Occupational Health and Safety Insurance
The Construction Regulations (2014) effective from February 2014, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993 Act) state that “If a worker is injured on site the owner, property manager and contractor could be held liable for failure to comply with the legislation. “If you are already undertaking, or are going to undertake maintenance, alterations, extensions, buildings or demolition work on one of your buildings then the Occupational Health and Safety Act will apply to you. The regulations specify that property owners must appoint only qualified and competent contractors to perform the work safely and must provide anyone working on the premises with, amongst other things:
Instructions and adequate resources for the work to be done safely
Identification of any hazards on the property and reduce risks attached to those hazards
A health and safety file with information required to safely perform the job
What type of buildings are affected?
These regulations apply to all buildings: including multi-storey residential, sectional title residential, industrial and offices.
How do owners protect themselves?
A prudent safeguard is to obtain insurance. This Occupational Health and Safety Insurance (OHSI) product aimed at protecting property owners, property-owning companies, body corporate owners and trustees associated with this new legislation. This fix-all policy includes public liability, professional indemnity and director’s and officers liability.
More importantly, should a claim be received, the insurer will take over the process and represent the owner or managing agent in court. This also covers the legal defence costs associated with these actions.
How are the risks recorded?
The starting point is for building owners to understand and document the health and safety risks associated with their properties. All new buildings completed from February 2014 must have a health and safety file that formally documents any risks. This is the document that is given to any contractor at the tendering or quoting stage for any work to be carried out on the building property.
Owners appointing contractors to work on buildings that do not have a health and safety file must prepare an ad-hoc document outlining the risks associated with the work at hand. And, again, make it available to prospective contractors at the quoting or tendering stage. No work can proceed safely without the existence of a health and safety file or, alternatively in the case of pre – February 2014 buildings, a document outlining any risks.
What are the restrictions?
- Limit of R 5 million including legal defence costs
Please refer to the Information Booklet for FAQ’s.
Insured through Western National