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.
Here's how to avoid it…
1. How the Health and Safety Rep will be nominated or elected
Eight items to include in your Health and Safety Agreement
This can be informal. You could call a meeting and have people vote for a representative by a show of hands. Or you could also ask employees to nominate in writing.
2. The term of office of the elected Health and Safety Rep
You could choose a one, two or three year term of office. The Health and Safety Advisor recommends a two-year term. In the first year, the Health and Safety Rep must go through training and find his feet. In the second year, your Health and Safety Rep has more experience and is good at what he does. Your Health and Safety Agreement would therefore state 'Health and Safety Representatives will be appointed for a two year term'.
3. A local election will be held an a new appointment made
You can decided if this will be a formal event or as and when required.
4. Management representation within the Health and Safety Committee
YFor example, your agreement could state that the persons appointed as Operations Manager and Financial Manager will automatically be the nominated management representatives on the Health and Safety Committee for the duration of their time in their position.
Read on for four more items to include…
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5. The way a Health and Safety Rep can be taken out of office
Four more items to include in your Health and Safety Agreement
Your agreement must make note of this. For example, employees could request a special meeting with the SHE Manager. At this meeting they could decide to cancel the appointment of an ineffective Health and Safety Representative. Employees would then vote a new Representative into office.
6. The way you will fill Health and Safety vacancies
You must state how you are going to fill each vacancy, and the process to follow. In your agreement, you must state that you'll have a local election and a new appointment made for a full term. Or that you'll make a new appointment to complete the remaining portion of the current term. Or that staff and management will nominate and appoint a person interested in health and safety to complete the term.
7. What the Health and Safety Rep must do
Your agreement must state that the Health and Safety Rep will carry out monthly inspections in the first week of every month. He must capture the results on the necessary forms and give this to Management. He must attend all Health and Safety Committee meetings to report on the findings of the inspections.
8. Training and assistance the Health and Safety Rep might need
Your agreement must outline the fact that all Health and Safety Reps must attend training to equip them with the knowledge and skilss required to be effective. Make sure you state that mentoring will be provided to make sure the Health and Safety Rep is able to carry out his functions.