construction for Steve Tshwete Hospital

Category H: R450m-R750m: No award

Category G: R250m-R450m: Tiber for Teraco JB4 Phase 1

Category F: R100m-R250m: Belo & Kies Construction for Bethal Mall

Category E: R40m-R100m: Belo & Kies Construction for Co Space

Category D: R15m-R40m: Belo & Kies Construction for Sasol Garage, Geduld

Category C: Less than R15m: WBHO for Hensoldt Optronics

Category B2: Manufacturing: WHBO Signage Manufacturing

Category B1: Allied trades: Form-Scaff Witbank

Category A: Plant and storage yards: Tiber for Village Deep Plant Yard

Sub-contractor with no site establishment: Viva Formwork & Scaffolding for Jaguar Land Rover, Bryanston

Sub-contractor with site establishment: Tekweni Centurion Ceilings and Partitions for Hensoldt Optronics

Best-performing Awards

Health and Safety Agent/ Consultant: Billy Bam, Cairnmead

Construction Manager: Damien O’Sullivan, WBHO

Health and Safety Manager: Ruan van der Merwe, TriStar Construction

Health and Safety Officer: Johan Gerber, Belo & Kies Construction

Construction Supervisor: Pitshou Nyembwe, Tiber

Yard Manager: José Ribeiro

Health and Safety Representative: Hansford Mjoli, Gothic Construction

These companies and individuals will now go through to the Master Builders Association’s National Safety Awards, which will be announced at the organisation’s annual conference.

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