What is the role of the Project Supervisor Construction Stage

What is the role of the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS)

The role of the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) was introduced with Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006. It is a key appointment in the construction process.

The 2006 regulations also introduced the role of Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP). While the PSDP is involved in coordinating design and the overarching delivery of the whole project (‘process’), the PSCS is limited to the construction stages of the project.

A PSCS is required if:
  • Work is to last more than 30 days, or
  • Work is to last more than 500 person days or
  • The project involves a ‘particular risk’, or
  • The project requires more than one contractor.

These are the same requirements for the appointment of the PSDP.

The PSCS is a significant ‘duty holder’ for a project and must be appointed, in writing, by the client. In effect, this may be prompted by the PSCS themselves, or PSDP, as the client may not be aware of their responsibility. The PSCS must then also provide written confirmation of acceptance of the role.

The PSCS may be an organisation or individual and the PSCS can, but is not required to, appoint an individual Health & Safety Coordinator to assist with the PSCS duties. It is common practice for an organisation to be appointed as PSCS, but no individual appointed as Health & Safety Coordinator.

The regulations do not prohibit the same organisation (or person) from being appointed as both PSDP and PSCS. The roles are quite different, and involve significantly different levels of engagement, at different stages of the project. If the same organisation does act as both PSDP and PSCS, it is good practice for different people within the organisation to fulfil the individual responsibilities.

The PSCS has a key role in coordinating the activities of all the contractors involved in a project. The main duties of the PSCS are to:
  • Develop and update the Construction Stage Safety and Health Plan.
  • Coordinate the implementation of the Construction Regulations.
  • Organise cooperation between contractors.
  • Notify the HSA before work commences, if applicable.
  • Coordinate the checking of safe work procedures and monitor compliance.
  • Coordinate arrangements to ensure workers have SafePass and relevant CSCS
  • Coordinate measures to restrict entry to site.
  • Coordinate the reporting of accidents to the HSA.
  • Coordinate the appointment of a Safety Representative, when there are 20+ people
    on site.
  • Appoint a Safety Advisor when there are 100+ people on site.
  • Provide required safety file information to the PSDP.

Often, the PSCS will also be the main contractor for the project. For small and medium scale projects this can be very practical. For large or complex projects, the appointment of a specialist company as PSCS, facilitates very smooth project delivery. Even for small projects, the appointment of a separate PSCS can free up the main contractor to focus on site issues such as programme and quality.

During construction, good cooperation and coordination between the PSCS and PSDP is required. The PSCS has an active role in coordinating items such as Temporary Works Designs, temporary anchors and non-standard scaffolds. The PSDP has a significant role in ensuring that this temporary design work is communicated and coordinated with the permanent works designers.

To find out more about the role of the PSCS, contact Adam Price, Associate from the ORS Health and Safety team at a.price@ors.ie.

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