The OHS Act has clear regulations when it comes to health risks in your workplace. These regulations outline what you must do to protect your employees from these health risks.
That's why, when a DoL inspector pays you a visit, he'll check you followed those regulations to deal with health risks in your workplace.
If an inspector knocks on your door, do you know what health risks he'll look for?
The DoL inspector will look for these three health risks in your workplace
Before researchers discovered asbestos was a toxic substance, it was a common component in a lot of building. This means older buildings are more likely to contain asbestos.
If you and your employees work in such a building, it exposes all of you to asbestos dust.
The DoL inspector will check if your workplace exposes your employees to asbestos to ensure you've complied with the related regulations.
*********** Reader's choice ***************
Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative.
There are certain types of work (such as working with wool, bristles, skins and hair of animals and carcasses) that could infect employees with anthrax.
The DoL inspector will want to check if you've:
• Controlled the transmission by immunising animals from areas where anthrax is often present.
• Educated and guaranteed the personal hygiene of people at risk.
Given your employees personal protective equipment (PPE
), such as gloves and masks to wear when sorting wool or other substances.
If your employees' work exposes them to arsenic, the DoL inspector will check for this health hazard to ensure you complied with regulations and:
• Limited the exposure to arsenic compounds to an acceptable amount (normally 50ug/g of creatine).
• Given your employees personal protection methods such as:
– Training on the hazards of exposure;
– The use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, respirators; and
– Education on personal hygiene, encouraging showers and clean working clothes on a daily basis.
• Used medical surveillance to determine the potential exposure, and the early recognition of health problems.
If your workplace exposes your employees to any of these hazards, ensure you follow the regulations so the inspector doesn't catch you for non-compliance.
For more common occupational health problems you must protect your employees from, check out the COID Compliance Guide