Appointment Letters when Working from Home

Appointment letters are required for health and safety representatives when working from home. Each employee working from home falls in their own section of a workplace and are therefore required to be appointed as a health and safety representative.

Every employer who has more than twenty employees in their employment at any workplace, and immediately or within four months after commencing business, the number of his employees exceeds twenty shall require a designate in writing for a specific period health and safety representatives for such workplace or different sections thereof.

The Employee working from home has to be Health and Safety competent. The workplace at home should be treated as a section of the Workplace and should therefore be an appointed Health and safety representative. The Health and safety Representative shall report to the Committee. By signing a health and safety appointment letter makes the employee duly responsible for Health and safety in his/her Workplace and would continue to report and enforce health and safety measures. Normal Fire Prevention equipment and other emergency preparedness requirements should be adhered to in the home work place

It is recommended that employers appoint a first aider where more than ten employees are employed and where there are more than 50 persons employed. A first aider must be appointed for each group of 50 persons or part thereof. When employers have 11 employees they are required to appoint a first aider. Sub-section (4) requires the first aider to be readily available during working hours. This automatically means that more than one first aider would be required should the organization be working on a shift basis, in order for the first aider to be available at all times. Should the normal first aider become sick or be on leave, another qualified first aider must be available to the employees of the organization.

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, an 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 good working order. The intention of the legislator with this regulation was for such equipment to be inspected, at regular intervals, by a competent person (Fire Fighter) to ensure that it remains operational and accessible at all times. This regulation must be read in conjunction with the requirements of SABS 0105, which, in paragraph 8.1 requires of all employers to appoint a person to inspect fire extinguishers at intervals not exceeding one month.

Appointing a person who is competent to investigate incidents should be done in writing. Such person needs to be conversant with the Act and its Regulations, the process, plant, machinery, equipment, etc.., as well as how to investigate incidents properly. Sub-regulation (4) of the Act requires that an incident be examined, and Section 20(1) (b) of the Act further requires that such incident be discussed. Although this subregulation does not require the signing of the document in which the investigation has been recorded, it is required by Annexure 1 that the investigator sign it.

Every employer who has more than twenty employees in his employment at any workplace shall ensure that Health and Safety Representatives are appointed. One Health and Safety Representative must be appointed for every 50 employees in the Metal and Engineering Industry. The Health and Safety Representative appointee must be employed in a fulltime capacity at a specific workplace, and he or she must be familiar with the conditions and activities that take place in the workplace or in sections of it.