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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


General Safety Regulations, 1986

13. Demolition and Excavation


Every employer who performs building work shall, with respect to any such work in connection with the demolition of a structure or the making of an excavation-

a) with regard to a structure being demolished, take steps to ensure that-
i) no floor, roof or other part of the structure is so overloaded with debris or material as to render it unsafe;
ii) all practicable precautions are taken to avoid the danger of the structure collapsing when any part of the framing of a framed or partly framed building is removed, or when reinforced concrete is cut; and
iii) precautions are taken in the form of adequate shoring or such other means as may be necessary to prevent the accidental collapse of any part of the structure or of any adjoining structure;
b) not require or permit any person to, and no person shall, work under unsupported overhanging material or in an excavation which is more than 1.5 m deep and which has not been adequately shored or braced if there is a danger of the overhanging material or the sides of the excavation collapsing:
c) take steps to ensure that any support, shoring or bracing contemplated in paragraph (b), is designed and constructed so that it is strong enough to support the overhanging material or the sides of the excavation in question;
d) where the stability of an adjoining building, structure or road is likely to be affected by demolition work on a building or the making of an excavation, take such steps as may be necessary to ensure the stability of such building, structure or road and the safety of persons;
e) ascertain as far as is practicable the location and nature of electricity, water, gas or other similar services which may in some way be affected by the work to be performed, and shall before the commencement of such work that may in this way affect any such service, take such steps as may be necessary under the circumstances to render all persons involved safe;
f) cause convenient and safe means of access to be provided to every excavation in which persons are required to work and which is more than 1.5 m deep: Provided that, in the case of an excavation which is more than 50 m in length, a safe means of access shall be provided at intervals of not more than 50 m;
g) cause every excavation which is more than 1.5 m deep, including all bracing and shoring, to be inspected by a person who is competent to pronounce on the safety thereof, at least once before every shift and before the commencement of work after rain, to ensure the safety of persons; and
h) cause every excavation which is accessible to the public or which is adjacent to public roads or thoroughfares, or whereby the safety of persons may be endangered, to be--
i) adequately protected by a barrier or fence at least one metre high and as close to the excavation as is practicable; and
ii) provided with red warning lights or any other clearly visible boundary indicators at night or when visibility conditions are poor.