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Construction entails exposure to a range of ergonomics hazards and risks: bending, lifting, repetitive movement, and vibration; environmental stresses such as heat, sun, noise, poor illumination, and wet or damp work; skin and respiratory exposure to chemicals and dust, as well as mental stress. In accordance with the South African Construction Regulations, clients may appoint CHSAs to fulfil their functions, which requires CHSAs to interface with and guide clients and designers, and conduct interventions during the construction process.
A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among CHSAs registered with the South African Council for the Construction and Project Management Professions (SACPCMP) to determine, inter alia, CHSAs’ perceptions and practices, and CHSAs’ source of knowledge.
Findings and conclusions include: CHSAs understand and appreciate that construction ergonomics can be influenced during all the stages of projects, and especially design development; CHSAs do consider/refer to construction ergonomics on various occasions, design included, and relative to various design related aspects, which indicates that it is important to CHSAs. CHSAs do have an understanding and appreciation of the impact of design related aspects on construction ergonomics. CHSAs are ‘lacking’ the requisite competencies, as they rate themselves as average in terms of their knowledge with respect to ergonomics, and their source of ergonomics knowledge being informal as opposed to formal.
Recommendations include: CHSAs should be appointed during the initial stages of projects; CHSAs should register for and complete formal tertiary education programmes, and appropriate continuing professional development (CPD) courses should be evolved.
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Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) (2009) Construction Health & Safety in South Africa Status & Recommendations. cidb, Pretoria
Republic of South Africa (2000) Project and construction management professions act 2000. No. 48 of 2000. Pretoria
Republic of South Africa (2014) No. R. 84 occupational health and safety act, 1993 construction regulations 2014. Government Gazette No. 37305. Pretoria
Republic of South Africa (2017) Draft ergonomics regulations No. 40578. Pretoria
Smallwood JJ (2004) The influence of engineering designers on health and safety during construction. J S Afr Inst Civ Eng 46(1):2–8
- Construction Ergonomics: Construction Health and Safety Agents’ (CHSAs’) Perceptions and Practices
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