What Responsibilities do Employers (Clients) and the Contractors Have with regards to Health and Safety?



Where the workplace is concerned, it is imperative to for all to understand what responsibilities employers (clients) and the contractors have with regards to health and safety. This applies throughout the contractor industry and responsibility lies within different elements of the design as well as build process. This includes both the clients as well as the main contractors to ensure that it is done effectively.

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Contractors have responsibilities in having to complete various areas of the project. They are legally bound to comply with requirements associated with health and safety in the same way as the main overseeing company is. This involves and includes the protection of all contractors from project start to finish, and everything in between.

Contractors are subjected to compliance with the following:

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act, (85 of 1993) and its regulations.
  • The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, (30 of 1993).
  • Local Municipal Bylaws.
  • The Tobacco Products Control Act, (83 of 1993), and
  • South African National Standards, and any other relevant safety requirements.


These must be met for companies to be considered compliant in the way they operate throughout the contractor process. It also gives clients an idea of proof that they need to ask for when considering a contractor to complete a project.


What is the role of the Client?

Clients have a crucial key role in maintaining adequate health and safety on site. They must choose to work with contractors who are not only qualified but also compliant to all South African health and safety acts, regulations, and requirements, and ensure that certification is in place and up to date.

The client’s role is to enable and ensure optimal safety measures for those tasked with carrying out the work. This is done by holding contractors, subcontractors, and sub-tier contractors responsible for adhering to the standards required.

They must be proactive in conducting reviews of the health and safety policies in place and addressing potential occupational health and safety issues to the principal contractor, where necessary.

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What is Industry Best Practice in Health and Safety?

Health and safety are continuously improving in the contractor industry, and companies must consistently learn and ensure that best practice on health and safety procedures is followed. Through this, the safest working environment can be always provided.

Contractors must ensure that they not only comply with all the requirements but that they consistently work on improving overall compliance with health and safety measures in the workplace, and that employees are safeguarded.


How can SafetyWallet help Employers and Contractors’ Health and Safety Compliance?

SafetyWallet works to ensure that its subscribers are supported and assisted in all matters relating to health and safety, and through a partnership with MAKROSAFE and OHS Online, subscribers can ensure that they are a part in creating a safer, healthier, and more compliant working environment. To find out how you can ensure employer and contractor’s Health and Safety compliance, click here.

Posted date: 7th Mar 2021