RASA WEEKLY LETTER: UNIVERSALITY
7 July 2017
The issue of health and safety at all workplaces has in recent times been deemed to be so important that it needs to be comprehensively regulated by statutes. The statutes give a clear indication as to how one must fulfil the requirements. In respect of the above, the following objectives must be evident within every business in South Africa
- Employees must understand the concept of health and safety.
- A comprehensive understanding of compliance with regards to health and safety statutory requirements, must be achieved by management.
- Management must have a clear understanding and appreciation of what the consequences may be if they fail to comply to the health and safety statutes.
- VERY IMPORTANT: It must be clearly understood that “food safety”, and the objective of food safety legislation differs from the objective of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993 and its promulgated Regulations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993 stipulates the following duties of Employers towards their employees and towards people other than their employees.
Section 8. General duties of employers to their employees
1) Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees.
2) Without derogating from the generality of an employer’s duties under subsection (1), the matters to which those duties refer include in particular –
- a) the provision and maintenance of systems of work, plant and machinery that, as far as is reasonably practicable, are safe and without risks to health;
- b) taking such steps as may be reasonably practicable to eliminate or mitigate any hazard or potential hazard to the safety or health of employees, before resorting to personal protective equipment;
- c) making arrangements for ensuring, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the production, processing, use, handling, storage or transport of articles or substances;
- d) establishing, as far as is reasonably practicable, what hazards to the health or safety of persons are attached to any work which is performed, any article or substance which is produced, processed, used, handled, stored or transported and any plant or machinery which is used in his business, and he shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, further establish what precautionary measures should be taken with respect to such work, article, substance, plant or machinery in order to protect the health and safety of persons, and he shall provide the necessary means to apply such precautionary measures;
e) providing such information, instructions, training and supervision as may be necessary to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
- f) as far as is reasonably practicable, not permitting any employee to do any work or to produce, process, use, handle, store or transport any article or substance or to operate any plant or machinery, unless the precautionary measures contemplated in paragraphs (b) and (d), or any other precautionary measures which may be prescribed, have been taken;
- g) taking all necessary measures to ensure that the requirements of this Act are complied with by every person in his employment or on premises under his control where plant or machinery is used;
- h) enforcing such measures as may be necessary in the interest of health and safety;
- i) ensuring that work is performed and that plant or machinery is used under the general supervision of a person trained to understand the hazards associated with it and who have the authority to ensure that precautionary measures taken by the employer are implemented; and
- j) causing all employees to be informed regarding the scope of their authority as contemplated in section 37(1)(b).
Section 9. General duties of employers and self-employed persons to persons other than their employees
1) Every employer shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than those in his employment who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety.
2) Every self-employed person shall conduct his undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons who may be directly affected by his activities are not thereby exposed to hazards to their health or safety.
Section 38. Offences, penalties and special orders of the court
(1) Any person who –
(A & P) contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of section 8 and 9, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding R50 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
2) Any employer who does or omits to do an act, thereby causing any person to be injured at a workplace, or, in the case of a person employed by him, to be injured at any place in the course of his employment, or any user who does or omits to do an act in connection with the use of plant or machinery, thereby causing any person to be injured, shall be guilty of an offence if that employer or user, as the case may be, would in respect of that act or omission have been guilty of the offence of culpable homicide had that act or omission caused the death of the said person, irrespective of whether or not the injury could have led to the death of such person, and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding R100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Please make contact with Universality Health, Safety and Environmental law Specialists @ firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can assist you with a industry specific solution, as used by over 200 companies in the restaurant/hospitality industry.