How to pass a health and safety inspection with flying colours

An inspector can enter your premises any time without previous notice to investigate your compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Don’t ignore your health and safety obligations. Any person convicted of an offence under the OHSA could be liable to a fine not exceeding R50 000 and/or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to provide and maintain a working environment that's safe and without risk for the health of your employees. This is clearly a very wide obligation and places all aspects in the workplace relating to the health and safety of employees on your shoulders.

Aside from this general obligation what are some of the specific obligations you are required by law to meet?

Here are just 4 of your specific obligations…

You must provide and maintain systems of work, plant and machinery that are safe and without risk to health.

Example:
Keep machinery well maintained and regularly serviced according to the machine’s safety operating standards.

1. You must take steps to eliminate or mitigate (lessen) any hazard or potential hazard to the safety or health of employees, before resorting to personal protective equipment.
Example:   
You should ensure good ventilation in a paint factory – don’t merely resort to the use of protective masks without attempting to ensure good ventilation to start with.  

2. You must make arrangements to ensure the safety and absence of risks to health connected to the production, processing, use, handling, storage or transport of articles or substances.
Example:
You need to ensure the manufacture and handling of flammable substances is done in a safe environment away from the risk of combustion or heat sources.

3. You must find out what the health and safety hazards involved with any work are. Once you've done this you must consider what precautionary measures should be taken for these health and hazards, and implement those precautionary measures.
Example:
If in a paper and printing factory employees are exposed to bladed machinery, you must ensure employees don’t operate this machinery without the necessary protective clothing. You must also ensure all blade safety covers are used and kept in good repair at all times.  

Don’t face hefty penalties. The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service will give you practical, step-by-step guidance to make compliance easy.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf is part of the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. As part of the invaluable labour advice service, you’ll also receive three bonus reports, regular updates, a daily email bulletin, online access to past labour updates and a labour helpdesk. 

What else you’ll discover in your Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf:

  • The CCMA is close to processing its one millionth dispute! Are you prepared?
  • One in three employment contracts put the employer at a disadvantage
  • Planning a retrenchment? Watch out…
  • Do you know how to legally dismiss your employee?
  • Do your employees abuse their leave?
  • 14 Ways to comply with employment equity
  • Do you know one day’s absence can cost you 3 days’ salary? Start proactively dealing with absenteeism today!
  • How to make the law work for you when it comes to overtime
  • 10 Essential steps to dismissing for poor performance - have you covered all your bases?
  • Strikes can cripple your business – find out how to prevent them