The Occupational Health and Safety Act ensures that all employers provide and maintain a work environment that does not jeopardise the health and safety of the employees as far as reasonable and practical.
According to Section 7 of the Act, once the chief inspector has directed an employer to put a health and safety policy in place, he or she is legally obliged to do so.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act covers all workers including farm, domestic and state workers and excludes those working in mines or on ships.
The purpose of the health and safety policy in a workplace is to provide everyone in the workplace with standard operating procedures that aim to prevent injury.
Workers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to prevent injury and disease in the workplace.
Furthermore, they are obliged to reporting any circumstance, environment, procedure or actions of employees that can affect their own or the health and safety of colleagues.
It is the employer’s responsibility to create and maintain a work environment which is safe and healthy for all workers. This includes adhering to legal requirements regarding policies, procedures, instructions and warning signs.
It is also expected that employers do not request or allow employees to preform hazardous tasks or activities.
In manufacturing environments, employers must ensure that all products are safe to work with, and if not, the correct personal protection equipment and working in environment are made available to the employee.
Employers in the manufacturing environment are obliged to inform employees that the equipment, materials or substances they are required to work with are dangerous or hazardous.
The purpose of health and safety legislation in South Africa is to ensure that all working environments are safe and free from potential risk to the health and safety of employees.
Workplace health and safety is a critical aspect of any organization in South Africa. Our law firm recognizes the importance of ensuring that our clients are compliant with the relevant legislation and regulations governing health and safety in the workplace.
It is our belief that a safe and healthy workplace not only protects employees but also benefits the company by reducing the number of accidents and illnesses, which can lead to decreased productivity and increased costs. By implementing effective health and safety policies and procedures, companies can create a culture of safety and wellbeing, where employees feel valued and supported.
At our law firm, we are committed to assisting our clients in navigating the complex legal landscape of workplace health and safety. We work closely with our clients to develop tailored solutions that meet their specific needs and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
Ultimately, by prioritizing workplace health and safety, companies can create a safe and healthy working environment, improve employee morale and productivity, and protect their bottom line. We encourage all companies to prioritize health and safety in the workplace and to seek legal advice if they require assistance in this area.
If you would like more information on health and safety in the workplace, please feel free to contact our attorneys in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
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