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Four obligations you have when a DoL inspector drops in for a health and safety visit

by , 23 July 2014
You have to comply with the OHS Act and all of the OHS regulations it outlines. You also have to allow inspectors from the DoL onto your premises to inspect your health and safety. You can't get in the way during this health and safety inspection. If you do, the inspector may charge you with obstructing justice.

In fact, to avoid getting in the way and obstructing the inspection you need to fulfil these four obligations...

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These are the four obligations you have during a health and safety inspection

A DoL inspector has nine powers that allow him to inspect your workplace health and safety. Your obligation is to let him do his job. To ensure this you must:
1. Give the DoL inspector any documents he wants to see
These can include training certificates and appointment letters. You can't hide any of these from the inspector. He can question any of these documents and their absence.
2. You must show the inspector any articles, substances or machinery he wants to inspect
These include your employees' tools, your machinery and the substances your employees work with.
3. You must allow the inspector to watch your employees at work
You can't stop the inspector from watching how you employees work and what they do.
4. You and your employees have the obligation to answer any of the inspector questions as long as they're not self-incriminating
For example, if the inspector asks your employee 'What OHS train did you employer give you' he must answer the question. But, if he asks 'do you feel guilty about the accident that happened' he doesn't have to answer the question because it could incriminate him. 
Now you know how to always fulfil your obligations during a DoL health and safety inspection.
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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. 

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