Can I use safety file software to compile a health and safety file for my project?
Yes, you can. However, the OHS Act,85 of 1993 under Construction Regulation 7(1)(a) and (b) require the contractor to submit a site-specific health and safety plan and a safety file for each project. So many companies sell software to contractors, who do not have the required skills and knowledge to compile a safety file. There is different software available but all the material is generic and will not be specific to the site or the task. This software is generally cheap and once you bought it, you need to spend hours trying to understand the instructions. The templates will need to be revised to suit your company and site specific documents is not included eg:
- Site Specific Risk Assessments
- Site Specific Fall Protection Plans
- Site Specific Health and Safety plans
- Method Statements
For the inexperienced HSE Practitioner this files will be sufficient and compliant but in actual fact it is the opposite.Buying software or DIY templates is opening another can of worms.
You must also consider the different legal appointments and their required competencies. I have found that in most of the cases small companies buy this software or templates only to have the admin ladies struggling to compile a site safety file.
What makes the SACPCMP registered consultants better?
Any consultant registered with the SACPCMP has been assessed and found competent, with the necessary skills and experience. The consultant has been professionally registered and must abide by the SACPCMP code of conduct. On the larger projects, it is a legal requirement to appoint a SACPCMP individual. Will you go to a heart surgeon who is not HPCSA registered?