Best practice for construction projects
According to construction regulations, it is the responsibility of property owners to ensure that any contractor working on site complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Unfortunately though, through lack of knowledge or negligence, all too often people pay little attention to these regulations and believe that responsibility for health and safety on site begins and ends with the contractors employed, but this is not true.

The definition of activities involved in “construction” is broad and owners of property need to understand the regulations if they are to avoid take-on liability. This is particularly relevant to communal ownership and this is where the trustees of sectional title schemes and property and homeowners associations benefit from good advice from top managing agents such as Intersect Sectional Title Services.

Martin Bester, Regional Manager of Intersect, the sectional title management subsidiary of the Spire Property Group, says that it is extremely important to employ a rigid open tender process for all major works and use only registered and reputable contractors.

“The process that Intersect employs is to have a specification drafted for the entire project and then to invite reputable contractors, all of whom are Building Industry Bargaining Council compliant, registered for Workmens Compensation, registered with the Compensation Commissioner, comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and are adequately insured to an open tender at our offices at which all the prices are read out.”

“Our clients are also invited to this meeting and this ensures transparency and good corporate governance.”

“Thereafter a summary of the tenders is issued to the client for further consideration,” explains Bester.

“Once the contract is awarded in principle, we will have the contractor furnish us with a detailed Health and Safety plan for the project and thereafter the contractor is appointed in writing.”

“Intersect believe that it is essential to best represent our clients in all ways possible. By opening the tender process and stipulating that contractors provide a detailed health and safety plan, it makes certain that our clients are fulfilling their obligations in terms of the regulations and ensures transparency,” concludes Bester.

Bester sits on the board of the Residential and Sectional Title Committee of SAPOA and is a committee member of National Association of Managing Agents and the Sectional Title Regulations Board.

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