Glass and Brick 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.
In terms of this appointment, you are required to specifically ensure that all fire fighting equipment on the above-mentioned premises is inspected weekly and that the results of such inspection are recorded in a register/record book which must be available for inspection at all times.
In order to expedite the evacuation of a workplace in case of fire, every employer shall ensure that any emergency escape door from any room or passage or at a staircase shall, as far as is practicable, be hung so as to open outwards; every door of a room in which persons may be present, and every door of a passage or at a staircase serving as a means of exit from such room, shall be kept clear and capable of being easily and rapidly opened from inside so as to ensure quick and easy evacuation; the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) shall also be complied with in respect of the outer escape exit from the workplace; staircases and steps leading from one floor to another or to the ground shall be provided with substantial handrails; staircases intended to be used as fire escapes shall be constructed of non-combustible material; be kept clear of any material or other obstruction; and not terminate in an enclosed area; staircases, passages and exits intended for escape purposes shall be of a width and of a gradient which will facilitate the quick and safe egress of the number of persons intended to make use of them; and having regard to the size, construction and location of a workplace, the number of persons, and the activity therein, such workplace is provided with at least two means of egress situated as far apart as is practicable.
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, and 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 a good working order.