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Are you compliant with the six health and safety laws that apply to shift work?

by , 29 August 2013
Shift work is considered as risky. And like all risks, these need to be prevented, reduced or eliminated! To reduce these risks, make sure you comply with these six laws that apply to shift work.

If your employees do shift work, there are six rules you must comply with to ensure your employees are safe.

Revealed: The six health and safety laws that apply to shift work

#1: In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA),you can't allow your employee to work more than five consecutive hours without a break.

You must allow your employee a daily rest period of at least 12consecutive hours between the ending and starting of work.

In addition, you must allow your employee a weekly rest period of at least 36consecutive hours. Make sure you keep this in mind when you design your shift rosters.

#2: The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to ensure your workplace is safe and without risk to the health of your employees.

It doesn't matter what time of day or night your employees work. If you don't comply with the OHSA, you could face penalties or even jail time. Your business could even be shut down, warns the Health&Safety Advisor.

#3: If you have more than 20 employees, the OHSA requires you to have a Health and Safety (HSE) representative. This also applies during shift work.

You should have at least one HSE representative per shift to assist you and your employees with all health and safety related requirements.

#4: Regulation 3 of the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces states there must be sufficient lighting for the type of work your workers do during shift work, especially if the work is done at night.

#5: In terms of the General Safety Regulations, if you have more than five employees working a shift, you must make sure there's a first aid box available and employees know where to find it.

#6: If you have more than 10 employees, you must ensure a trained first aider is available for every group of 50 employees.

This means if you have 50 employees working a shift, there must be a trained first aider also working that shift. This is a requirement of the General Safety Regulation of the OHSA.

Now that you know the six rules that apply to shift work, make sure you comply to stay on the right side of the law.

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