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Make sure your office is hazard-free or you could end up in jail

by , 21 February 2013
For years, a number of companies had been budgeting for fines for not complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Soon, this will be a thing of the past.The Department of Labour is now pushing for prosecution and implementing a new hazard regulation. Here's how you can make sure your company meets its occupational health and safety requirements by keeping your office hazard-free...

The Department of Labour has strengthened its labour laws, and you'd better make sure your company's  compliant – especially with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
That's because labour inspectors will now be empowered to no longer just fine but also prosecute employers who contravene the Occupational Health and Safety Act, says Fin24.
And a new regulation known as the major hazard installation (MHI) will be put in place to provide 'a medium for safe working environments and the protection of the public,' regarding any hazardous machinery, equipment or apparatus.
Competent and appropriately staffed organisations are needed to produce a good MHI regulation system.
Because while occupational health and safety is your responsibility, employees also have duties to comply with the OHS Act, says the Health and Safety Advisor.
So you need to make sure employees know they're responsible for keeping the workplace safe and hazard-free. This'll help avoid accidents and incidents in your office, and prevent fines and prosecution from the Department of Labour, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
Here's how to ensure a hazard-free office with four easy steps
1. Ensure office inspections and risk assessments are done at least once a month to identify hazards.
2. Get your health and safety committee to do the office inspections so they can solve any problems or hazards identified.
3. Once the inspection is done, place your plan of actions on an agenda for your health and safety committeein order of priority or by ranking the hazards as low, medium or high. 
4. Place slogans in prominent places in the office to prompt your employees to be more careful and avoid adding unnecessary hazards to the workplace. 
By doing so, you'll be able to take precautionary measures to minimise or prevent risks and keep your office hazard-free.
Remember to document all your findings so you have proof that you've taken the appropriate steps and that your workplace is OHSA-compliant if the Department of Labour comes knocking!

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