Health and Safety

 Display of Legal Posters
Tinus Boshoff

 

We received a number of enquiries in response to the earlier warning from the Department of Labour cautioning employers not to purchase wall charts from a company that call themselves “SA Legal Act”.

 

Legal posters or wall charts are usually a summary of a prescribed legislation. They should be displayed where it could be seen by all employees in order to create an awareness of legislation.

 

Legal posters or wall charts are usually a summary of a prescribed legislation. They should be displayed where it could be seen by all employees in order to create an awareness of legislation.

 

There are various wall charts available like the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Employment Equity, The Occupational Health and Safety Act, Skills Development Act, Tobacco Products Control Act, Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act etc.

 

Although it would be good practice to display most of these posters or wall charts it is not a legal requirement to display all of them. According to legal prescription most businesses would be obligated to only display two summaries. The summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (Act 75 of 1997) as well as the summary of the Employment Equity Act (Act 55 of 1998).

 

Let’s have a closer look at the two compulsory summaries:

a) Summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act:

Section 30 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act requires all employers to display the employee’s rights, at the workplace. It must be in the prescribed form and displayed in the official language(s) spoken by employees at the workplace.

b) Summary of the Employment Equity Act:

 

Section 25(1) of the Employment Equity Act requires employers to display a summary of the Act.

 

Please note that employers with five or more persons in their employment must have a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993) and the relevant regulations readily available at the workplace. Even where the total number of employees is less than five, the employer must, on request of an employee, make a copy of the Act available to that employee.

 

This prescription does not refer to a wall chart but a full version of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act) and the relevant regulations.

 

It is important to note that the General Machinery Regulations (GMR) of the OHS Act may require certain employers to display compulsory wall charts as well.

 

Firstly, Regulation 9(2) of the GMR requires employers with boilers on the premises to display a copy of Schedule C. This summary must be in a legible form in a conspicuous place at the premises. The display of Schedule C would thus be compulsory to employers with boilers on premises.

 

Secondly, Schedule D of the GMR requires employers with machinery other than a boiler to display a copy of Schedule D. It must be in a legible form displayed in a conspicuous place.

 

Employers who don’t comply with the above mentioned prescriptions may receive penalties from the Department of Labour.

 

The charts and copies of the Labour Acts can be bought from the Government Printers at marginal rates or can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Labour at www.labour.gov.za

The Government Printers have offices is Pretoria, telephone number (012) 334 4508/4509/4510, and they also have offices in Cape Town, telephone number (021) 465 7531.

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30 August 2019

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