Health and Safety Legal Appointments required by a Contractor
In ensuring that a workplace remains healthy and safe, there are certain health and safety legal appointments required by a contractor. Every person in the workplace has a responsibility towards adopting safe working practices, wearing their PPE, complying with policies, standards, and rules, reporting unsafe conditions and acts, and numerous others.
There are, however, also certain persons who must be appointed in writing, with their legal responsibilities and duties indicated on their letter of appointment.
The following are legal appointments which are made by the client in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993:
- The 16.1 Appointment which is carried by the person who is accountable for health and safety within the company.
- The 16.2 Appointment, which is carried by any person designated by the 16.1 appointee to perform and manage health and safety activities on their behalf.
- The 37.2 Agreement which is one between the company and a contractor/supplier for managing health and safety, and
- The 8.1 Appointment, which is any person designated by the 16.2 to provide a safe work environment.
The health and safety legal appointments that contractors/suppliers are provided with refer specifically to the 37.2 agreement and the 8.1 appointment, which will be discussed in the sections below.
The 37.2 Agreement
When considering that the employer, or client, has potential liability for the behaviour of their contractors and subcontractors, it is only logical for them to enter a similar agreement to regulate the relationship between the client and contractor.
The client may not have the necessary expertise or experience to carry out certain tasks and such an agreement is therefore essential to protect the interest of the contractor.
Where criminal liability is concerned as result of the contractor’s conduct, OHSA 37.1 makes provision for the possible liability of the client through the legal principle concerned with assistant responsibility.
The conduct of an employee who commits a criminal offence within the meaning of OHSA may, in specific circumstances, be attributed to an employer who, in turn, could be held responsible for such conduct.
However, Section 37.2 deals specifically with the behaviour of contractors and states that the provisions of Section 37.1 apply only if parties have agreed, in writing, with respect to the compliance to OHSA of the contractor.
Section 8 Appointee Responsibilities
The Section 8 appointee has the following responsibilities:
- To report any incidents and accidents in their department to the 16.2 appointment should contractors and/or employees be involved.
- To carry out the activities aligned with the provision of a working environment with the contractor/supplier which is safe. This allows for work to be completed more effectively and without incident. Any non-conformances must be reported to the health and safety committee of the organisation.
- Ensure that, with the 16.2 and the contractor controller, mandatory inspections are carried out and that they are not older than 3 months.
- To report on hazards and risks which are present in the contractor/supplier’s workplace to the 16.2 and for corrective action to be taken, and
- To support the 16.2 and the contract controller with investigations which relate to accidents and incidents which may have occurred.
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