The Health and Safety Supervisor is a two-day course and covers most of the important Occupational Health and Act 85 of 1993 (OHS) content within the different sections of the act. It is an excellent course option for managers of different divisions, services, buildings, or departments to attend. The course provides a good holistic overview of health and safety.
A company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and their executive team are busy running the business and do generally not have the time to actively ensure that Health and Safety compliance initiatives are taking place and are being implemented. For this reason, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993 Section 16(2) makes provision for the CEO to appoint someone (a Health and Safety Supervisor) in writing to manage the health and safety programme in the workplace on behalf of the CEO. This appointment does not remove the CEO’s accountability and liability as prescribed in the OHS Act, but enables the CEO to legally appoint someone to assist in the implementing and managing of the health and safety programme.
The Health and Safety Supervisor therefore has a very key function within an organization, as they take on the responsibility in assisting in the Health and Safety and wellbeing of all employees, contractors, visitors and in some cases the surrounding community and the environment! It is therefore critical that they have a solid understanding of certain sections of the OHS Act, identifying and analysing hazards in the workplace, investigating incidents and accidents, and how to implement a Health and Safety programme. Our Health and Safety Supervisor course is 2 days in duration and will include the follow topics:
- Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (HIRA) – The Health and Safety Supervisor must be able to accurately identify and remove, reduce and report all potential hazards in the workplace.
- Hazardous material (HAZMAT) – It is important to understand the implications of exposure to hazardous materials, not just for employees but also to the environment.
- Draw up and implement a Health and Safety plan – This is a documented plan which addresses all identified hazards, and outlines safe working procedures to mitigate against, reduce or control hazards to ensure a safe workplace
- PPE – PPE is a last resort in a workplace safety initiative and all effort must first be made to mitigate against, reduce or control hazards. The Health and Safety Supervisor must be aware of which PPEs are necessary and ensure that all employees are effectively issued.
- Reporting of injuries – All injuries needs to be reported in order to prevent them from happening again. As per the OHS Act Section 24 certain incidents needs to be reported to the Inspector, these reports may end up in court and the person completing them needs to be adequately trained in completing the relevant documentation. A Health and Safety Supervisor also needs to be aware of the procedures to be followed if an injury may lead to a claim against workman’s compensation (WCA).
- Incident reports – The Health and Safety Supervisor needs to be aware of the legislation surrounding incident reports e.g. General Administrative Regulation Section 9, OHS Act Sections 24 and 25, and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Act.
- Planning evacuation procedures – It is important to know the layout of your premises, where emergency equipment is situated, how to safely evacuate the building and ensure that every person on site is conversant with the evacuation plans.
Failure to comply to the Health and Safety requirements of the OHS Act can lead to the closure of a business, fines of up to R100 000.00, imprisonment of up to 2 years or all three. If gross negligence can be proven in a court of law individuals could also be found guilty of culpable homicide, which could mean a very lengthy prison sentence! Just because the CEO holds the ultimate responsibility does not mean that the Health and Safety Supervisor will not be held liable if found guilty for not complying with the OHS Act, instructing employees to conduct unsafe work or failing to uphold Health and Safety initiatives in order to maximise production. Health and Safety to everyone involved is any company’s first responsibility!