All too little attention is paid to, or even knowledge of the existence of, the Construction Regulations, as promulgated in July 2003, whereby it became the responsibility of the client to ensure that any contractor, working at their site, complies with the OHSA [Occupational Health and Safety Act].
It is often believed that the primary responsibility for health and safety begins and ends with the principal contractor, but this is no longer true.
The definition of construction is broad and this is where the trustees of sectional title schemes and property and homeowners’ associations benefit from good advice from top managing agent such as Intersect Sectional Title Services, the sectional title specialist subsidiary of the Spire Property Group.
Martin Bester, Managing Director of Intersect, who sits on the board of the Residential and Sectional Title Committee of SAPOA and is a committee member of NAMA and the Sectional Title Regulations Board, says that Intersect employ a rigid open tender process for all major works.
“We strongly advise our clients to employ registered and reputable contractors when tackling large projects”
One large project that each scheme faces every few years is that of redecoration.
“The process that we employ is to have a specification drafted for the entire project and then to invite reputable contractors (all of whom are BIBC [Building Industry Bargaining Council] compliant, registered with the Compensation Commissioner [Workman's compensation], comply with the OHSA [Occupational Health and Safety Act] and are adequately insured) to an open tender at our offices at which all the prices are read out.”
“Our clients are also invited to this meeting and this ensures transparency and good corporate governance.”
Thereafter a summary of the tenders is issued to the client for further consideration. Once the contract is awarded in principle we will have the contractor furnish us with a detailed Health and Safety plan for the project. Thereafter the contractor is appointed in writing.
This procedure ensure that the client is fulfilling their obligation in terms of the regulations and ensures transparency.