Health and Safety

Breaking News



Tinus Boshoff

 

Employers are obligated to ensure that work is performed and machinery is used under the general supervision of a competent person (manager, supervisor; foreman etc). Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993) prescribes the ''General duties of employers to their employees''. Section 8(1) clearly stipulates that the employer is obligated to provide and maintain a workplace that is safe and without risk to the health of their employees.

 

Section 16 of the same act deals with the proper delegation of health and safety duties. The legislator starts with the person ''who is responsible for the overall management and control'' of the business or body corporate, the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director. We refer to this appointment as the section 16(1) appointee. The Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director of the organisation is the person that is responsible to assign health and safety duties to the rest of management under his or her control.

 

Evidently it would be an impossible task for the CEO to be present and to manage over each and every work task or activity. They need assistance; section 16(2) makes provision for the delegation of responsibilities. The CEO or MD should delegate health and safety responsibilities to senior management like directors or head of departments. These assistants are referred to as the section 16(2) appointees of the organisation. Responsibility may be defined as an individual's obligation to carry out assigned duties.

 

Please follow the following link for an example of a Section 16(2) appointment letter: http://www.labourguide.co.za/health-and-safety/has-basic-legal-appointment-letters-downloads-851

 

Another significant legal appointment that we need to look at is the appointment of competent supervisors for the workplace. Section 8(2)(i) stipulates that the employer is obligated to ensure that work is performed and that plant or machinery is used under general supervision.

 

Please follow the following link for an example of a Section 16(2) appointment letter: http://www.labourguide.co.za/health-and-safety/has-basic-legal-appointment-letters-downloads-851

 

Supervisors must be appointed with the authority to ensure that precautionary measures taken by the employer are implemented and carried out at the workplace. Authority implies the right to make decisions and the power to direct others. Responsibility and authority can even be delegated to subordinates, giving them the right to act on behalf of superiors. It is important to note that, while some responsibilities can be delegated, the superior remains accountable for seeing that they are carried out.

 

The supervisor is responsible to enforce the necessary control measures, necessary in the interest of health and safety. Please note that the health and safety duties of the employer automatically becomes a ''management responsibility'', pertaining to all levels of management, including supervisions. In fact, health and safety should be given the same priority as productivity or quality control.

 

The normal health and safety responsibilities of managers or first-line supervisors include: 

  • Instructing workers to follow safe work practices
  • Enforcing health and safety regulations
  • Correcting unsafe acts and unsafe conditions
  • Continues risk assessment
  • Ensuring that only authorized, adequately trained workers operate equipment
  • Reporting and investigating all accidents/ incidents
  • Inspecting own area and taking remedial action to minimize or eliminate hazards
  • Job observations
  • Ensuring equipment is properly maintained
  • Promoting safety awareness in workers
  • On the job training
  • Toolbox talks
  • Managing contractors or other persons at the workplace 

       

It is important to remember that the CEO or MD remains responsible to direct and control (manage) these duties. Sub-section 8(2)(i) also stipulate that supervisors must be trained to understand the hazards associated with the work that is performed and machinery that is used. Especially, where significant risk exists, supervisors and employees should receive appropriate health and safety training. While keeping these persons competence in mind, it is the employer's duty to ensure that individuals are properly empowered to perform their duties in a safe and healthy manner. Education, training and motivation largely contribute to the success of any safety programme.

 

For more information contact Tinus Boshoff

Courses and Workshops

Our Clients

 

Basic Labour Relations

28 March 2018

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

POPI: Protection of Personal Information Act

29 March 2018 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

13 April 2018

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

11 May 2018

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

04 April 2018

Southern Sun Hotel: OR Tambo International Airport

06 April 2018: Southern Sun

Elangeni & Maharani, Maharani Towers: Durban

Occupational injuries and diseases in the workplace

05 April 2018: Southern Sun

Elangeni & Maharani, Maharani Towers: Durban

12 April 2018

Southern Sun Hotel : OR Tambo International Airport

Employment Equity Committee Training

06 April 2018 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

18 April 2018

Southern Sun: Elangeni & Maharani, Elangeni Towers: Durban

11 May 2018

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

18 May 2018

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

Skills Development Legislation and Review

11 April 2018

Southern Sun Hotel: OR Tambo International Airport

13 April 2018

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

19 April 2018

Southern Sun: Elangeni & Maharani, Maharani Towers: Durban

Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees Full day workshop

19 April 2018

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

10 May 2018

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town