Health and Safety

Tinus Boshoff

 

The 2010 soccer world cup is around the corner. Are you involved in any form of construction work or is there any construction work taking place at or on your premises? Before we continue, let's take a closer look at the term construction work. It is defined in the Construction regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act as any work in connection with:

 

a) the erection, maintenance, alteration, renovation, repair, demolition, or dismantlingof or addition to a building or any similar structure;

b) the installation, erection, dismantling, or maintenance of a fixed plant where suchwork includes the risk of a person falling;c) the construction, maintenance, demolition, or dismantling of any bridge, dam,canal, road, railway, sewer or water reticulation system or any similar civilengineering structure; ord) the moving of earth, clearing of land, the making of an excavation, piling, or anysimilar type of work."

 

The Construction regulations govern health and safety not only on official construction sites but every place where construction work is carried out. According to the above mentioned definition, even tasks like normal maintenance work, renovations and repair at the workplace falls under the scope of the ''Construction regulations''.

 

Please note that inspectors from Department of Labour are increasingly visiting construction sites or workplaces where construction work is performed, like the upcoming blitz inspections that will take place during the week.

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Labour inspectors turn attention to construction industry

by Lloyd Ramutloa — last modified 2009-07-09 10:43

8 July 2009

 

The department of labour is to kick off its blitz inspections with nationwide visits to companies in the construction sector starting on Monday (July 13). Page Boikanyo, the department's spokesperson, said the drive was aimed at ensuring compliance with health and safety laws and respond to 2010 Fifa projects.

 

"With construction booming, we have the duty to see to it that workers operate in safe conditions and eliminate unnecessary accidents in a proactive manner,'' he said. "The approach we will take will be underpinned by pillars of education, monitoring and ensuring compliance with labour standards,'' Boikanyo said.

 

He said forthcoming campaigns include hospitality and private security in November and February respectively.  "Our inspectors have just concluded gruelling blitz inspections in the agricultural as well as iron and steel sectors,'' he said. The department's inspection and enforcement division, which drives the campaign, said worst offending employers would be followed up and be subjected to prosecution – a database of repeat offending employers would be generated – a database of all outstanding enforcement cases would have to be determined and a backlog reduction strategy would be created and acted upon.

 

Boikanyo said senior officials of the department would accompany inspectors during their visits to workplaces. The drive takes place against the backdrop of labour Minister, Membathisi Mdladlana's position that "workers' rights are human rights and that employers should not put profits above safety''.

 

Enquiries: Page Boikanyo

082-809-3195

 

Interesting statistics on construction (March to August 2008):


Total of workplaces inspected:

1909

 

Complying:

975

 

Number not complying:

815

 

Improvement notices issued:

255

 

Contravention notices issued:

1028

 

Prohibition notice issued:

172

 

As client or contractor/ principal contractor you are legally bound to comply with the prescriptions of these regulations. Are you currently complying with the prescriptions of these regulations? Do you have the knowledge to verify your current state of compliance? In order to achieve legal compliance, clear knowledge and understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations are essential. The curriculum of the course ''Basic OHS Act and Regulations course'' was compiled to assist role players in this regard.

 

This course is focused on legal compliance with current legislation; it includes the prescriptions of the current Construction regulations.

For more information contact Tinus on or 083 659 2840

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