Charitable and Religious Industry Appointment Letters
Every employer who has more than twenty employees in his employment at any workplace, and within four months after commencing business or immediately the number of his employees exceeds twenty shall designate in writing for a specific period health and safety representatives for such workplace or different sections thereof.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the duties of the employer in terms of the Act are complied with. The CEO is however afforded the right to assign duties to any person to assist him with the implementation of these duties. The mere assignment of duties to other persons by the CEO shall not however relieve the employer of any responsibility or liability under the Act. The Act specifically dictates that the persons assigned by the CEO shall act under the CEO’s control and direction. The control and direction, as referred to in the Act, literally requires of the CEO to issue guidelines, establish communication channels, lay down standards and provide the appointees with the necessary training in order to implement and ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act. Ultimately the CEO shall thus remain responsible for the activities of the employer and employees.
Where reasonably practicable, the employer shall control the exposure of an employee by introducing appropriate work procedures that employees must follow where materials are used or processes are carried out which could give rise to exposure of an employee and that procedure shall include written instructions.
Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), every employer who has more than 20 employees in his employment at any workplace, shall, within four months after the commencement of this Act or after commencing business, or from such time as the number of employees exceeds 20, as the case may be, designate in writing for a specified period health and safety representatives for such workplace, or for different sections thereof.
The employer has to decide what reasonable measures need to be implemented to ensure that in the case of an emergency all persons react in accordance with the predetermined emergency plan. In large buildings or workplaces it may be necessary to appoint evacuation officers to ensure that all persons present in a particular area of the workplace evacuate and to assist in the accounting for persons afterwards.
Whereas this function should be carried out by the user of a tool before use every time it is also important for the employer to verify, from time to time, that tools are being maintained in a good, safe and operable condition. Unless such inspections are recorded it will be very difficult for the employer to proof that he had such a system in place.
It is therefore suggested that one or more competent person/s be appointed to verify the condition of portable electric tools, including portable electric lights, at regular intervals. The intervals should be, based on risk, determined by the employer. It could, for instance, be decided to have different inspection frequencies for different types of equipment.