Homeowners - Stay Within The Law

 Bruce McFadzean   2019-08-27  Comments Client
File 20171124 21853 Nu776w

So, I need a satellite dish put up on my outside chimney…..surely the contractor, who is after all the qualified DsTV installation professional, is responsible for his own Health and Safety???? I’m a hairdresser, what do I know about earthing my electrical power drill??


WHO’S RESPONSIBILITY IS HEALTH AND SAFETY, ANYWAY?


As strange as it may seem at first, you (the client, for whom the work is being done) have legal duties. According to Tinus Boshoff, legal expert at The South African Labour Guide, “One of the key principles embodied in the … regulations is that the ''client'' will primarily be responsible for Occupational Health and Safety”


Boshoff goes on further, saying “Various persons like property owners, landlords, body corporate(s), most business owners etc could thus be classified as clients”


NEVER A GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED


This principle extends to trustees; by employing a contractor to repaint your boundary wall, you have become a “client”, and therefore have several legal duties. Omitting these duties carries heavy penalties, including, in some circumstances, a possible jail term. If certain of these duties are neglected, and a worker is injured on site, you (the trustee or client) will be deemed to be the employer of that worker and will be civilly and criminally liable (by the legal tenet Vicarious Liability). And all the while, you, the trustee, was being the good Samaritan and giving up your precious leisure time for the good of your fellow residents.


I’M NOT PREPARED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR CONTRACTORS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY. HOW DO I MITIGATE THAT RISK?


Fortunately, there is protection from this liability, provided the law is closely studied and followed. SHe Files provides a solution for both the Client (trustee, homeowner) and the Contractor. At very reasonable rates. Contact us on admin@shefiles or 041 450 6092

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Comments

Riaan - 2019-08-27 14:40:52
OMW. I had no idea that workers at my place could land me in hot water. Thank you so much for taking the time to bring this to my attention. I will be in touch for more info. Thanks
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Bruce - 2019-09-02 21:56:44
Riaan, not many people do know. It's not intuitive and it's not something taught at primary or secondary level. However, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and unfortunately people who mean well can be caught up in this nightmare if they fail to comply with their duties in terms of the OHS Act. There is a practical solution, however, which is to contact someone like SHe files to assist with the compliance issues of both the client and the contractor
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