5 Things you must know about the Health and Safety Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993) regulates health and safety in workplaces across South Africa. It is imperative that employers understand the Act and how it applies to their employees and business. Legal compliance can only be achieved if there is a clear understanding of the Act.
Here are 5 important things to know about the Health and Safety Act:
- It sets out employers’ duties, as well as that of the employees. A safe workplace is the responsibility of the employer, such as identifying hazards, providing training, and issuing free protective clothing. Employees need to take reasonable safety precautions and report any dangerous conditions.
- The Act applies to all workplaces. This includes all businesses and employers, including farm and domestic workers. The only exclusions are mine workers, fishing and whaling vessel employees, and those who work on floating cranes.
- Safety representatives are provided for in the Act. At least one must be designated for every 100 employees.
- All incidents and accidents must be recorded.
- The Act is enforced by inspectors, who may perform checks, searches and interviews without notice.
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