The role of the Project Supervisor in Construction Projects

The role of the Project Supervisor [PS] is statutory under Malta’s occupational health and safety [OHS] regulations, as mandated by S.L.424.36 (Legal Notice 88/2018). In this article, we take a closer look at the role of the PS to ensure it is made clear to all stakeholders.

As such, the role, duties and responsibilities of the PS are specific to the OHS requirements of the project and (the role) should not be confused with other statutory roles required for construction projects.

Figure 1 clearly demonstrates the role of the PS as a client-appointed expert (competent person), holding the responsibility to coordinate OHS requirements for and on behalf of the project client. This is a fundamental principle that all stakeholders in a construction project must clearly understand from the outset, or else the risk of unnecessary liabilities rises for all concerned.

The duties of the PS are clearly stipulated in S.L.424.36/Cl.5 and can be  summarised as follows:

1. Takes into account the general principles of prevention regarding all OHS aspects, as required by Act XXVII/2000 [OHSA Act].
2. Participates in the planning of architectural, technical and organisational aspects of the project, providing input regarding OHS requirements as appropriate.
3. Takes into account the periods required for work stages to be completed on site, in order to understand, identify and control hazards and risks.
4. Documents, in writing, a Project Health and Safety Plan, setting out the relevant rules applicable to OHS during the project, at both design and execution stages.
5. Coordinates the implementation of the general principles of prevention, throughout the project, by all means necessary.
The Project Supervisor [OHS] plays a vital role in the context of a safely executed project. The competence of a PS requires that they actively and continuously demonstrate: (i) due skill in carrying out their duties (ii) adequate experience to take on the job (iii) a professional attitude and aptitude in carrying out their duties on the project (iv) sound knowledge of the methods, means and resources
essential to ensuring that all planned works are executed under a Safe System of Work.

Third Edition Sept/Oct 2022

Health & Safety

Author: Shield Consultants

John Schembri is an established professional practitioner in the field. Since 2008, he has overseen the PS role on a large number of major projects in Malta. John specialises in designing and putting together Safe Systems of Work [SSoW] as well as Safety Management Systems to the requirements of the ISO 45000 family of standards.

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