What is a safety file?

A  Safety File, otherwise known as a ‘Contractor Health and 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 with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.

What does the South African LAW say about a Health and Safety File?

Every contractor and sub-contractor is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and the Construction Regulations 2014, to have a  Safety File that must be available at all times. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Construction Regulations 2014 state the following:

Construction Regulation 3(6)– A client must ensure that the principle contractor keeps a copy of the construction work permit contemplated in sub-regulation (1) in the occupational health and safety file for inspection by an inspector, the client, the client’s authorized agent, or an employee;
Construction Regulation 5(1)(s) – The client must ensure that health and safety file contemplated in regulation 7(1)(b) is kept and maintained by the principal contractor;
Construction Regulation 7(1)(b) –A principal contractor must open and keep on-site a health and safety file which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations, which must be made available on request to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or a contractor.
The Health and Safety File must be maintained by the site safety personnel and audited by a competent person.

What do we include in your  Safety File

Every  Safety File is ‘site-specific’. It will be compiled following 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 we set up 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
  • 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)
  • Minutes of safety meetings
  • Inspection registers
  • Read more on our blog

Searching for answers and guessing which of the safety regulations are relevant to your business can keep you busy for a very long time. There are templates that you need, but there are so many and you don’t know which ones are correct. You are not sure what safety topics to use in your Tool Box Talks and how often you should do them. You simply don’t have the time and you have more important things to attend to. We will worry about your safety file while you worry about your business- we have all the knowledge and experience