To ensure adequate compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a proactive Health and Safety (H&S) programme together with a positive safety culture needs be installed in every business. Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment according to Section 8 of the Act. The H&S program needs to focus on achieving the following important points:
- Protecting all persons from injury, disease, permanent impairment or from being killed;
- Preventing damage to buildings and equipment as well as damage to the surrounding environment;
- Preventing persons from being exposed to unnecessary diseases in the workplace;
- Preventing accidental fires and other accident or incidents;
- Preventing financial losses.
An employer provides work to another person/s. This can be further defined:
- If you agree to offer remuneration to another person for work completed you are defined as an employer. Remuneration is not only measured in money and remuneration doesn’t have to be paid directly. If you use the services of a placement agency you are indirectly the employer of the placed employee;
- If you give a person an instruction or supervise the work of that person then you are also defined as an employer. The head of any department of State is an example of this and can be found in the Occupational Health & Safety Act 16(4).
Employers who fail to comply with the Act could face penalties of up to R100 000.00, closure of their businesses, or imprisonment of up to 2 years, or all 3! If gross negligence is proven in court an employer could also be found guilty of culpable homicide for which the imprisonment period could be much longer! Being compliant is an investment in your company and is much cheaper than the alternative!
Our 16.2 Workshop is a short 2-hour long workshop which was developed for employers and supervisors who would like to know more about the Act and how to ensure compliance in their workplace. In the 16.2 Workshop we discuss the most important sections of the Act which includes:
- The Importance of H&S;
- Legal Liability;
- Section 7: Health and safety policy;
- Section 8: General duties of employers to their employees;
- Section 9: General duties of employers and self-employed persons to persons other than their employees;
- Section 10: General duties of manufacturers
- Section 13: Duty to inform
- Section 14: General duties of employees at work
- Section 15: Duty not to interfere with, damage or misuse things
- Section 16: Duties of the CEO
- Section 17: Health and safety representatives
- Section 18: Functions of the health and safety representatives
- Section 19: Health and safety committee
- Section 20: Functions of the health and safety committee
- Section 23: Certain deductions prohibited
- Section 24: Report to inspector regarding certain incident
- Section 26: Victimization forbidden
- Section 35: Appeal against decision of inspector
- Section 37: Acts or omissions by employees and mandataries
- Section 38: Offences, penalties and special orders of court
- Section 41: This Act is not affected by agreements
The successful implementation and management of a H&S system is often quite challenging and requires a team, which is prepared to work together and develop the H&S structure and system to suite their environment, structural layout and work needs, over time in order to succeed. The only way to succeed is to adhere to the Act!