1. What does PSCS mean?
PSCS means Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage. This title was introduced with the 1995 Construction Regulations & reinforced in the 2001 & 2006 Construction Regulations.
2. Who can be a PSCS?
The Project Supervisor Construction Stage must be an competent for the role & may be an individual or body corporate (limited company). In general, this will be the Main Contractor for the project, though it could also be a firm of safety consultants, project managers or other. It will almost always be the main contractor, as this is the person/ entity that has ultimate control over the construction project, has the responsible persons on site & is coordinating all activities, including sub contractors.
In all cases the person or company undertaking the role must have the necessary competence to carry out the relevant duties of PSCS. This includes ‘adequate training, knowledge, experience & resources’. Ideally, thePSCS should be a member of a professional body, posess Health & Safety qualifications & have sufficient safety experience to ensure complience with the 2005 Act, as well as all applicable regulations, standards & safety/ health/ welfare requirements.
The Project Supervisor Construction Stage must be appointed before construction work commences. This is to ensure effectiveness in addressing and co-ordinating safety and health matters in advance of construction work commencing right through the construction activity.
3. What are the duties of the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS)?
The duties of the project supervisor for the construction stage are onerous and include the following:
- Advise the Client of the requirements of the Construction Regulations and the roles of PSDP & PSCS (if the Client is not aware of these);
- Identify hazards arising from the design or from the technical, organisational, planning or time related aspects of the project;
- Where possible, eliminate the hazards or reduce the risks, in advance & during, the construction stage (by implementing the General Principles of Prevention);
- Coordinate the implementation of the construction regulations by contractors, welfare facilities on site & safe working procedures;
- Organise the required coopertaion between contractors;
- Ensure all workers have appropriate safety training, including Safe Pass & CSCS;
- Communicate necessary control measures, safety management systems and safety principles to contractors & workers;
- Cooperate with the PSDP & Design Team to ensure safety;
- Prepare a written Construction Stage Safety and Health Plan for the project, from the Preliminary/ Design Process Safety Plan;
- Coordinate the implementation of Temporary Work Certification;
- Collect & prepare information for the Safety file for the completed structure and give it to the PSDP;
- Notify the Health & Safety Authority and the client of non-compliance with any written directions issued;
- Coordinate the reporting of accidents to the HSA;
- Appoint a Safety Adviser if there are 100 or more workers on the site.
- The PSCS may issue directions to designers, the PSDP, contractors or others.
4. Can I have more than 1 PSCS assigned to a project or should there only be one?
There should only be 1 PSCS appointed, as otherwise coordination becomes more difficult.
5. How long does the PSCS appointment last?
The appointment lasts from in advance of the commencement of the construction right through to construction completion & includes handing over the information for the Safety File to the PSDP.
6. What are the responsibilities of the PSCS?
These are as outlined above. These are clearly set out in the Construction regulations and subsequent HSA literature. These responsibilities are quite detailed and onerous on the PSCS, who has the ultimate responsibility for all site safety issues.
7. Can the PSCS be prosecuted?
Yes. The PSCS can face the same wrath of the regulatory body, the HSA, as any one else. The responsibilities of the PSCS are very serious and must be treated thus. The Safety Management System regarding the role of PSCS which is used by the PSCS, can face the rigours of inspection at any stage, from commencement of construction, how the location was risk assessed, how the Design conclusions were considered, how the least hazardous methods of construction were chosen, right through to the completion of the construction stage.
The HSA have issued Prohibition & Improvement Notices on numerous PSCS’s over the past decade for non complience issues, as well as making successful prosecutions.
8. What liability does the PSCS carry?
This question is essentially answered in the answer to no. 7 above. The PSCS has serious liability issues for the construction activity, as they are the controller of that activity.
9. What could happen to me if I don’t appoint a PSCS?
As the Client, you can be prosecuted and fined by the HSA for not complying with the Construction Regulations, if you do not appoint a PSCS.
10. Where can I get more information about the PSCS role?
Contact HSS at 1890 600 666, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The HSA also have very good advisory information on their website: www.hsa.ie.
11. Who can perform the role of PSCS?
The most common entity to be appointed PSCS is the Main Contractor. This makes practical & economic sense, as they are in continuous control of the site. Additionally, HSS have been performing this role since the Construction Regulations were implemented in 1995. To date we have been appointed as PSCS on construction projects to the value of almost €2billion. We have a dedicated team of Safety Advisors, Safety Officers & Engineers who can assist with performing this role.
Please do call us for more information or a quotation.
12. Does a PSCS have to be appointed to every construction project?
No. A PSCS is required where work is undertaken at a trade, business or undertaking for commercial purposes. For example, it is not required for a private single domestic dwelling project, or where work involves routine maintenance, cleaning, decoration or repair and if the work does not involve a ‘particular risk’ as defined in the regulations.
Additionally, there is no need for an appointment if:
- the project shall last for less than 30 working days
- if the project shall last for less than 500 person days
- if the project is not more than routine maintenance, cleaning, decoration or repair and
- if the project does not involve a ‘particular risk’
- if there is not more than 1 contractor.
13. Do I have to notify the HSA?
Only if the project is over 30 working days or 500 person days. Form AF2 is required. The PSCS is responsible for preparing & sending this.
Need More Information on how to save on your PSCS obligations? Complete the form below or call us on 01 838 5595.