NR18 – Health and Safety in Construction

NR-18 was issued by MTb Ordinance No. 3214 on June 8, 1978, titled “Construction, Demolition, and Repair Works,” to regulate Article 200, Clause I of the CLT, as revised by Law No. 6.514 on December 22, 1977.

Defined as a Sectoral Standard by SIT Ordinance No. 787 on November 27, 2018, NR-18 has undergone 24 minor changes and two major revisions in 1995 and 2020. Initial changes were made without public or tripartite consultation.

In response to technological advances and alarming accident statistics, a comprehensive review began in 1994, resulting in the 1995 revision published by SSST Ordinance No. 4, which renamed the standard to “Conditions and Work Environment in the Construction Industry.” This version introduced the Permanent Committee on Work Conditions and Environment in the Construction Industry (CPN) and the Program of Conditions and Work Environment (PCMAT), aiming to improve site safety and management.

Between the 1995 and 2020 reforms, 21 changes were made, proposed by the CPN and approved by the CTPP. The 1995 text primarily focused on horizontal and vertical residential buildings, creating gaps for heavy construction like bridges and dams.

Technological advances in construction methods necessitated a revised text. The 2020 revision aimed to streamline the standard, offering more freedom and responsibility to qualified professionals. It emphasized the Risk Management Program, requiring professional oversight for risk management on sites. The Risk Management Program is mandatory for all construction sites, with simplified requirements for smaller projects.

Other significant changes included new criteria for manually excavated caissons, with a six-month deadline to limit depths to 15 meters and a 24-month deadline to eliminate hyperbaric caissons.

Economic estimates suggest the new NR-18 could save the construction industry nearly R$ 5 billion over ten years, based on the Brazilian Construction Industry Chamber (CBIC) data.

NR-18 – Health and Safety in Construction
(SEPTR Ordinance No. 3733, of February 10, 2020)

Annex I – Training: Course Load, Frequency, and Program Content

Annex II – Steel Wire and Synthetic Fibre Ropes