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Newsflash: You have the right to appeal a DoL inspector's decision!

by , 23 July 2014
Let's say a DoL inspector came to your workplace and did a health and safety inspection. He said you hadn't complied with all of the OHS regulations around safe working conditions. Because of this, he shuts down your company until you fix the problem.

You don't agree with this decision though. In fact, you think the inspector was excessively harsh because he wants to make an example of you.

The good news here is, you have the right to appeal the inspector's decision. Here's how to do it...

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It's a legal requirement. You must identify hazards and assess risks in your company
 
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You can appeal the DoL inspector's decision if you don't agree with it

 
If you think the DoL inspector who inspected your workplace made the wrong decision, you can appeal it. To do this you must write to the Chief Inspector of the DoL. 
 
You must set out the grounds of your appeal. This includes the circumstances in your workplace during the inspection, the inspector's decision and why you think he's wrong.
 
You have to do this within 60 days of the inspection. 
 

Here's what happens after you submit your appeal to the Chief Inspector

 
The Chief Inspector with look at the grounds of your appeal and the inspector's decision before he makes his own. He'll then confirm, set aside or change the decision the DoL inspector made after his health and safety inspection.
 
He can replace that decision with a decision he thinks the inspector should have made. 
 
If you're still not happy with the decision, you can appeal against the Labour Court. The court will also consider your appeal before they confirm, set aside or change the DoL inspection's decision. 
 
If your appeals aren't successful, you have to uphold the inspector's original decision. 
 
But remember, the appeal process doesn't suspend the prohibition of the inspector's decision. So if you feel the DoL inspector unfairly judged your workplace health and safety, appeal it with this process.
 
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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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