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Avoid disaster by ensuring your business premises meet all the safety regulations

by , 24 July 2013
The DoL can show up at any time and demand to inspect your premises to establish if you provide a safe and healthy workplace for your employees. If you can't answer 'yes' to ALL of the following seven questions, the inspector will issue you with a contravention or prohibited notice, or even order a complete shutdown of your business,' warns the Health and Safety Advisor.

Here's what the DoL inspector will ask when inspecting if you comply with safety regulations, says the Health and Safety Advisor:

Health and Safety Inspection Question #1: Are you registered with the Compensation Fund?

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act requires you to register with the Commissioner even if you have only one employee.

Health and Safety Inspection Question #2: Are you registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)?

You must register all your employees for UIF as per The Unemployment Insurance Act. But there are six exceptions to this rule:

  1. Workers working less than 24 hours a month for you;
  2. Learners for example, apprentices and students;
  3. Public servants;
  4. Foreigners working on contract;
  5. Workers who get a monthly state (old age) pension (people who've reached 60 years, who've taken early retirement or been given retirement for health reasons); and
  6. Workers who only earn commission.

Health and Safety Inspection Question #3: Do you have a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (and Regulations) on the premises available for your employees to read?

You must have a copy of the OHSA on your premises if you employ more than five employees. This copy must be available to all your employees.

Health and Safety Inspection Question #4: Do you display the Summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act?

You must display the summary of the Act where your employees can read it in the official languages they speak in the workplace

Health and Safety Inspection Question #5: Have you stored your chemicals in a safe place?

To be able to answer yes to this question you must inform each employee, working with a chemicals about all the hazards and dangers around using that chemical.

Supply your employees with all the relevant training for working with that chemical, for example, handling, decanting of chemicals, first aid measures, fire-fighting measures and toxicological information.

Ensure the storage area is well-ventilated and must have a bund wall (a leak-free wall around the storage area) that can contain 110% of the total volume of the chemicals, should the containers leak).

Health and Safety Inspection Question #6: Have you clearly marked the emergency exits, and are these easily accessible?

You must ensure your emergency exits and routes are clearly signposted and visible. These doors must open outwards. You must keep the escape route clear and without any obstructions at all times.

Health and Safety Inspection Question #7: Do you have an attendance register at your workplace?

You must keep records of the time your employees worked and when. This will assist you in case of an emergency as you'll save time trying to keep track of employees who aren't at work.

If you answer 'no' to any of these questions, rectify this as soon as possible to ensure you meet all the safety regulations.

There're three elements your inspection report must include. Turn to chapter I06 of your Health and Safety Advisor to read what they are.
 

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