Clients may appoint construction health and safety agents (CHSAs) in terms of fulfilling their requirements in terms of the South African Construction Regulations. Previous research findings and anecdotal evidence indicate that CHSAs are lacking in terms of performance. However, due to the recent requirement for CHSAs to register, research findings relative to their performance are limited. The objectives of the study were to determine the performance of CHSAs, and barriers to CHSAs’ contribution to construction and construction health and safety (H&S). Registered CHSAs constituted the sample stratum, and were subjected to an e-mail delivered self-administered questionnaire survey. The salient findings include: CHSAs are generally appointed during project initiation and briefing, tender documentation and procurement, and construction documentation and management; CHSAs have contributed to and impacted on H&S a range of factors constitute a barrier to CHSAs contributing to H&S, particularly inadequate knowledge and experience; CHSAs rate themselves as good relative to most composite knowledge areas and composite skills areas; the contribution of CHSAs to H&S could be improved, and a range of interventions could contribute to an improvement in the contribution of CHSAs to H&S. Conclusions include: CHSAs may not be viewed as being able to contribute during project initiation and briefing, concept and feasibility, and design development; CHSAs have contributed to and impacted on H&S inadequate knowledge and experience due to a lack of appropriate tertiary education lead to their limited status, exclusion from decision making and management of the project, and not being consulted.
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