Policies Required In Health and Safety

The Power of Prevention: Why Health and Safety Policies Matter in Hospitality and Professional Services

The hospitality and professional services industries are cornerstones of the South African economy, offering exceptional experiences and crucial support services.  However, at the heart of this success lies a fundamental responsibility – ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for employees and guests/clients alike. This is where well-defined health and safety policies come into play.

What are Health and Safety Policies?

Health and safety policies are formal documents outlining a business's commitment to occupational health and safety (OHS). They define clear expectations for both employers and employees in regards to safety practices, risk management, and accident prevention. These policies serve as a roadmap for creating a safe and healthy work environment.

Complete the form below to find out how to qualify for your Free Health and Safety Audit today.


Why are Health and Safety Policies Important?

There are several compelling reasons why businesses in the hospitality and professional services sectors should prioritise having documented health and safety policies:

  • Legal Obligation:  The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 85 of 1993 requires employers to provide a safe work environment and take reasonable steps to protect employee well-being.  Documented health and safety policies demonstrate your commitment to upholding this legal obligation.
  • Reduced Liability: Clear policies help mitigate legal risks associated with accidents and injuries. They establish a framework for safe work practices and provide a reference point in case of an incident.
  • Accident Prevention: Effective policies outline procedures to identify and control hazards in the workplace. This proactive approach significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries specific to your industry. For example,
  • Hospitality: Policies might address wet floors, sharp objects in kitchens, electrical hazards, ergonomics in housekeeping, and handling of cleaning chemicals.
  • Professional Services: Policies could cover prolonged computer use, exposure to hazardous chemicals, violence prevention in certain professions, and proper lifting techniques.
  • Improved Training and Awareness:  Policies guide the development of training programs that educate employees on safety protocols, emergency procedures, and their responsibilities in maintaining a safe work environment specific to their roles.
  • Enhanced Employee Morale:  A clear commitment to safety fosters trust and well-being among employees, leading to increased morale, reduced stress, and higher productivity.
  • Stronger Brand Reputation: Customers increasingly value businesses that prioritise employee safety. Documented policies demonstrate your commitment to responsible business practices.

Short List of Required Policies for Hospitality and Professional Services

Essential Policies:

Health and Safety Policy: This policy outlines your commitment to a safe work environment, identifies potential hazards, and details procedures for accident prevention, reporting, and emergency response.

Rules for Visitors and Contractors: This policy establishes guidelines for visitor conduct, access restrictions, safety protocols, and contractor expectations regarding insurance and safety compliance.

Industry-Specific Policies:

Consider these additional policies depending on your specific industry:


Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy: This policy outlines your stance on alcohol and substance use in the workplace, including consequences for violations.

Dreaded Disease Policy: This policy provides a framework for managing situations involving potentially contagious diseases in the workplace, focusing on employee safety and privacy.

Professional Services:

Ergonomics Policy: This policy addresses workstation setup, safe lifting techniques, and breaks to prevent musculoskeletal disorders associated with prolonged computer use.

Violence Prevention Policy: For professions with a higher risk of violence (e.g., security, social work), this policy outlines de-escalation techniques, reporting procedures, and support resources for employees.


  • This list is not exhaustive. Research additional policies relevant to your specific workplace hazards and industry regulations.
  • Each policy should be clear, concise, and easily accessible to all employees.
  • Regularly review and update policies to reflect changes in legislation or your workplace environment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to one of our Experts

Understanding the Landscape: Regulatory Framework and Common Pitfalls

The Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) enforces health and safety regulations through the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993. This Act takes a unique approach, fostering a culture of self-regulation within your business.

Here's why:

The sheer number of workplaces across the country makes policing every single one impractical.

The OHS Act places the onus on both employers and employees to take responsibility for health and safety in their environment.

How Self-Regulation Works in Practice

The OHS Act achieves this by requiring organisations to develop:

Effective workplace policies: These policies cover various aspects like health and safety, visitor and contractor protocols, substance abuse, and dreaded diseases, all relevant to your specific industry.

Clear procedures: These procedures outline how to implement the policies effectively, ensuring everyone understands their role in maintaining a safe work environment. For instance, housekeeping staff in a hotel might have specific procedures for handling hazardous cleaning products or reporting wet floors.

Enforcement and Consequences

While the OHS Act promotes self-regulation, it doesn't shy away from enforcement. It's the only Labour Act that considers non-compliance a criminal offence (section 38). This means in cases of serious injuries or death, both employers and employees who neglected their OHS Act responsibilities could face criminal prosecution.

Responsibilities of All Involved

The OHS Act empowers workers to demand a healthy and safe work environment. It mandates management to appoint safety representatives and establish safety committees within your organisation. The Act also regulates various aspects of the workplace, including:

  • Facilities (including layout and emergency exits)
  • General working environment (lighting, ventilation, temperature)
  • Training (ensuring employees have the knowledge and skills to work safely)
  • Protective clothing (such as non-slip shoes for hospitality staff)
  • Machinery (regular maintenance and safety checks)
  • Stacking and packing (proper procedures to minimize strain injuries)
  • Ladders (ensuring proper use and inspection)
  • Fire safety (having a plan and conducting regular drills)
  • Noise (monitoring noise levels to prevent hearing damage)

Any questions? Speak to one of our Experts

Employee Participation is Key

If employees don't actively follow safe work practices, building a culture of safety becomes an uphill battle.  Here's how your health and safety policies can foster employee participation:

Clearly outline employee responsibilities: The policies should detail what employees are expected to do to maintain a safe work environment. This might include reporting hazards, using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriately, and attending mandatory safety training.

Encourage open communication: Create a safe space for employees to report unsafe practices or concerns without fear of reprisal. This fosters trust and encourages employees to be proactive about safety.

Offer incentives and recognition programs: Reward employees who consistently demonstrate safe work practices. This reinforces positive behaviours and motivates others to follow suit.

A Closer Look: Key Sections of the OHS Act

Section 7: Health and Safety Policy - This section empowers the Chief Inspector to require employers to develop a written health & safety policy. This policy should detail the organisation's safety protocols and how they'll be implemented and reviewed specifically for your hospitality or professional service business.

Section 10: General Duties - This section outlines the responsibilities of various parties involved in workplace safety:

Employers: Have a legal duty to provide and maintain a safe work environment, develop and implement health and safety policies, and appoint safety representatives.

Employees: Have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of others, and to cooperate with employers on health and safety matters.

Manufacturers and suppliers of equipment and substances: Must ensure their products are safe for use as intended and comply with all relevant regulations.

Those who install equipment: Must ensure the installation process doesn't introduce any safety hazards.

MAKROSAFE: Your Partner in Building a Culture of Health and Safety

MAKROSAFE stands by your side as a trusted Service Provider in achieving health and safety compliance within the hospitality and professional services industries.

MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, stands as a prime example of a professional Service Provider dedicated to safeguarding the hospitality industry.

Together with SafetyWallet, the leader in health and safety solutions, MAKROSAFE empowers businesses to prioritise safety, protect their employees, and build a successful and sustainable future.

Here's how we empower your organisation:

Risk Assessments: Our experts identify potential hazards specific to your workplace, enabling proactive mitigation strategies. For example, we might assess the risk of slips and falls in kitchens or ergonomic risks associated with prolonged computer use in professional service settings.

Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs): We create clear, customised SOPs tailored to your specific equipment and processes, minimising confusion and risk. These SOPs can address proper lifting techniques, safe chemical handling procedures, and emergency response protocols.

Comprehensive Health and Safety Training: Our certified trainers deliver engaging programs specific to the hospitality and professional services sectors. These programs equip your workforce with the knowledge and skills to work safely in their unique work environment.

Toolbox Talks: We provide bite-sized safety briefings you can integrate into your daily routine, keeping safety top-of-mind for your employees. These talks can cover a variety of topics relevant to your industry, such as fire safety awareness or preventing musculoskeletal disorders.

Don't wait for an accident to happen. Contact MAKROSAFE today and take a proactive step towards employee well-being and regulatory compliance. Together with SafetyWallet, MAKROSAFE can help you prioritise safety and build a thriving business.

If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to one of our Experts

Have questions? Engage with us through the chat box on your screen—we're here to guide you toward a safer, more compliant future.

To find out what other Additional Services we offer, please click on the picture below: