A Contractors Health and Safety Responsibilities in South Africa - Part 1

A contractors health and safety and responsibilities in South Africa may often overlap that of the employer, or client, however, there are distinct duties that the contractor must fulfil regarding health and safety in the workplace. The following section explores the duties and responsibilities that the contractor has, starting with health and safety and contractor-specific requirements.

Posted date: 5th May 2022
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Is a Contractor in South Africa liable for Workmans Compensation

Is a Contractor in South Africa liable for Workman’s Compensation? Overview As per Section 22 of the Compensation for Occupational Diseases Act, No. 130 of 1993, more commonly referred to as COIDA, all employees have the right to compensation. This compensation comes into play when employees are injured, disabled, or they become ill, as result of a workplace accident or related disease. The simplest definition of an occupational disease is one which arises out of and can be contracted during an employee’s employment, as listed in Schedule 3 of COIDA. In South Africa, the contractor is regarded as the employer, and thus they are liable for Workman’s Compensation. What does COIDA say about Contractors? In broad terms, an employee can be defined as a person who has entered a contract of service with an employer. Where independent contractors are concerned, however, the position is viewed differently. According to Section 89(1)(a) of COIDA, should a person (the mandator) in the course of, or for the purpose of their business, enter an agreement with any other person (the contractor) for either the execution by or under the supervision of the contractor of the whole, or any part, of any work which is undertaken by the mandator, the contractor shall, in respect of his employees who are employed in the execution of the work concerned, register as the employer as according to the provisions of this Act and pay the necessary assessments. In addition, Section 89(1)(b) of COIDA also states that should the contractor fail to meet their obligations in terms of the Act, the employees will be deemed as employees of the mandator. Thus, the mandator shall pay the assessments with regards to the employees in question. What happens if the mandator pays an assessment for which they are not liable? According to Section 89(2) of COIDA, provision is made for events where the mandator has paid assessment or compensation for which they would not have been liable. This should the contractor have complied with their obligations under COIDA.  As such, the mandator may then recover such an assessment or compensation from the contractor. This amount may also be set off by the mandator against any debt which is owed to the contractor in question.

Posted date: 6th May 2022
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Using a Contractor on your premises in South Africa

Most work conducted, despite the industry, will require the specialised services of a contractor. Many employers may be unsure as to the process involving using a contractor on their premises, specifically in South Africa. It is for this reason that the information below serves as a guide associated with processes and certain requirements from both the employer and the contractor.

Posted date: 28th Feb 2021
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What are the Health and Safety Obligations of Contractors in South Africa?

All contractors and subcontractors in South Africa have certain Health and Safety Obligations which must be met. These pertain specifically to routine as well as non-routine activities of contractors and subcontractors who have access to a specific process, workplace, or project which is under the control of the client, or principal contractor.

Posted date: 28th Feb 2021
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Must the Health and Safety Site File be Location Specific in South Africa?

The Construction Regulations (2003) form part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85 of 1993) and it creates a minimum standard legislation which must be complied with. The Construction Regulations, in short, applies to anyone who may be involved in construction work.  Regulation 4(2) states that the client is responsible for discussing as well as negotiating with their principal contractor what the contents of their safety plan and Health and Safety file must contain before it can be approved and implemented.

Posted date: 28th Feb 2021
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The Beginner’s Guide to Compiling a Contractors’ Health and Safety File in South Africa

The Beginner’s Guide to Compiling a Contractors’ Health and Safety File in South Africa Overview A Health and Safety file can be either be a detrimental component or it could be a lifesaver in the worst of situations. Proof of evidence is one of the most important components of the Occupational Health and Management System of any business. It is also one of the best defences against any liability and vicarious liability. As per the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act a book, record, or any other documents must be kept. When using the latter, it is important to know what must be contained in such a record, otherwise referred to as a health and safety file. For this reason, the points below serve as a beginner’s guide in compiling a contractor’s health and safety file, specifically in South Africa. These are but a few items which are required in the safety file to ensure that the basis for the employer, employee and client are covered. These documents serve to ensure that people are protected and that a record is maintained as proof of providing a healthy and safe working environment.

Posted date: 28th Feb 2021
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