Chemical 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.
It is recommended that employers appoint a first aider where more than ten employees are employed and where there are more than 50 persons employed. A first aider must be appointed for each group of 50 persons or part thereof. When employers have 11 employees they are required to appoint a first aider. Sub-section (4) requires the first aider to be readily available during working hours. This automatically means that more than one first aider would be required should the organization be working on a shift basis, in order for the first aider to be available at all times. Should the normal first aider become sick or be on leave, another qualified first aider must be available to the employees of the organization.
Having regard to the size, construction and location of the workplace, and the amount and type of flammable articles used, handled, or stored on the premises, an employer shall provide on the premises an adequate supply of suitable fire-fighting equipment at strategic locations or as may be recommended by the fire chief of the local authority concerned, and such equipment shall be maintained in good working order. The intention of the legislator with this regulation was for such equipment to be inspected, at regular intervals, by a competent person (Fire Fighter) to ensure that it remains operational and accessible at all times. This regulation must be read in conjunction with the requirements of SABS 0105, which, in paragraph 8.1 requires of all employers to appoint a person to inspect fire extinguishers at intervals not exceeding one month.
Every employer who has more than twenty employees in his employment at any workplace shall ensure that Health and Safety Representatives are appointed. One Health and Safety Representative must be appointed for every 50 employees in the Metal and Engineering Industry. The Health and Safety Representative appointee must be employed in a fulltime capacity at a specific workplace, and he or she must be familiar with the conditions and activities that take place in the workplace or in sections of it.
No employer or user of machinery shall require or permit welding or flame cutting operations to be undertaken, unless the person operating the equipment has been fully instructed in the safe operation and use of such equipment and in the hazards which may arise from its use. Effective protection is provided and used for the eyes and respiratory system and, where necessary, for the face, hands, feet, legs, body and clothing of persons performing such operations, as well as against heat, incandescent or flying particles or dangerous radiation.