NR18 – Working Conditions and Environment in Construction Industry (PCMAT)

(Last amended in December 2015)

18.1 Objective and Scope of Application
18.2 Notification
18.3 Program for Working Conditions and Environment in the Construction Industry (PCMAT)
18.4 Welfare Facilities
18.5 Demolition
18.6 Excavations, Foundations and Stripping of Rocks
18.7 Carpentry
18.8 Steel Reinforcement
18.9 Concrete Structures
18.10 Metal Structures
18.11 Welding and Hot Cutting Operations
18.12 Stairs, Ramps and Walkways
18.13 Protective Measures Against Fall from Height
18.14 Handling and Transporting of Materials and People
18.15 Scaffoldings and Work Platforms
18.16 Steel Wire Ropes and Synthetic Fiber Slings
18.17 Brickwork, Coating and Finishings
18.18 Roofs and Roof Coverings
18.19 Floating Services
18.20 Confined Spaces
18.21 Electrical Installations
18.22 Machinery, Equipment and Miscellaneous Tools
18.23 Personal Protective Equipments
18.24 Storages and Storing of Materials
18.25 Transportation of Workers in Motor Vehicles
18.26 Fire Protection
18.27 Safety Sign
18.28 Training
18.29 Housekeeping
18.30 Hoardings and Galleries
18.31 Fatal Accidents
18.32 (Repealed by Ordinance SIT no 237, June 10, 2011)
18.33 Internal Commission for Accident Prevention (
CIPA) in the Construction Companies
18.34 Permanent Committee on Working Conditions and Environment in Construction Industry
18.35 Technical Recommendations for the RTP Procedures
18.36 General Provisions
18.37 Final Provisions
18.38 Temporary Provisions
18.39 Glossary

18.1 Objective and Scope of Application

18.1.1 This Regulatory Standard (NR) establishes the administrative, planning and organizational guidelines, which aim for the implementation of safety control measures and preventive systems in the process, in the working conditions and environment in construction industry.

18.1.2 Those listed in Table 1 of NR4, and the activities and services of demolition, repair, painting, cleaning and maintenance in general of any type of building, including maintenance of urbanization and landscaping works are considered as the activities of the Construction Industry.

18.1.3 The entry or staying of the workers in the construction site is forbidden, without being ensured by the measures provided in this NR and the compatibility with the phase of work.

18.1.4 The observance of this NR does not exempt the employers from the compliance with the provisions relating to the working conditions and environment, as determined by the federal, state or municipal legislation, and by the collective bargaining.

18.2 Notification

18.2.1 It is mandatory to notify the following information to the Regional Labor Office before beginning the activities:

a) address of the work site;
b) address and qualification (CEI, CGC or CPF) of the contractor, employer or condominium;
c) type of the work;
c) start and completion dates of the work;
e) maximum number of workers expected to work.

18.3 Program for Working Conditions and Environment in the Construction Industry (PCMAT)

18.3.1 It is mandatory to prepare and comply with the PCMAT in the establishments with 20 (twenty) or more employees, covering all aspects of this NR and other complementary safety features.

18.3.1.1 The PCMAT shall include the requirements contained in the NR 9 – Environmental Risk Prevention Program.

18.3.1.2. The PCMAT shall be kept in the establishment at the disposal of the regional body of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE).

18.3.2. The PCMAT shall be prepared by a legally qualified professional in the field of occupational safety.

18.3.3. The implementation of the PCMAT in the establishments is the responsibility of the employer or the condominium.

18.3.4. The content of the PCMAT:

a) memorial on working conditions and environment in the activities and operations, taking the risks of occupational illness and accidents and the respective preventive measures into consideration;
b) implementation design of the collective protections in accordance with the stage of the work;
c) technical specifications of the collective and individual protections to be used;
d) schedule for implementing the preventive measures defined in PCMAT in accordance with the stages of work;
e) initial and updated layout of the construction site and/or the work front, including the welfare facilities;
f) training program covering the topics on prevention of occupational diseases and accidents, with their course load.

18.4 Welfare facilities

18.4.1 The construction sites shall have:

a) sanitary installations;
b) changing rooms and lockers;
c) accommodation;
d) dining hall;
e) kitchen, when preparing meals;
f) laundry;
g) recreation area;
h) outpatient clinic, in case of 50 (fifty) or more workers.

18.4.1.1 Complying with the provisions in paragraph “c”, “f” and “g” is mandatory where the workers accommodate.

18.4.1.2 The welfare facilities shall be kept in perfect condition, hygiene and cleanliness.

18.4.1.3 The mobile installations, including containers, will be accepted in the welfare facilities, provided that every module:

a) has an effective natural ventilation area of at least 15% of the floor area, composed of at least two openings properly placed arranged to allow effective internal ventilation;
b) ensures thermal comfort conditions;
c) has a minimum ceiling height of 2,40m;
d) ensures other hygiene and comfort requirements established in this NR;
e) has a protection against electrical shock by indirect contact, in addition to electrical grounding.

18.4.1.3.1 In the mobile installations, including containers, designed to accommodate bunk type double beds, the headroom between two beds shall be at least 0.90 m.

18.4.1.3.2 In case of adapting the containers originally used for transporting or securing the loads, a technical report concerning the absence of chemical, biological and physical hazards (especially for radiation) with the identification of the company responsible for the adaptation, shall be kept in the construction site at the disposal of the trade union and the labor inspection.

18.4.2 Sanitary Facilities

18.4.2.1 The place intended for the personal hygiene and/or the physiological needs of excretion is accepted as a sanitary facility.

18.4.2.2 It is forbidden to use the sanitary installations for any purpose other than those specified in sub-item 18.4.2.1.

18.4.2.3 The sanitary facilities shall:

a) be kept in perfect condition and hygiene;
b) have sturdy and durable access doors and be constructed so as to maintain appropriate guard;
c) have walls from resistant and washable material, which might be wood;
d) have impermeable, washable and non-slip floors;
e) not be connected directly to the designated eating places;
f) be separate for men and women, when necessary;
g) have adequate ventilation and lighting;
h) have suitably protected electrical installations;
i) have a minimum ceiling height of 2.50m, or respecting those stipulated in the Building Code of the Municipality;
j) be located within easy and safe access, a displacement superior than 150 meters from the place of work to the toilets, urinals and lavatories is not allowed;

18.4.2.4 The sanitary facility shall be constituted of lavatory, toilet and urinals, in ratio of 1 set for each group of 20 workers, as well as shower in ratio of 1 unit for each group of 10 workers.

18.4.2.5 Lavatories

18.4.2.5.1 The lavatories shall:

a) be individual or collective, chute type;
b) have metal or plastic tap;
c) have a height of 0.90 m;
d) to be connected directly to the sewerage system, when necessary;
e) have a smooth, waterproof and washable internal coating;
f) have a minimum space of 0.60 m between taps, when collective;
g) have a disposal container for waste paper.

18.4.2.6 Toilets

18.4.2.6.1. The location of toilets (sanitary cabinet) shall:

a) have a minimum area of 1.00 m2;
b) have a door with an internal door latch and lower edge of maximum 0.15 m in height;
c) have dividers with a minimum height of 1.80 m;
d) have lidded containers for the disposal of waste paper, being required to provide toilet paper.

18.4.2.6.2 The toilets shall:

a) be a squatting or sitting type;
b) have a discharge tank or automatic valve;
c) be connected to the general sewerage system or to the septic tank, with interposition of hydraulic siphons.

18.4.2.7 Urinals

18.4.2.7.1 The urinals shall:

a) be individual or collective, through type;
b) have a smooth, waterproof and washable internal coating;;
c) have an automatic or manual discharge;
d) be at a maximum height of 0.50 m from the floor;
e) be connected to the general sewerage system or to the septic tank, with interposition of hydraulic siphons.

18.4.2.7.2 Each 0.60 m segment of through type urinal shall correspond to a bowl type urinal.

18.4.2.8 Showers

18.4.2.8.1 The minimum area required for each shower is 0.80 m2, with a height of 2.10 m from the floor.

18.4.2.8.2 The floors of the places where the showers are installed shall have a trim that ensures the water flow to the sewage system, if any, and shall be of non-slip material or provided with wooden pallets.

18.4.2.8.3 The showers shall be of metal or plastic, individual or collective, providing hot water.

18.4.2.8.4 Each shower shall have a soap holder and a towel rack.

18.4.2.8.5 Electric showers shall be properly grounded.

18.4.2.9 Changing room

18.4.2.9.1 Every construction site shall have a changing room for workers who do not reside on site to change their clothes.

18.4.2.9.2 The location of the changing room shall be close to the accommodations and/or the entrance of the site, without direct connection to the dining hall or kitchen.

18.4.2.9.3 The changing rooms shall:

a) have walls from brick, wooden or equivalent material;
b) have floors from concrete, cemented, wooden or equivalent material;
c) have coverings that will protect against inclement weather;
d) have ventilation areas corresponding to 1/10 of the floor area;
e) have natural or artificial lighting;
f) have personal lockers endowed with door locks or padlocks;
g) have a minimum ceiling height of 2.50m, or respecting those stipulated in the Building Code of the Municipality;
h) be kept in perfect condition, hygiene and cleanliness.
i) have benches in sufficient number to serve to the users, with a minimum width of 0.30m.

18.4.2.10 Accommodations

18.4.2.10.1 The accommodations in the construction sites shall:

a) have walls from brick, wooden or equivalent material;
b) have floors from concrete, cemented, wooden or equivalent material;
c) have coverings that will protect against inclement weather;
d) have ventilation areas corresponding to 1/10 of the floor area;
e) have natural or artificial lighting;
f) have a minimum area of 3.00 m2 per bed/closet module, including the circulation area;
g) have a minimum ceiling height of 2.50m for single beds and 3.00 m for double beds;
h) not be located in the basements or cellars of the buildings;
i) have suitably protected electrical installations.

18.4.2.10.2 It is forbidden to use 3 or more beds in the same floor space vertically.

18.4.2.10.3 The headroom allowed between two beds, and the latter and the ceiling is at least 1.20 m.

18.4.2.10.4 The top bunk bed shall have side protection and a ladder.

18.4.2.10.5 The minimum dimensions of the beds shall be 0.80m by 1.90m and the distance between the bed slats shall be 0.05m, providing mattresses with a density of 26 (twenty six) and a minimum thickness of 0.10 m (ten centimeters).

18.4.2.10.6 The beds shall have sheet, pillow and pillow cover in adequate hygienic conditions, as well as blankets, when the weather conditions so require it.

18.4.2.10.7 The accommodations shall have double individual closets with the following minimum dimensions:

a) 1.20m high by 0.30m wide and 0.40m deep, with separation or shelf, so that a compartment with a height of 0.80m to keep the clothes for common use and other compartment with a height of 0.40m to keep the working clothes; or
b) 0.80m high by 0.50m wide and 0.40m deep with a division in vertical direction, so that the compartments with a width of 0.25m to isolate the clothes for common use and work.

18.4.2.10.8 It is forbidden to cook and heat any meal in the accommodations.

18.4.2.10.9 The accommodations shall be kept in perfect condition, hygiene and cleanliness.

18.4.2.10.10 It is mandatory to provide fresh, filtered potable water for the employees by means of inclined jet-type drinking fountain or similar equipments that ensure the same conditions, in ratio of 1 for each group of 25 employees.

18.4.2.10.11 The stay of people with infectious contagious disease in the accommodations is forbidden.

18.4.2.11 Dining hall

18.4.2.11.1 It is mandatory to have an adequate dining spot in the construction sites.

18.4.2.11.2 The dining facilities shall:

a) have walls that allow isolation during meals;
b) have floors from concrete, cemented or other washable material;
c) have coverings that will protect against inclement weather;
d) have a capacity to ensure the attendance of all the employees at meal time;
e) have natural and/or artificial ventilation and lighting;
f) have washbasins installed in the vicinity or inside;
g) have tables with flat and washable tops;
h) have seats in sufficient numbers to serve the users;
i) have lidded containers for wastes;
j) not be located in the basements or cellars of the buildings;;
k) not have direct connection with sanitary facilities;
l) have a minimum ceiling height of 2.50m, or respecting those stipulated in the Building Code of the Municipality.

18.4.2.11.3 Regardless of the number of employees and whether or not there is a kitchen, the construction sites shall have an exclusive location for heating meals, with adequate and safe heating equipment.

18.4.2.11.3.1 It is forbidden to prepare, heat and have meals outside of these locations.

18.4.2.11.4 It is mandatory to provide fresh, filtered potable water for the employees by means of inclined jet-type drinking fountain or other equivalent devices. The use of collective cups is forbidden.

18.4.2.12 Kitchen

18.4.2.12.1 When there is a kitchen in the construction site, it shall:

a) have natural and/or artificial ventilation that allows good exhaustion;
b) have a minimum ceiling height of 2.80m, or respecting those stipulated in the Building Code of the Municipality;
c) have walls from brick, concrete, wooden or equivalent material;
d) have floors from concrete, cemented, wooden or other easily cleanable material;
e) have covering of fire resistant material;
f) have natural and/or artificial lighting;
g) have sink for washing the foods and utensils;
h) have sanitary facilities for the exclusive of those appointed to handle the foodstuffs, meals and utensils, which do not communicate to the kitchen and not connected to the grease trap;
i) have lidded container for garbage collection;
j) have refrigeration equipment for preserving food;
k) be adjacent to the dining facilities;
l) have suitably protected electrical installations;
m) if LPG is used, the cylinders shall be installed out of the usage environment, in permanently ventilated and covered area.

18.4.2.12.2 It is mandatory to use aprons and bonnets for those working in the kitchen.

18.4.2.13 Laundry

18.4.2.13.1 The living areas shall have their own, covered, ventilated and illuminated places so that the workers living at the construction site can wash, dry and iron their own clothes.

18.4.2.13.2 This place shall have individual or collective tanks in adequate number.

18.4.2.13.3 The company may contract third-party services to meet the requirements in item 18.4.2.13.1, at no cost to the employees.

18.4.2.14 Recreation area

18.4.2.14.1 The living areas shall be provided with recreation areas for the workers living at the construction site. The dining hall can be used for this purpose.

18.5 Demolition

18.5.1 Before starting the demolition, electricity, water, flammable liquids and liquefied gases lines, toxic substances, sewer and water drainage pipes shall be disconnected, removed, protected or isolated, respecting the standards and determinations in effect.

18.5.2 The neighboring buildings to the demolition site shall be examined, priorly and periodically, in order to preserve their stability and physical integrity of others.

18.5.3 The demolition shall be planned and directed by a legally qualified professional.

18.5.4 Before starting the demolition, the glasses, slats, stucco and other fragile items.

18.5.5 Before starting the demolition of a pavement, all the openings on the floor shall be closed, except those that are used for the disposal of materials. People shall not stay on the pavements of which their stability might be compromised during the demolition process.

18.5.6 The stairs shall be kept clear and free of obstructions in case of emergency, and will only be demolished as the materials from upper floors are being removed.

18.5.7 Heavy and bulky items shall be removed by using mechanical devices. The release of any material in free fall is prohibited.

18.5.8 The debris removal, by gravity, shall be done through closed chutes made of resistant material, with a maximum inclination of 45º, attached to the building on every floor.

18.5.9 At the discharge point of the chute, a closure device shall be in place.

18.5.10 During the execution of demolition services, the debris retaining platforms shall be installed at most two floors below and around the perimeter of the working level, with a minimum dimension of 2.50m and inclination of 45º.

18.5.11 The elements of construction in demolition shall not be left in a position which makes them possible to collapse.

18.5.12 The materials of the building shall be previously moistened during the demolition and removal.

18.5.13 The walls can only be demolished before the structure when they are metal or concrete.

18.6 Excavations, Foundations and Stripping of Rocks

18.6.1 The work area shall be cleaned previously, and trees, rocks, equipments, materials and any kind of objects shall be removed or firmly propped, when there is a risk of losing stability while performing services.

18.6.2 Walls, neighboring buildings and all structures that may be affected by the excavation must be propped.

18.6.3 The services of excavation, foundation and stripping of rock shall have a legally qualified responsible technician.

18.6.4 When there is an underground power cable in the vicinity of excavation, the excavation can only b e started when he cable is disconnected.

18.6.4.1 If it is impossible to disconnect the cable, special measures shall be taken by concessionaire.

18.6.5 The unstable slopes of the excavations deeper than 1.25m shall have their stabilities ensured by dimensioned structures for this purpose.

18.6.6 For elaboration of the project and implementation of open pit excavations, the conditions required in NBR 9061/85 – Open Pit Excavation Safety shall be observed.

18.6.7 The excavations more than 1.25m in depth shall have stairs or ramps placed close to the working place in order to allow workers to evacuate quickly in case of any emergency, regardless of the provisions of sub-item 18.6.5.

18.6.8 The materials removed from the excavation shall be deposited at a distance greater than half of the excavation depth, as measured from the edge of the slope.

18.6.9 The stability of the slopes greater than 1.75m in height shall be ensured.

18.6.10 When there is a possibility of gas leak or infiltration, the site shall be properly ventilated and monitored.

18.6.10.1 The monitoring shall be effected while the work is being carried out, so that the audible and visual alarm will be activated in case of a leak.

18.6.11 Excavations on public roads or construction sites shall have warning signs and isolation barrier around the perimeter of excavation, including at nights.

18.6.12 The access of workers, vehicles and equipments to the excavation areas shall have permanent warning signs.

18.6.13 The access to the excavation or pile driving areas by unauthorized personnel is prohibited.

18.6.14 The pile driver operator shall be qualified and have trained team.

18.6.15 The cables sustaining the pestle shall be long enough to have a minimum 6 turns on the drum in any working position.

18.6.16 In the execution of excavations and foundations under compressed air, the provisions in Annex 6 of NR15 – Unhealthy Activities and Operations shall be met.

18.6.17 In the execution of rock blasting, there shall be a blaster, responsible for the storage, preparation, loading f loads, firing order, detonation and removal of those failed to explode, adequate disposal of leftover explosives and electrical devices required for the detonation.

18.6.18 The fire area shall be protected against the projection of particles when the workers and third parties are exposed to risk.

18.6.19 Audible alarm is mandatory during the detonations.

18.6.20 In the execution of open caisson, the provisions of item 18.20 – Confined spaces shall apply.

18.6.21 In the execution of open caisson, the requirement for shoring (jacketing) is at the discretion of the engineer specializing in foundations or soil, considering the safety requirements.

18.6.22 The equipment for hoisting and lowering workers and materials, which used in the execution of open caisson, shall be equipped with a safety locking system.

18.6.23 The excavation of open caisson, widening and opening the base and sloping shall be preceded by probing or local geotechnical study.

18.6.23.1 In particular case of open caisson and base opening, the geotechnical study shall be required for depths greater than 3.00m.

18.7 Carpentry

18.7.1 The operations on machines and equipment necessary for carrying out carpentry work can only be performed by qualified workers in terms of this NR.

18.7.2 The circular saw shall meet the following provisions:

a) be provided with a stable table, which is closed on all sides, manufactured from first quality and sturdy wooden, metallic or similar material of equivalent resistance without any deficiency, with sufficient sizing to perform the tasks;
b) have an electrically grounded motor housing;
c) the blade shall be kept sharp and latched, and shall be replaced when any crack, broken tooth or warping;
d) the transmissions of mechanical force shall be protected by fixed and sturdy screen, and cannot be removed under any circumstances while performing the work;
e) be provided with hood guard above the blade and riving knife, with identification of the manufacturer and sawdust collector.

18.7.3 Push sticks or blocks and alignment tabs shall be used in wood cutting operations.

18.7.4 The lighting fittings in the carpentry shall be protected against impacts from projected particles.

18.7.5 The carpentry shall have resistant, leveled and non-slip floor with covering capable of protecting workers from falls of materials and inclement weather.

18.8 Steel Reinforcement

18.8.1 Bending and cutting steel rebars shall be done on benches or appropriate and stable platforms supported on resistant, leveled and non-slippery surfaces, away from the circulation area of the workers.

18.8.2 The frames of columns, beams and the vertical structures shall be supported and propped to prevent overturning and collapse.

18.8.3 The working area where the frame workbench is located shall have a sturdy covers to protect the workers from falling materials and inclement weather.

18.8.3.1 The lighting fittings in the working area of rebar framing shall be protected against impacts from projected particles and the rebars.

18.8.4 It is mandatory to place firmly supported wooden planks on rebar frames for the movement of workers.

18.8.5 Unguarded protruding steel reinforcing bars are prohibited.

18.8.6 While unloading steel bars, the area shall be isolated.

18.9 Concrete Structures

18.9.1 The formworks shall be designed and constructed so as to resist the maximum working load.

18.9.2 The use of sliding formworks shall be supervised by legally qualified professional.

18.9.3 The supports and props of the formworks shall be inspected before and during concrete pouring by a skilled worker.

18.9.4 During de-forming, necessary measures to prevent the formwork sections and props from falling shall be taken, and lashing the parts and isolating and signing on the ground level is mandatory.

18.9.5 The column frames shall be guyed and propped before cement pouring.

18.9.6 During steel cable pretensioning, standing behind or over the jacks, or other pretensioning equipments is prohibited. The area shall be isolated and signalized.

18.9.7 The devices and equipments used in pretension shall be inspected by legally qualified professional before and during the work.

18.9.8 The connections of concrete discharge pipes shall have safety devices to prevent when pressurized.

18.9.9 The parts and machines of the concrete discharge systems shall be inspected by a skilled worker before starting work.

18.9.10 Any personnel other than the team necessary to pour concrete is prohibited in local.

18.9.11 The immersion and board vibrators shall have double insulation and the connection cables shall be protected against mechanical shocks and cuts by the hardware, being inspected before and during use.

18.9.12 The buckets of concrete transporters shall have safety devices to prevent accidental discharges.

18.10 Metal Structures

18.10.1 The parts shall be fixed in advance of being welded, riveted or bolted.

18.10.2 In the construction of steel structure, below the riveting, bolting or welding operations, provisional flooring shall be maintained, covering the whole work area located on the lower level.

18.10.3 The provisional floor shall be assembled without any opening in order to prevent materials or equipments from falling to a lower level.

18.10.4 When it is necessary to complement the provisional floor, safety nets shall be installed along the columns.

18.10.5 Suitable containers for depositing pins, rivets, bolts and tools shall be available to the workers in their working places.

18.10.6 Prefabricated structural components shall have weights and dimensions compatible with the transport and hoist equipments.

18.10.7 The component elements of the metal structure shall not have burrs.

18.10.8 When it is necessary to assemble a structure close to the energized power lines, disconnection of the network, removing energized parts, line protection shall be undertaken, in addition to grounding the structure and equipments being used.

18.10.9 The placement of pillars and beams shall be made while still suspended by the hoisting equipment, so that probing, marking and securing of the parts are executed.

18.11 Welding and Hot Cutting Operations

18.11.1 The welding and hot cutting operations can only be performed by skilled workers.

18.11.2 When hot welding and cutting operations were performed in lead, zinc or cadmium coated materials, the removal of fumes produced in welding and cutting process by local exhaust ventilation is mandatory, as well as when using coated electrodes.

18.11.3 The device used for handling electrodes shall have insulation suitable for the current level used in order to avoid electrical arcing or shock.

18.11.4 In welding and hot cutting operations, it is mandatory to use screens effective to protect the neighboring workers. The material used in this protection shall be of noncombustible type.

18.11.5 In welding and hot cutting of vessel, container, tank or similar, which involve the generation of confined or semi-confined gases, it is mandatory to adopt additional preventive measures to eliminate the risk of explosion and intoxication of the workers, as mentioned in item 18.20 – Confined Spaces.

18.11.6 The hoses shall have mechanisms against retrogression of the flame mounted onto the outlet of cylinder and inlet of the hose.

18.11.7 The presence of flammable and/or explosive substances near to the O2 (oxygen) cylinders is prohibited.

18.11.8 Electric welding equipments shall be grounded.

18.11.9 The conductive wires of the equipment, welding tongs and pliers shall be be kept away from places with oil, grease or moisture, and shall be left at rest on insulating surfaces.

18.12 Stairs, Ramps and Walkways

18.12.1 The wood to be used for the construction of stairs, ramps and walkways shall be of good quality without any crack that compromises its strength, be dry and the use of paint that conceals the imperfections is forbidden.

18.12.2 Common stairways, ramps and walkways for the movement of people and materials shall be of solid construction and be provided with handrails and footers.

18.12.3 Connection of floors with a difference of level over 0.40m shall be made by means of stairs or ramps.

18.12.4 It is mandatory to install a temporary ramp or stairway for common use to connect the levels as a means to movement of workers.

18.12.5 Stairs.

18.12.5.1 Temporary stairs for common use shall be sized according to the flow of workers, respecting the minimum width of 0.80m, and an intermediate landing shall be provided at least every 2.90m.

18.12.5.1.1 The intermediate landings shall have a width and length at least equal to the width of the stairs.

18.12.5.2 The use of portable ladders shall be restricted to temporary access and small services.

18.12.5.3 The portable ladders can be up to 7.00m and the spacing between the rungs shall be uniform, varying between 0.25m to 0.30m.

18.12.5.4 It is forbidden to use the ladders with one rail.

18.12.5.5 It is forbidden to put the portable ladders:

a) near doors or circulation areas;
b) where there is a risk of falling objects or materials;
c) near openings and gaps.

18.12.5.6 The portable ladders shall:

a) exceed 1.00m above the landing point;
b) be secured at top and bottom or provided with a device that prevents any displacement;
c) have slip-resistant steps;
d) be supported on stable surfaces.

18.12.5.7 It is forbidden to use portable ladders near unprotected electrical equipments networks.

18.12.5.8 Step ladders shall be rigid, stable and be provided with equipments that keep them in open position. They shall have a maximum length of 6.00m when closed.

18.12.5.9 Extension ladders shall be provided with travel limiting devices placed in the fourth opening starting from the pulley. If there is no limiter device, when extended, an overlap of at least 1.00m shall be provided.

18.12.5.10 Sailor-type fixed ladders with 6.00m or more in height shall be provided with protective cage starting from 2.00m above the bottom of ladder up to 1.00m above the top of ladder.

18.12.5.10.1 Landing platforms protected with guardrails and footers shall be provided at maximum intervals of 9.00m.

18.12.6 Ramps and walkways.

18.12.6.1 Temporary ramps and walkways shall be constructed and kept in perfect condition.

18.12.6.2 Temporary ramps shall be fixed in the lower and upper floors not exceeding 30º inclination in relation to the floors.

18.12.6.3 Temporary ramps with inclination greater than 18º shall have cross pieces spaced at least 0.40m apart from each other for feet support.

18.12.6.4 Temporary ramps used for truck traffic shall have a minimum width of 4.00m and be fixed at their ends.

18.12.6.5 There shall be no protrusion between walkway and ground floors.

18.12.6.6 The supports for the ends of walkways shall be sized according to total length of the walkways and the loads that will be submitted.

18.13 Protective Measures Against Fall from Height

18.13.1 It is mandatory to install collective protection where there is a risk of falling of workers and materials.

18.13.2 The openings on the floor shall have sturdy temporary covers.

18.13.2.1 The openings, in case of being used for vertical transportation of materials and equipments, shall be protected by a fixed guardrail at the point of entry and exit of material, and by gate or similar type closing system.

18.13.3 Openings to the elevator shaft shall have temporary closures at least 1.20m in height, made of strong material and securely fixed to the structure until the final placement of doors.

18.13.4 It is mandatory to install a protection against falling of workers and projection of materials on the periphery of the building from the beginning of the services required for concreting the first slab.

18.13.5 The guardrail systems shall meet the following requirements:

a) top rail shall have a height of 1.20m and midrail shall have a height of 0.70m;
b) toeboard shall have a height of 0.20m;
c) screens, mesh or other devices shall extend along the entire opening between rails.

18.13.6 Around the perimeter of the construction with more than 4 floors or equivalent height, it is mandatory to install a main protection platform at the height of first slab, which is at least one ceiling above the ground level.

18.13.6.1 This platform shall have at least 2.50m of horizontal projection from the exterior surface of the building and a complement of 0.80m extension, with an inclination of 45º, starting from the edge.

18.13.6.2 The platform shall be installed just after the concrete slab when the exterior cladding of the building above that platform is completed.

18.13.7 Above and from the main protection platform, secondary protection platforms shall be installed for every 3 slab.

18.13.7.1 These platforms shall have at least 1.40m of projection and a complement of 0.80m extension, with an inclination of 45º starting from the edge.

18.13.7.2 Each platform shall be installed after the concrete slab to which it relates, and be removed only when the periphery fence up to the immediate above platform is completed.

18.13.8 In construction of the buildings with basement floors, tertiary protective platforms shall be installed in every 2 slabs, towards to the basement starting from the slab related to the main protective platform.

18.13.8.1 This platform shall have at least 2.50m of horizontal projection from the exterior surface of the construction and a complement of 0.80m extension, with an inclination of 45º, starting from the edge, also meeting the requirements of sub-item 18.13.7.2.

18.13.9 The perimeter of the building construction shall be closed with a screen starting from main protective platform, in addition to the provisions in sub-item 18.13.6 and 18.13.7.

18.13.9.1 The screen itself shall be a protective barrier against projection of materials and tools.

18.13.9.2 The screen shall be ınstalled between the ends of two consecutive protective platforms, and can only be removed when the periphery fence up to the immediate above platform is completed.

18.13.10 In constructions where the highest floors are intended, the first slab intended to the installation of main protective platform shall be considered and the provisions of sub-items 18.13.7 and 18.13.9 shall apply.

18.13.11 The protective platforms shall be constructed resistant and maintained without overloading in a way that impairs the stability of their structures.

18.13.12 Safety Nets

18.13.12.1 As an alternative to use the secondary protective platforms mentioned in item 18.13.7, a Fall Arrest System can be used along with the safety nets.

18.13.12.2 Fall Arrest System shall be composed of at least following elements:

a) safety nets;
b) support ropes and border ropes;
c) support, fixing and anchorage elements, and net accessories composed of:
I. Gallow;
II. Clamps for fixing the gallow;
III. Anchor hooks at the bottom of net.

18.13.12.3 The support elements cannot be made of wood.

18.13.12.4 The support and border ropes shall have a minimum diameter of 16mm and a minimum breaking load of 30 kN, already considered the safety factor 2 in the calculation.

18.13.12.5 Fall Arrest System shall have at least 2.50m of horizontal projection starting from the exterior surface of the building.

18.13.12.6 In the lower part of the Fall Arrest System, the safety net shall remain as close as possible to the level of work.

18.13.12.7 Between the lower part of the Fall Arrest System and the level of work, there shall be a maximum height of 6.00m.

18.13.12.8 The upper end of the safety net shall be located at least 1.00m above the level of work.

18.13.12.9 The safety nets shall present uniform meshing throughout their length.

18.13.12.10 When it is necessary to make changes in the net, the same characteristics of the original net shall be ensured with respect to lacing strength and deformation in addition to durability, and overlapping is prohibited.

18.13.12.10.1 The repairs shall be done by professional with qualification and specialization in safety nets, under the supervision of a legally qualified professional.

18.13.12.11 The distance between the anchorage points of safety net and the building surface shall be 0.10m in maximum.

18.13.12.12 The safety net shall be anchoraged to the building structure at its lower part no more than every 0.50m.

18.13.12.13 The support structure shall be designed so as to prevent the parts getting loose.

18.13.12.14 The maximum distance between the gallows shall be 5m.

18.13.12.15 The safety net shall be fabricated in color providing contrast, preferably dark, in cords 30/45, with distance of 0.04m to 0.06m between nods and a minimum height of 10.00m.

18.13.12.16 The support structure shall be sized by a legally qualified professional.

18.13.12.16.1 The tests shall be performed pursuant to item 18.13.12.25.

18.13.12.17 Fall Arrest System shall be subject to weekly inspection to verify the conditions of all its elements and attachment points.

18.13.12.17.1 Necessary corrective actions shall be taken after the weekly inspections.

18.13.12.18 Fall Arrest System’s safety nets shall be stored in adequate containers in dry and suitable locations.

18.13.12.19 The support elements of Fall Arrest System and its accessories shall be stored in suitable environments and protected from deterioration.

18.13.12.20 The support elements of safety nets cannot be used for any other purposes.

18.13.12.21 The employers who opt for Fall Arrest System shall provide a project that meets the dimensional specifications established in this Regulatory Standard, integrated into the PCMAT.

18.13.12.21.1 The project shall contain the technical details describing the phases of assembly, displacement of the System during the progress of works and disassembly.

18.13.12.21.2 The project shall be signed by a legally qualified professional.

18.13.12.22 Fall Arrest System shall be used until the completion of the services of structure and perimeter fence.

18.13.12.23 The phases of assembly, displacement and disassembly shall be supervised by a professional technically responsible for the execution of the work.

18.13.12.24 Placing tissue over the safety net, which prevents falling of small objects, is allowed since included in the project of Fall Arrest System.

18.13.12.25 Safety nets shall be made so as to meet the tests as provided in the EN 1263-1 and EN 1263-2 standards.

18.13.12.26 The safety requirements for assembly of nets shall meet the EN 1263-1 and EN 1263-2 standards.

18.17 Brickwork, Coating and Finishings

18.17.1 Techniques that ensure the stability of brick walls shall be used.

18.17.2 Fixed frames of electrical outlets shall be protected whenever coating and finishing services are performed on site.

18.17.3 Locations below the glass placement areas shall be prohibited or protected against falling materials.

18.17.3.1 The glasses shall be marked in a visible manner after placement.

18.18 Roofs and Roof Coverings

18.18.1 Devices, sized by a legally qualified professional and ensure the safe movement of the workers, shall be used to work on roofs and coverings.

18.18.1.1 It is mandatory to install a guide cable or lifeline for attaching the lanyard coupled to the full-body safety harness.

18.18.1.2 The lifeline shall be secured to definitive structure of the building, by means of anchorage, support or clamping brackets from stainless steel or other material of equivalent resistance, quality and durability.

18.18.2 It is mandatory to place warning signs and to isolate the area beneath the roofs or coverings in order to prevent the occurrence of accidents by eventual fall of materials, tools and/or equipments.

18.18.3 It is prohibited to perform works or activities on furnaces or any equipments on the roofs or coverings, of which may have gas emanation, whether or not originating from industrial processes.

18.18.3.1 Having an equipment with gas emanation, it shall first be switched off to perform services or activities on the roofs or coverings.

18.18.4 It is prohibited to carry out works or activities on the roofs or coverings in the event of rain, strong wind and slippery surfaces.

18.18.5 Implementation, maintenance, expansion and renovation services on roofs and coverings shall be preceded by preview inspection and preparation of Work Orders or Work Permit, containing the procedures to be adopted.

18.18.5.1 Concentration of loads at one point on the roof or coverings is prohibited.

18.19 Floating Services

18.19.1 Life vests or other flotation equipments shall be used while performing any work with risk of falling into the water.

18.19.2 There shall always be sufficient number of properly equipped lifeboats nearby and within easy access.

18.19.3 Work platforms shall be equipped with safety lines anchored on land, which may be used when weather conditions do not allow the use of boats.

18.19.4 All the safety signs of the platform and the rescue equipments shall be iluminated with water proof lamps during night work over water.

18.19.4.1 The lighting system shall be watertight.

18.19.5 The surfaces of the work platforms shall be non-slip.

18.19.6 It is forbidden to to leave materials and tools on the work platforms.

18.19.7 Guard rails shall be installed around the work platforms, firmly fixed to the frame.

18.19.8 The permanent presence of a professional is required for rescue, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in any activity.

18.19.9 The floating services shall meet the provisions laid down in the Maritime Traffic Regulation and the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGS) of the Ministry of Navy.

18.19.10 The life jackets shall be orange and have the company name and the maximum capacity represented in kg (kilogram).

18.19.11 The number of life jackets shall be equal to the number of the workers and crew members.

18.19.12 It is forbidden to keep the rags soaked in oil and other volatile substances on board.

18.19.13 It is obligatory to install adequate number and capacity of fire extinguishers.

18.19.14 It is obligatory to use boots with lateral rubber bands.

18.20 Confined Spaces

18.20.1 Special protective measures shall be taken in activities that put the workers to risk of suffocation, explosion, intoxication and occupational disease, namely:

a) training and instruction for the workers regarding the risks they are exposed to, how to prevent them and the procedures to be adopted in circumstances of risk;

b) workers shall not carry out their activities without the use of appropriate PPE where chemicals are used;

c) performing work in confined space shall be preceded by preview inspection and preparation of work order with the procedures to be adopted;

d) permanent monitoring of substance that causes asphyxiation, explosion and intoxication within confined spaces shall be carried out by skilled worker under the supervision of responsible technician;

e) using oxygen for ventilation within confined spaces is prohibited;

f) effective local exhaust ventilation that extracts the contaminants and provides general ventilation blowing air inside the confine space, ensuring continuous renewal of air on an ongoing basis;

g) safety signs with clear and permanent information while performing work within confined spaces;

h) use of safety ropes or cables and anchorages points as safe means of rescue;

i) proper packaging of toxic and inflammable substances used in the application of laminates, floors, wallpapers or the like;

j) for each group of 20 workers, two of them shall be trained in rescue techniques;

k) keep air purifying respirators and/or self-contained self-rescuers within the reach of the workers;

l) in the case of tank maintenance, perform prior degassing before carrying out the job.

18.21 Electrical Installations

18.21.1 The implementation and maintenance of electrical installations shall be performed by qualified workers, and under the supervision by a legally qualified professional.

18.21.2 Any service on electrical installations can only be carried out when the electrical circuit is not energized.

18.21.2.1 When it is not possible to deenergize the electrical circuit, the service can only be performed after the additional protective measures have been adopted. It is also mandatory to use proper tools and personal protective equipments.

18.21.3 Exposed live parts of circuits and equipments are prohibited.

18.21.4 Changes and derivations of the conductors shall be performed so as to ensure adequate electrical contact and mechanical strength.

18.21.4.1 The isolation of changes and derivations shall have characteristics equivalent to those used conductors.

18.21.5 The conductors shall have proper insulations, and not allowed to obstruct the movement of materials and people.

18.21.6 The electrical circuits shall be protected against mechanical impacts, moisture and corrosive agents.

18.21.7 Whenever the wiring of an interim circuit becomes inoperative or dispensable, it shall be removed by the responsible electrician.

18.21.8 Shielded switches shall be properly protected from weather and installed in a position to prevent accidental closing of the circuit.

18.21.9 The fuse holders shall not be under tension when the shielded keys are in open position.

18.21.10 Shielded switches shall only be used for distribution circuits, and it is forbidden to use them to start and stop machines.

18.21.11 The provisional electrical installations in a construction site shall consist of:

a) main shielded switch according to the approval of the local concessionary, located in main distribution frame.

b) individual switch for each branch circuit;

c) shielded knife switch in plug board;

d) magnetic switches and circuit breakers, for the equipments.

18.21.12 The fuses of the shielded switches shall have a capacity compatible with the circuit to be protected, and their replacement with improvised devices or other fuses with higher capacity is not being allowed without a corresponding change of the wiring.

18.21.13 In all the extensions intended for the connection of electrical equipments, independent, magnetic switches or circuit breakers, which can be triggered easily and safely, shall be installed.

18.21.14 The high-voltage networks shall be installed to prevent accidental contact with vehicles, equipment and employees in circulation and can only be installed by the concessionary.

18.21.15 Transformers and tension reduction stations shall be installed in isolated locations, and only qualified workers or legally qualified professionals are allowed in.

18.21.16 The structures and housings of electrical equipment shall be electrically grounded.

18.21.17 In case there is a possibility of accidental contact with any energized part, proper isolation shall be adopted.

18.21.18 The general distribution frames shall be kept locked and their circuits identified.

18.21.19 When reconnecting shielded switches to the general distribution frame, all the equipments shall be disconnected.

18.21.20 Mobile electrical equipments or machines can only be connected through a set of plug and outlet.

18.27 Safety Signs

18.27.1 Safety signs shall be used in the construction sites in order to:

a) identify support locations that compose the construction sites;
b) indicate the exists with arrows and signs reading ‘Exit’;
c) maintain communication through notices, posters or the like;
d) warn of risks of of accidental activation or contact with moving parts of machinery and equipments;
e) warn of risk of fall;
f) make aware of mandatory use of PPE, specific to an activity, with proper signaling and warning;
g) make aware of isolation of areas of transportation and circulation of materials by crane, winch and hoist;
h) identify accesses, circulation of vehicles and equipments on site;
i) warn workers of risks of passage where the ceiling height is less than 1.80m.;
j) identify the locations with toxic, corrosive, flammable, explosive and radioactive materials.

18.27.2 It is mandatory to use safety vest or reflective stripes on the chest and back when the worker is on public roads, signaling access to the construction site and service fronts or vertical transportation or movement of materials.

18.28 Training

18.28.1 All employees shall receive admission and periodic training in order to ensure perform their activities safely.

18.28.2 The admission training shall have a minimum duration of six (6) hours, and be given within the working hours before the employees start their activities, consisting of:

a) information on the work conditions and environment;

b) risks inherent to employees’ roles;

c) proper use of the Personal Protective Equipments (PPE);

d) information on the Collective Protective Equipments (CPE), existing in the construction site.

18.28.3 Periodic trainings shall be given:

a) whenever it becomes necessary;

b) in the beginning of each phase of the work.

18.28.4 During trainings, the workers shall receive copies of procedures and instructions to be performed safely.

18.29 Housekeeping

18.29.1 The construction site shall be organized, clean and free of obstruction, especially in the aisles, passageways and staircases.

18.29.2 The debris and any leftover materials shall be regularly collected and removed. Special care shall be taken in order to avoid excessive dust and potential risks during removal of debris and leftover materials..

18.29.3 When there’s a difference of level, the removal of debris and leftover materials shall be accomplished through mechanical equipments or closed gutters.

18.29.4 It is forbidden to burn trash or other material inside the construction site.

18.29.5 It is forbidden to keep the trash and debris accumulated or exposed in inappropriate places of the construction site.

18.30 Hoardings and Galleries

18.30.1 It is mandatory to place hoardings or barriers to prevent unauthorized persons accessing to the local where construction activities are performed.

18.30.2 The hoardings shall be constructed and fixed in a sturdy manner, and have a minimum height of 2.20 meters from the ground level.

18.30.3 It is required to build galleries over the sidewalk with a free internal height of at least 3m during the construction activities with more than 2 floors from the level of curb.

18.30.3.1 In case performing work over the sidewalk, a gallery shall be constructed on the public road and be marked along its entire length with signs to warn the drivers and with lighting at night, respecting the Municipal Building Code and traffic laws.

18.30.4 The edges of the gallery covers shall have closed hoardings with a minimum height of 1.00 meter, with an inclination of approximately 45 degree.

18.30.5 The galleries shall be kept without overloads that undermine the stability of their structures.

18.30.6 In case there is a risk of material falling on neighbouring buildings, these shall be protected.

18.30.7 In case the building is being constructed along the property line, the whole length of the construction site shall be enclosed with boardings.

18.30.8 Whenever the distance between the demolition and the edge of the property line is less than 3.00 meters, hoardings shall be placed around the edges of the terrain, in accordance with sub-item 18.30.1.

18.31 Fatal Accidents

18.31.1 In the event of fatal accident, following steps shall be taken:

a) report the fatal accident immediately to the police authority and to the regional office of the Ministry of Labor, which will transfer immediately to the union of the professional category of the construction site;

b) isolate the location directly related to the accident, maintaining its characteristics until its release by the police authority and the regional office of the Ministry of Labor.

18.31.1.1 The release may be granted after the investigation by the relevant regional office of the Ministry of Labor, which will take place within maximum of 72 hours, starting from receipt protocol of written notice to that office. The measures referred in paragraph “b” of sub-item 18.31.1 may be suspended after this period.

18.32 Statistical Data (Repealed by Ordinance SIT no 237, June 10, 2011)

18.35 Technical Recommendations for the RTP Procedures

18.35.1 The Ministry of Labor, through the Jorge Duprat de Figueiredo Occupational Health and Safety Foundation (FUNDACENTRO), shall publish ‘Technical Procedure Recommendations’ (RTP), following is approval by the National Standing Committee on Conditions and Environment in Construction Industry (CPN), in order to support companies in complying with this NR18 standard.

RTP 01 – Protective Measures Against Fall From Height.

RTP 02 – Handling and Transporting of Materials and People – Construction Site Elevators.

RTP 03 – Excavation, Foundations and Stripping of Rocks.

RTP 04 – Stairs, Ramps and Walkways.

RTP 05 – Temporary Electrical Installations in Constructions Sites.

18.38 Temporary Provisions

18.38.1 The Program for Working conditions and Environment in the Construction (PCMAT), referred in sub-item 18.2.1, shall be developed and implemented within two years from the effective date of NR18, as detailed below:

a) within the first year, establishments with 100 or more workers;

b) within the second year, establishments with 50 or more workers.

18.38.2 The passenger elevator referred in sub-item 18.14.23.1.1 shall be required after 4 years from the effective date of NR18, provided that there are at least 30 or more employees.

18.38.3 The passenger elevator shall be installed as from the seventh slab of the buildings under construction with 10 or more floors or equivalent height whose construction site has at least 40 workers.

18.38.4 The companies, which manufacture, lease, sell or use the scaffolds referred in sub-item 18.15.47, shall adapt these equipments within maximum 1 year from the effective date of NR18.