The Association of Construction Health And Safety Management, ACHASM, was formed in 2007 and started recruting members in March 2007 from an office in Cape Town.
The body was formed by Anton Krause, supported by Eastern Cape construction safety academics, Prof John Smallwood and Theo Haupt.
ACHASM says it would not compete with the IoSM registration body OHSAP, or the potential engineering safety registration schemes of SAFSEC, or SAIOSH, but insted serving the construction sector by developing standards related to professionals in all six construction processes.
“We are a long way from ideal professional development bodies and processes yet, but we have to start somewhere”, Krause told SHEQafrica.com. “Our development efforts will fit in with the mandate of construction professions umbrella bodies, which would license professionals.”
Construction bodies are in talks with ACHASM and OHSAP regarding the development of criteria for construction health and safety functions and practitioners. The relevant legal definitions may involve Agents, Supervisors, and Officers, while the rogue definition of ‘occupational safety practitioner’ would probably be merged into definitions aligned with construction practice.
Another construction body, SAFSEC, has also started a construction health and safety practitioner registration scheme in anticipation of a sentence in a definition of ‘occupational safety practitioner’ in the amendment draft.
The definition is not invoked anywhere in the Construction Regulations, nor the Amendment draft itself, nor in the OHS Act, raising suspicions that members of IoSM, SAIOHS, and SAFSEC motivated for the clause in the draft in the Minister of Labour’s Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety, ACOHS, despite a lack of supporting labour, education and training legislation.
ACHASM registration assessment costs R350, and membership range from R450 to R750 for individual or corporate members. Membership is a prerequisite for registration. The ACHASM scheme is intended for construction health and safety practitioners only.
The registration scheme set up a decade ago by the Institute of Safety Management, IoSM, named OHSAP, and run by Ray Strydom, charges R500 for registration assessment, and R450 for compulsory IoSM membership.
Expansion into other sectors
The OHSAP scheme is open to all safety practitioners, and is lobbying state authorities to make registration compulsory in all industrial sectors, including mining. ACHASM does not the OHSAP aim to register health and safety practitioners in all sectors by virtue of a SANAS accreditation, as provided for in the Construction Regulations Amendment draft.
Supporters praise the difficult grading exams, while detractors note a lack of general acceptance, a lack of international affiliation, coercive marketing, lack of organisational transparency, low level of continued professional development (CPD) measures, and a set of exams that could serve to milk applicants of fees for exams and registration aligned training, instead of raising skills.
The alternative to local construction safety registration, is international registration with professional bodies like Nebosh and Iosh, supported by Nosa, while Irca support the IoSM /OHSAP scheme and assurance via a local body, named Da Vinci Institute.
Despite supporting the proposed legislation of a registration body, Irca is commenting extensively on the Construction Regulations amendment draft.
Master Builders affiliates, the Institute of Work at Height (IWH), and other construction and safety practitioners, are also preparing extensive comments to the flawed amendment draft.
SAFSEC awaits final Regulations
SAFSEC official George Kleinsmith said the engineering body had discussed forming a registration scheme, but was aware of controversy and opposition to OHSAP, and to the Construction Regulations Amendment draft, and would wait for the DOL to finalise the regulations.
Professional development was not a SAFSEC core function, Kleinsmith said, but they had talked to tertiary institutions, and would provide input to training providers to develop relevant courses, and to include health and safety elements in engineering and related courses.
DOL ACOHS membership
The Labour Minister’s Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety, ACOHS, is composed of 19 members, delegated by Business Unity SA, BUSA, plus three specialists;
DOL Chief Inspector Thobile Lamati
DOL Jacob Malatse
DOL Lucas Masango
DOL OH Milly Ruiters
DOL Tibor Szana
DOL Compensation Dr Monge Lekalakala
DOH Dr L Ndelu
DMR Chief Inspector Thabo Gazi
Chamber of Mines Dr Balfour-Kaipa
BUSA Vikki Harbhajan
CAIA Dr Lorraine Lotter
BUSA /Master Builders Gauteng Doug Michell
BUSA /Master Builders KZN Neels Nortje
BUSA /SAFCEC George Kleinsmit
Ceppwawu Pelelo Magane
Cosatu Jacqueline Mpolokeng
Fedusa J Sehlabaka
Nactu Brenda Modise
NUM E Gcilitshane
Jace Naidoo, Eskom
Dr Audrey Banyini, MHSC
Prof Theo Haupt, CPUT