safety file

Safety Files

 What is a Safety File?

A Safety File is a record of information which focuses on issues pertaining to the managing of construction health and safety for a specific project or in view of subcontractors a specific part of the project.  The safety file serves as proof of compliance to safety specifications in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations and protects the employer against any potential liability.

It is of utmost importance that the content of the safety file, are communicated, understood and maintained for the duration of the project. Proof of acknowledgement on the communication and training for each component of the safety file must be kept.

The communication of the content of the safety file and the implementation  and execution of the prescribed safety guidelines ensures the health and safety of persons at work and the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards arising out of or in connection with construction activities.

The information of the safety file, will alert everybody involved with the project, of the significant safety and health risks that needs to be addressed for the duration of the project activities.

Why do I need a safety file?

Each and every developer, first time home builder, principle contractors,  contractors and subcontractors are required by law to have a safety file as proof of adherence to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. Construction Regulation of 2014,  clearly states:

CR 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.

CR 5(1)(s) – The client must ensure that health and safety file contemplated  in regulation 7(1)(b) is kept and maintained by the principle contractor

CR7(1)(b) A principle 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

What information must be included in a safety file?

Each and every safety file is site and construction activity specific and is compiled in accordance with the Client’s safety specification, but the overall index remains similar.

A safety file can include or exclude any of the following documents:

Health and Safety Specifications

  • OHS Act
  • Principle Contractor  appointment- CR 5(1)(k)
  • Principle Client’s EHS specifications/Mandatary Agreement /Section 37(2)
  • First Aid agreements( if required)
  • Contractor agreement CR 7(1)(c)(v)
  • Bill of Quantities (if required)
  • Designs, site plans etc( if required)

OHS Management and Legal Compliance

  • Company OHS policy statement
  • Health and Safety Management Plan
  • Letter of Good Standing
  • Contractors all risk insurance (CAR) for public liability
  • Material safety data sheets (MSDS) for hazardous materials
  • BBEEE certificate
  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Proof of certification/accreditation/registration (industry specific)

Risk Management

  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments
  • Safe Working Procedures (SWP) and Method statements
  • Fall Protection Plan (if and when required)
  • Waste management plan and disposal certificates
  • NCR Reports

Possible Appointments with Applicable Proof of Competency (depending of type of activities)

  • Chief Executive officer-16 (1)
  • Delegation of duties / Contracts Director / Manager -16 (2)
  • Construction Manager OHS Act Sec 8(2)(i) and CR 8(1)
  • Assistant Construction Manager OHS Act Sec 8(2)(i) and CR 8(1)
  • Construction Work Supervisor -CR 8 (7)
  • Assistant Construction Work Supervisor- CR 8 (8)
  • Construction Health and Safety  Officer- CR 8 (5)
  • Risk Assessor CR 9(1)
  • Fall Protection Planner and Fall Protection Supervisor- CR 10 (1)(a)
  • Temporary Works Designer CR 12(1)
  • Temporary Works Supervisor CR 12(3)
  • Temporary Works Erector CR 12(3)(a)
  • Temporary Works Equipment Inspector CR 12(3)(e)
  • Excavation Supervisor and inspector -CR 13(1)(a)
  • Supervisor of Demolition Work- CR 14(1)
  • Competent person in the use of Explosives for excavation work CR13(2)(k)
  • Competent person in the use of explosives for demolition work CR 14(11) and ER
  • Scaffold supervisor CR 16(1)
  • Rope access Operator CR 18(1)
  • Rope access Supervisor CR 18(1)(a)
  • Material Hoist Inspector CR 19(8)(a)
  • Bulk mixing plant supervisor CR20 (1)
  • Bulk mixing plant operator CR 20 (2)
  • Explosive Actuated fastening device inspector and operator CR 21(2)(b)
  • Explosive actuated fastening device store man CR21(2)(g)(i)
  • Construction Vehicles and Mobile Plant Operator -CR 23(1)(d)(i)
  • Supervisor of Construction Vehicles and Mobile Plant CR23(1)(j)
  • Assistant Supervisor of Construction Vehicles and Mobile Plant CR 23(1)(j)
  • Temporary  Electrical installations & Machinery Inspector CR24(c)
  • Stacking and Storage Supervisor- CR 28 (a)
  • Stacking and Storage store man- CR 28 (a)
  • Emergency Coordinator CR 25 and CR 29
  • Fire equipment inspector CR 29(h)
  • Fire Fighter CR 29 (i)
  • First Aider -GSR 3
  • Hazardous Chemical Substance Supervisor / Controller -HCS
  • Supervisor / Operator of Welding, Flame Cutting – GSR 9
  • Ladder and Access Supervisor – GSR 13
  • HSE Representative – Section 17
  • OHS Committee member -Section 19
  • Supervisor of Machinery -GMR 2 (1)
  • Supervisor for Vessels Under Pressure -PER 19


Emergency Preparedness

  • Emergency Plan and Emergency telephone numbers
  • First Aid box register

Incident and Accident Management

  • Incident Register
  • Incident Reporting Procedures
  • Recording and Investigation of Incidents
  • Employers Report of an Accident (W.CI.2)
  • Accident/Incident Statement form

Induction and Communication

  • Personnel Health and Safety Induction with ID’s and medical clearance confirmation
  • Visitor’s inductions
  • Safety Toolbox Talks


Possible Registers (depending on the type of activities)

  • Daily Safe Task Analysis
  • Daily Confined Space
  • Daily Demolition
  • Daily Excavation
  • Daily Formwork & Support Work
  • Daily Heavy Vehicle
  • Daily Material Hoist
  • Daily PPE Issue
  • Monthly Hand Tools, Picks, Shovels
  • Daily Tower Crane Register
  • Weekly Fire Fighting Equipment
  • Weekly Distribution Boards
  • Daily Scaffolding
  • Monthly First Aid Equipment
  • Monthly Portable Electrical Tools
  • Monthly Concrete Mixer
  • Monthly Forklift
  • Monthly Mobile Lifting Machine
  • Monthly Lifting Tackle
  • Monthly Pressure Vessel
  • Monthly Ladder
  • Monthly Generator Register
  • Monthly Hazardous Chemical Substances
  • Monthly Facilities
  • Monthly Stacking & Storage
  • Monthly Flame Cutting Torch Register
  • Monthly Welding Register
  • Monthly Safety Harness
  • Monthly Hand Tools
  • Monthly Explosive Powered Tools
  • Health & Safety Building Register
  • Daily Visual Refuelling Register
  • Weekly Hydraulic Jack – Register
  • Daily Overhead Crane – Register
  • Daily Brick Cutting Machine – Register
  • Concrete Bucket – Register
  • Daily Man cage Register
  • Daily Uni-loader-Bobcat Register
  • Daily Compaction Equipment Register
  • Daily Compressor Register
  • Daily Machine Guard Register
  • Daily Plant Mixing Register
  • Monthly Fixed Ladders Register
  • Visitors Register
  • Daily Road Closure Checklist
  • Daily Refueling Register
  • Equipment Register
  • Housekeeping Register

Health and Safety Committees

  • Health and Safety Representative Reports
  • Minutes of safety committee meetings
  • Site inspections
  • Audit reports
 Who prepares the Safety File?

A competent person or group of persons with advance knowledge on the application of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations as well as the experience and knowledge of the project activities prepares safety files.

These files are maintained by Safety representatives, supervisors and appointees and are audited by safety officers to ensure continual improvement and compliance to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.


Safety files, on-site safety assistance & accredited Occupational Health and Safety Training