Health and Safety Representatives duties must be carried out effectively by the trained and appointed health and safety representative. These duties are meant to help them improve, maintain and safe guarding the health and safety of all users of a premise. These special SHE Rep duties are assigned to them by the law. However, their duties are not limited to only those written in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 stipulate that; when a number of employees exceed 20 in a workplace, an employer shall appoint a health and safety representative for such workplace. This must be done within four months of commencement of business or of such development. The SHE Representative is elected amongst full-time employees to represent them to employers and other superiors regarding health and safety issues.
What are the roles and responsibilities of Health and Safety Representatives in the workplace?
- Review the effectiveness of health and safety measures in the workplace
- Identify potential hazards, potential major incidents or risks in the workplace
- In cases of incidents, collaborate with employers to try and establish the causes of the incident
- Implement control measures to prevent re-occurrence of the same incident
- Investigate and address any queries and complaints by employees with regards to health and safety
- Represent employees to the employer, health and safety committee or inspector on health and safety matters
- Inspect all aspects of the workplace. These include plants, machinery, work floors, articles, substances, health and safety equipment e.g. Personal Protective Equipment. These inspections should be done at intervals agreed upon with the employer
- Health and Safety Representative should give the employer reasonable notice for his intention to conduct and inspection to the employer who may be present at the time of inspection
- Participate in consultation with inspectors at the workplace and accompany them around during inspections
- Visit incident sites and attend investigations or formal inquiries held
- Inspect all documents which the employer is supposed to keep
- Participate in internal health and safety audits
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Health and safety Representative duties are not limited to the above; however, the above are stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993. Health and safety is a wide scope of work and health and safety representatives may find themselves faced with challenges of lack of knowledge and experience. This is because such representatives are elected amongst the employees and they may not have previous major experience in health and safety.
Health and safety representatives should be sent for training so that they are able to perform their duties effectively. Proper Health and Safety Representative Training should be thorough and should be done with a recognised training institute. This will help companies avoid setbacks with the Department of Employment and Labour when they come for inspections. Without proper training health and safety representative duties will not be executed effectively.
MAKROSAFE is the institute for you to consider. We are an accredited training institute equipped with experienced well-educated and updated lecturers. We have specialised training for health and safety representatives regardless if they have background knowledge or not. In our MAKROSAFE Health and Safety Certificate, we take learners from introduction up until they are full educated on all aspects of health and safety. We issue recognised and valid certificates after the completion of training. Contact us today and let us train your SHE Reps.
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