Safety Files and the Law
A Health and Safety File, otherwise known as a “Safety File” is a record of information focusing on the management of health and safety on construction sites for contractors and sub-contractors. It protects the employer from criminal liability and proves compliance to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.
According to legislation, every business needs a Health & Safety file. The Safety File should include all documentation required in terms of the Occupational Health & Safety Act and the file must be kept on site and be made available to inspectors for review.
The Safety File can also be used as a business management tool to increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, lower risk and save you money on your business insurance.
Safety files can be drafted from as little as R 3850.00 dependant on industry.
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What is included in a Safety File?
Every Health and Safety File is ‘site specific’. It will be compiled in accordance with the client’s and the site’s safety specifications. The overall information requirements remain the same, and the site specific documents will be added. When Safety Solutions Africa setup your Health and Safety File, it will consist of the following Documents:
- Contractor appointment letter. (Construction Regulation 5(3)(f) of the OHS A)
- 37(2) Agreement between client and contractor
- Notification of Construction Work
- Copy of the OHS Act
- Company Occupational Health and Safety Management Plan
- Company Occupational Health and Safety Policy
- Letter of Good Standing
- Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used (if required)
- Tax clearance certificate
- Risk Assessments
- Safe work procedures (Site Specific)
- Fall Protection plan (if required)
- Legal appointment with proof of training (Ex. Chief Executive Officer, Risk Assessor, First Aider etc.)
- Incident reporting procedures
- Incident reports (General Administrative Regulation 9 (3) – Annexure 1)
- Incident registers
- Reports of accidents
- Emergency preparedness documents
- First aid documents
- Induction records
- Medical surveillance records
- Safety communication (e.g. Toolbox talks)
- Safety Plan
- Registers (task and site specific, e.g. Confined space, PPE issue, hand tools etc.)
- Minutes of safety meetings
- Assessment reports
- Inspection registers
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A site specific safety file is NOT optional but required by Law. Failure to produce a site specific Safety File can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment. An updated safety file could and should be used as a business management tool to increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, lower risk and save you money on your business insurance. Safety files can be drafted from as little as R 3850.00 dependant on industry.