Factories Act
(Chapter 104, Sections 68 and 77)
Factories (Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction) Regulations
Rg 8
G.N. No. S 164/2004

REVISED EDITION 1990
( )
[1 July 1985]
Citation
1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Factories (Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction) Regulations.
Definitions
2.  In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires —
“appointed medical practitioner” means the registered medical practitioner appointed under regulation 208;
“approved” means approved by the Chief Inspector in writing;
“base plate” means a plate for distributing the load from a standard in the case of metal scaffolds;
“bay”, in relation to scaffolds, means that portion of the scaffold between horizontal or vertical supports whether standards or supports from which the portion is suspended, which are adjacent longitudinally;
“brace” means a member incorporated diagonally in a scaffold for stability;
“bulkhead” means an airtight structure separating the working chamber from free air or from another chamber under a lower pressure than the working pressure;
“caisson” means an air and water-tight chamber in which it is possible for men to work under air pressure greater than atmospheric pressure at sea level to excavate material below water level;
“cofferdam” means a structure constructed entirely or in part below water level or below the level of the water table in the ground and intended to provide a place in which to work that is free of water;
“compressed air” means air mechanically raised to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure at sea level;
“contract of service” includes an apprenticeship agreement;
“contractor” means a person who has entered into a contract for the purpose of carrying out any building operations or works of engineering construction and includes a main contractor or sub-contractor;
“contractor’s safety supervisor” means a contractor’s safety supervisor appointed under regulation 26;
“decanting” means the rapid decompression of persons in a man-lock to atmospheric pressure at sea level followed promptly by their recompression in a decant lock, where they are then decompressed according to the appropriate decompression table in accordance with approved decompression procedures;
“demolition work” means the work incidental to or connected with the total or partial dismantling or razing of a building or a structure other than a building and includes the removing or dismantling of machines or other equipment;
“designated person” means a competent person appointed by an employer to carry out any supervision or inspection or to perform any task or duty prescribed by these Regulations;
“employee” means a person who has entered into a contract of service with an employer;
“employee’s lift” means a powered car operating in guides and used primarily to carry employees in a substantially vertical direction;
“employer” means any person who employs another person under a contract of service;
“end to end coupler” means a coupler used to connect two tubes end to end whether of an internal or “joint pin” type or of an external or “sleeve coupler” type;
“excavation” means the removal of earth, rock or other material in connection with construction or demolition work;
“falseworks” means the structural supports and bracing for formworks or forms;
“flashpoint” means the minimum liquid temperature at which a spark or flame causes an instantaneous flash in the vapour space above the liquid;
“frame or modular scaffold” means a scaffold manufactured in such a way that the geometry of the scaffold is pre-determined and the relative spacings of the principal members are fixed;
“guardrail” means a horizontal rail secured to uprights and erected along the exposed sides of scaffolds, floor openings, runways and gangways to prevent persons from falling;
“high pressure air” means air used to supply power to pneumatic tools and devices;
“independent tied scaffold” means a scaffold, the working platform of which is supported from the base by two or more rows of standards and which apart from the necessary ties stands completely free of the building;
“ledger” means a member spanning horizontally and tying scaffolding longitudinally and which acts as a support for putlogs or transoms;
“lift”, in relation to any scaffold, means the vertical distance between the base of the scaffold and the first ledger or level at which a platform is constructed or the vertical distance between any two consecutive ledgers;
“light duty work” means operations which require men and materials to be supported by a scaffold where the maximum total loading does not exceed the weight of two persons plus 25 kilograms of materials or 200 kilograms on any one platform in any one bay by the scaffold;
“lock attendant” means the person in charge of a man-lock or medical lock and who is immediately responsible for controlling the compression, recompression or decompression of persons in such locks;
“low pressure air” means air supplied to pressurise working chambers and man-locks and medical locks;
“magazine” means a place in which explosives are stored or kept, whether above or below ground;
“main contractor” means a person who has entered into a contract with an owner or lessee of a property or his agent for the purpose of carrying out any building operation or work of engineering construction;
“man-lock” means any lock, other than a medical lock, used for the compression or decompression of persons entering or leaving a working chamber;
“material hoist” means a power or manually operated suspended platform or bucket operating in guiderails and used for raising or lowering material exclusively and operated and controlled from a point outside the conveyance;
“materials lock” means a chamber through which materials and equipment pass from one air pressure environment into another;
“medical lock” means a double compartment lock used for the therapeutic recompression and decompression of persons suffering from the ill-effects of decompression;
“outrigger” means a structure projecting beyond the facade of a building with the inner end being anchored and includes a cantilever or other support;
“plant or equipment” includes any plant, equipment, gear, machinery, apparatus or appliance, or any part thereof;
“pressure” means air pressure in bars above atmospheric pressure;
“professional engineer” means a person registered as a professional engineer under the Professional Engineers Act;
“puncheon” means a vertical member extending over at least two lifts and placed midway between standards in the longitudinal plane of the scaffold;
“putlog” means a horizontal member on which the board, plank or decking of a working platform are laid;
“reveal tie” means the assembly of a tie tube and a fitting used for tightening a tube between two opposing surfaces;
“right angle coupler” means a coupler, other than a swivel or putlog coupler, used for connecting tubes at right angles;
“rock bolt” means a mechanical expansion bolt or a bolt used with cementitious or resin anchoring system which is set in drilled hole in the arch or wall of a tunnel to improve rock competency;
“roofing bracket” means a bracket used in sloped roof construction and having sharp points or other means for fastening to prevent slipping;
“safety screen” means an air and water tight diaphragm placed across the upper part of a compressed air tunnel between the face and bulkhead, in order to prevent flooding the crown of the tunnel between the safety screen and the bulkhead, thus providing a safe means of refuge and exit from a flooding or flooded tunnel;
“scaffold” means any temporarily provided structure on or from which persons perform work in connection with operations or works to which these Regulations apply, and any temporarily provided structure which enables persons to obtain access to or which enables materials to be taken to any place at which such work is performed, and includes any working platform, gangway, run, ladder or step-ladder (other than an independent ladder or step-ladder which does not form part of such a structure) together with any guardrail, toe board or other safeguards and all fixings, but does not include a lifting appliance or a lifting machine or a structure used merely to support such an appliance or such a machine or to support other plant or equipment;
“segment” includes a cast iron or precast concrete segmented structure formed to the curvature of the tunnel cross-section and used to support the ground surrounding the tunnel;
“service shaft” means a shaft for the passage of persons or materials to or from a tunnel under construction;
“shaft” means an excavation having a longitudinal axis at an angle greater than 45° from the horizontal —
(a)for the passage of persons or materials to or from a tunnel; or
(b)leading to an existing tunnel;
“shield” means a movable frame which supports the working face of a tunnel and the ground immediately behind it and includes equipment designed to excavate and support the excavated areas in a tunnel;
“site safety supervisor” means a site safety supervisor appointed under regulation 25;
“sole plate” means a member used to distribute the load from the base plate or the standard of wooden scaffolds to the supporting surface;
“standard” means a member used as a vertical support or column in the construction of scaffolds which transmits a load to the ground or solid construction;
“steel rib” includes all steel beams and other structural members shaped to conform to the requirements of a particular tunnel cross section, used for the purpose of supporting and stabilising the excavated areas;
“sub-contractor” means a person who has entered into a contract with another contractor for the purpose of carrying out any building operations or works of engineering construction;
“suspended scaffold” means a scaffold suspended by means of ropes or chains and capable of being raised or lowered but does not include a boatswain’s chair or similar appliance;
“swivel coupler” means a coupler for connecting two tubes at any angle other than a right angle;
“tie” means an assembly used to connect a scaffold to a rigid anchorage;
“toe board” means a member fastened above a working platform, access landing, accessway, wheelbarrow run, ramp or other platform to prevent men and materials falling therefrom;
“trestle scaffold” includes a scaffold in which the supports for the platform are any of the following which are self-supporting, that is to say, split heads, folding step-ladders, tripods or movable contrivances similar to any of the foregoing;
“transom” means a member placed horizontally and used to tie transversely one ledger to another, or one standard to another in an independent tie scaffold;
“tubular scaffold” means a scaffold constructed from tubes and couplers;
“tunnel” means a subterranean passage made by excavating beneath the over-burden into which a worker enters or is required to enter to work;
“underground” means within the confines of any shaft, tunnel, caisson or cofferdam;
“vehicle” means a vehicle propelled or driven by mechanical or electrical power and includes a trailer, traction engine, tractor and road-building machine;
“working chamber” means the part of the construction site where work in a compressed air environment is carried out, but does not include a man-lock or medical lock;
“working platform” means a platform which is used to support workmen or materials and includes a working stage;
“working pressure” means pressure to which persons in a working chamber are exposed.
Application
3.—(1)  These Regulations shall apply —
(a)to building operations; and
(b)to works of engineering construction,
undertaken by way of trade or business, or for the purpose of any industrial or commercial undertaking, or by or on behalf of the Government or any statutory or public authority and to any line or siding which is used in connection therewith and for the purposes thereof and is not part of a railway.
(2)  The provisions of these Regulations shall be in addition to and not in substitution for or in dimunition of other requirements imposed by the Act.
Obligations
4.—(1)  It shall be the duty of every contractor and every employer, who is undertaking any of the operations or works to which these Regulations apply —
(a)to comply with such of the requirements of these Regulations as affect him or any person employed:
Provided that the requirements of these Regulations shall be deemed not to affect any employee if and so long as his presence in any place is not in the course of performing any work on behalf of his employer and is not expressly or impliedly authorised or permitted by his employer; and
(b)to comply with such of the requirements of these Regulations as relate to any work, act or operation performed or about to be performed by any such contractor or employer,
and it shall be the duty of every contractor and every employer who erects or alters any scaffold to comply with such of the requirements of these Regulations as relate to the erection or alteration of scaffolds having regard to the purpose or purposes for which the scaffold is designed at the time of erection or alteration; and of every contractor and every employer, who erects, installs, works or uses any plant or equipment to which any of the provisions of these Regulations applies, to erect, install, work or use such plant or equipment in a manner which complies with those provisions.
(2)  Where a contractor, who is undertaking any of the operations or works to which these Regulations apply, appoints any artisan, tradesman or other person to perform any work or services under a contract for services, it shall be the duty of the contractor to comply with such of the requirements of these Regulations as affect that artisan, tradesman or other person and for this purpose any reference in these Regulations to an employee shall include a reference to such artisan, tradesman or other person and the contractor shall be deemed to be his employer.
(3)  It shall be the duty of every employee to comply with the requirements of such of these Regulations as relate to the performance of or the refraining from an act by him to co-operate in carrying out these Regulations.
(4)  No employer or contractor shall permit an employee to do anything not in accordance with the generally accepted principles of sound and safe practice.
(5)  No employee shall do anything not in accordance with the generally accepted principles of sound and safe practice.
(6)  No person shall wilfully do any unsafe act which may cause injury to himself or to others.
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Overhead protection
5.—(1)  Overhead protection shall be erected along the periphery of every building which is under construction.
(2)  Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any building which is less than 15 metres in height when completed.
(3)  Overhead protection shall be not less than 2 metres wide and erected at a height not more than 5 metres from the base of the building and the outer edge of the shelter shall be 150 mm higher than the inner edge or shall be erected at an angle of not more than 20° to the horizontal sloping into the building.
(4)  Where no one is required to work or to pass except persons who are at work in the vicinity, any area exposed to risk of falling material or objects shall be roped off or otherwise guarded from inadvertent entry.
Falling hazards
6.  Every open side or opening into or through which a person may fall shall be covered or guarded by an effective barrier to prevent falls except where free access is required by work actually in progress.
Drowning hazards
7.  Where persons are exposed to the hazard of falling into water in which they may drown, there shall be provided at all times during the exposure, adequate equipment for keeping persons afloat and for promptly rescuing persons from the water and resuscitating rescued persons. A manned and properly equipped boat shall be provided if the Chief Inspector considers it necessary.
Slipping hazards
8.  No employer shall suffer or permit an employee to use a passageway, or a scaffold, platform or other elevated working surface which is in a slippery condition. Oil, grease, water and other substances causing slippery footing shall be removed, sanded or covered to provide safe footing.
Tripping and cutting hazards
9.—(1)  All passageways, platforms and other places of work shall be kept free from accumulations of dirt and debris and from other obstructions that could cause tripping.
(2)  Any sharp projection which could cut any employee shall be removed or otherwise made safe.
Access to workplace
10.—(1)  Stairways, ramps or runways shall be provided as the means of access to working levels above or below ground except where the nature or progress of the work prevents their installation in which case ladders or other safe means shall be provided.
(2)  All buildings under construction of more than two storeys high shall be provided with well defined access at the ground floor with adequate overhead protective cover for persons entering or leaving the building.
Dust and gases
11.  Dust and gases shall be controlled by ventilation or otherwise so as to prevent concentrations tending to injure health or obstruct vision.
Corrosive substances
12.  All alkalis, acids and other corrosive substances shall be so stored and used as not to endanger employees. Suitable protective equipment for the use of such substances shall be provided. A clean water supply shall be readily available for washing off any spillage of any corrosive substance on the employees.
Eye protection
13.  Suitable eye protection equipment shall be provided for and shall be used by employees while engaged in welding or cutting operations or in chipping, cutting or grinding any material from which particles may fly, or while engaged in any other operation which may endanger the eyes.
Respirators
14.  Where these Regulations require respirators to be provided, the employer shall provide and the employee shall use a respirator suitable for the type of operation for which it is to be used. The employer shall maintain such respirator in good repair and shall furnish the means for its continued efficient working condition; and he shall provide regular inspection and cleansing of such equipment.
Protective apparel
15.—(1)  Every employee required to pass or work within areas where there is danger of being struck by falling objects or materials shall be provided with a safety helmet of a type tested and approved by a testing body approved by the Chief Inspector.
(2)  Every employee required to work in water, wet concrete or other wet footing shall be provided with suitable waterproof boots.
(3)  Every employee required to work in rain or similar wet conditions shall be provided with a waterproof coat and hat.
(4)  Every employee required to use or handle alkalis, acids or other corrosive substances shall be provided with appropriate protective apparel.
Electrical hazards
16.—(1)  Before work is begun the employer shall ascertain by inquiry or direct observation, or by instruments, where any part of an electric power circuit, exposed or concealed is so located that the performance of the work may bring any person, tool or machine into physical or electrical contact therewith.
(2)  The employer shall post and maintain proper warning signs in the 4 official languages where such a circuit exists.
(3)  The employer shall advise his employees of the location of such lines, the hazards involved and the protective measures to be taken and shall, if practicable, de-energize the electric power circuit.
(4)  No employer shall suffer or permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that he may contact it in the course of his work unless the employee is protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and earthing it or by guarding it by effective insulation or other means acceptable to the Chief Inspector.
(5)  In work areas where the exact location of underground electric power lines is unknown, employees using jack-hammers, bars or other hand tools which may contact a line shall be provided with insulated protective gloves and insulated protective footwear.
(6)  All wiring shall be supported on proper insulators and not looped over nails or brackets.
(7)  No wiring shall be left on the ground or the floor of a building unless it is unavoidable and, where it is necessary to lay electric wiring on the ground or the floor of a building, the wiring shall be of the weather-proof types and shall be provided with adequate mechanical protection to withstand the wear and abuse to which it may be subjected and it shall be maintained in good and safe working order.
(8)  No bare wires or other unprotected conductors shall be located within 4 metres of any surface where employees may work or pass, unless completely guarded by a fence or other barrier.
(9)  Where electrical appliances and current carrying equipment have provisions made for earthing, they shall be properly earthed.
(10)  All temporary electrical installations in building and engineering construction worksites shall be provided with earth leakage circuit breakers.
(11)  Elevated power lines shall have a sufficient vertical clearance where they cross highways, access roads or areas travelled by trucks, cranes, shovels or other similar equipment and shall by no means be lower than 5.2 metres from the ground surface.
(12)  All electrical installations in building and engineering construction worksites shall comply with the requirements of —
(a)the Public Utilities (Electricity) Regulations; and
(b)the Public Utilities (Electricity Supply) Regulations.
(13)  (a)  All electrical installations shall be tested and approved by the Chief Electrical Engineer of the Public Utilities Board, or his representative, or by any electrical worker before they are commissioned and such installations shall be maintained in good and safe working order.

(b)For the purpose of this paragraph, “electrical worker” shall have the same meaning as in the Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Act.

Power driven saws
17.—(1)  All portable power-driven hand operated saws which are not mounted with saw tables except chain saws shall be equipped with guards above the base plate which will completely protect the operator from contact with the saw blade when in motion and with self-adjusting guards below the base plate which will completely cover the saw to the depth of the teeth when the saw is removed from the cut.
(2)  Every power-driven saw which is mounted with a saw table shall be equipped with a guard which shall cover the saw blade to such an extent as will prevent contact with any part of the teeth which are more than 50 mm above the saw table and which are not protected by the spreader or similar device. When in operation, the guard shall automatically rise by pressure from the material or shall be so adjusted that as the saw cuts the material, the distance from the material to the underside of the guard does not exceed 12 mm. The exposed teeth of the saw blade beneath the table shall be effectively guarded.
(3)  Every table circular saw used for ripping shall be provided with a spreader securely fastened in position and with an effective device to prevent the kicking back of material.
Public vehicular traffic
18.—(1)  Whenever any work is being performed over, on or in close proximity to a highway or any other place where public vehicular traffic may cause danger to men at work, the working area shall be so barricaded and suitable warning signs and warning lights shall be set up to direct traffic away from it and, when necessary, the traffic shall be specially controlled by designated persons.
(2)  (a)  All vehicles used at construction worksites shall be roadworthy and registered with the appropriate authority in accordance with the Road Traffic Act and any subsidiary legislation made thereunder

(b)No person shall drive a vehicle of any class or description in a construction worksite unless he is the holder of a driving licence authorising him to drive a vehicle of that class or description.

Stability of structures
19.  No wall, chimney or other structure or part of a structure shall be left unguarded in such condition that it may fall, collapse or weaken due to wind pressure or vibration.
Illumination of passageways, etc.
20.  Illumination sufficient for maintaining safe working conditions shall be provided wherever persons are required to work or pass. For passageways, stairways and landings, the illumination shall be not less than 50 lux.
Storage of materials and equipment
21.—(1)  All building materials shall be stored or stacked in a safe and orderly manner so as not to obstruct any passageway or place of work.
(2)  Material piles shall be stored or stacked in such a manner as to ensure stability.
(3)  Material or equipment shall not be stored upon any floor or platform in such quantity as to exceed its safe carrying capacity.
(4)  Material or equipment shall not be stored or placed so close to any edge of a floor or platform as to endanger persons below.
Disposal of debris
22.—(1)  Debris shall be handled and disposed of by a method which will not endanger persons.
(2)  Debris shall not be allowed to accumulate so as to constitute a hazard.
(3)  Debris shall be kept sufficiently moist to lay the dust.
(4)  Debris shall not be thrown from buildings whether under construction or completed.
Numbering and marking of floors
23.  Each floor of every building under construction shall be appropriately numbered or marked at the landing of every floor of every staircase or other means of access.
Use of safety helmets
24.—(1)  All persons who are performing any work or services in a worksite shall wear safety helmets according to the following colour code:
Personnel.
Colour of Safety Helmet.
(a)Owner, architect, engineer and their site staff
White.
(b)Main contractors, site agents, foremen and other site supervisors of main contractors
White with red stripe.
(c)Sub-contractors and supervisory staff of sub-contractors
Yellow with red stripe.
(d)Site safety supervisors and contractor safety supervisors
Blue.
(e)All other workers
Yellow.
(2)  The red stripe referred to in paragraph (1) shall be 50 mm wide along the centre-line of the helmet from front to back across the crown.
Site safety supervisors
25.—(1)  The main contractor of a worksite shall appoint a part-time site safety supervisor who shall spend at least 15 hours per week exclusively on safety supervision and on promoting the safe conduct of work generally within the site.
(2)  The site safety supervisor shall be a person who is competent to perform the duties specified in paragraphs (3) and (4), who possesses such qualifications as are approved by the Chief Inspector and who has a minimum of two years’ experience as a site foreman.
(3)  The site safety supervisor shall —
(a)ensure that the provisions of the Act and any regulations made thereunder are complied with; and
(b)promote the safe conduct of the work generally within the worksite.
(4)  The duties of a site safety supervisor shall include —
(a)inspecting and rectifying any unsafe place of work;
(b)correcting any unsafe practice;
(c)checking sub-contractors’ work to ensure compliance with the Act and any regulations made thereunder; and
(d)liaison with contractor’s safety supervisors with respect to safety of work undertaken by sub-contractors.
Contractor’s safety supervisors
26.—(1)  Every contractor other than the main contractor in charge of a worksite who employs more than 20 persons to carry out work on a worksite shall appoint a part-time contractor’s safety supervisor, who shall spend at least 5 hours per week exclusively on safety supervision and on promoting the safe conduct of work generally by his employees.
(2)  The contractor’s safety supervisor shall be a person competent to perform the duties specified in paragraph (3) and who has a minimum of two years’ experience as a site foreman.
(3)  The contractor’s safety supervisor shall —
(a)ensure that the provisions of the Act and any regulations made thereunder are complied with; and
(b)promote the safe conduct of the work by the other employees of his employer employed on that worksite.
Safety committees
27.—(1)  The main contractor of a worksite in which 50 or more persons are for the time being employed (whether by him or by other contractors) shall establish a safety committee (on which both employees and management are represented) for the purpose of keeping under review circumstances in the worksite which may affect the safety and health of the persons employed therein.
(2)  The safety committee shall consist of a senior member of the main contractor’s staff at the site, the site safety supervisor, all contractor’s safety supervisors and such other site workers who are appointed as members.
(3)  The safety committee shall meet at least once a month.