Understanding and implementing legal compliance
When the employer (school) puts a health and safety system in place, they need to be sure that it complies with the laws of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. This system must be regularly updated and correctly implemented. It is made up of 15 categories based on the audit protocol. We will now discuss these in more detail.
Category 1 – The OHS Act
This looks at the various sections of the Act, such as having a health and safety policy in place, the duties of the employer (school) to their employees and learners, the general duties of manufacturers, the duty to inform employees of any hazards, duties of the employees, health and safety representatives and the health and safety committee.
Category 2:Administrative Compliance
These aspects need to be in place for full compliance with the Act:
- A copy of the Act must be made available
- Reporting of all incidents
- Regulations around intoxication
- Training of all appointed employees
- Enforcement and discipline where necessary
Category 3:Mechanical Compliance
This includes any issues relating to machinery. This is usually only applicable to larger schools, or when construction is taking place.
Category 4:Electrical Compliance
The school needs to ensure that all electrical installations are maintained in a safe condition. There also needs to be relevant training provided for any electrical appliance.
Category 5:Workplace Environmental Compliance
This includes aspects such as lighting, ventilation, general housekeeping, and noise levels.
Category 6:Fire and Emergency Compliance
In the case of an emergency, all employees and learners need to know the procedures that must take place. Fire precautions and prevention is of the utmost importance, as is the maintenance of fire fighting equipment (which must be inspected every 3 months), and how fighting of the actual fires will proceed.
Category 7:General Safety Compliance
This includes personal protective equipment, first aid procedures and supplies, and any other general safety issues not covered in the other categories.
Category 8:Building and Construction Compliance
Building and construction that takes place at the school needs to comply with a detailed checklist. All construction must be supervised, and contractors need to have a risk assessment completed before any work is performed.
Category 9:Health Compliance
This category addresses health issues such as handling of hazardous chemical substances, medical examinations, drinking water, and sanitary facilities.
We know that this is a lot to take in, but in our next article we will discuss the audit protocol in more detail and it should make much more sense!
Category 10:Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act Compliance
Category 11: Tobacco Products Control Act Compliance
Category 12: Municipal Bylaws Compliance
Category 13: South African National Standards SANS Codes Compliance
Category 14: National Building Regulations Compliance
Category 15: Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act Compliance
Educational Services Industry