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Seven things you can expect DoL inspectors to ask for during a health and safety inspection

by , 24 January 2013
In 2012, the Department of Labour (DoL) conducted over 190,000 impromptu health and safety inspections. It even shut down a company for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Here's what you can expect DoL inspectors to ask for when they arrive at your company unannounced...

The chances of DoL inspectors rocking up at your company's door one day are huge. In 2012 alone, the Department of Labour sent inspectors to 10% of all South African companies to check their health and safety compliance. 
And they don't send an appointment request to let you know they're coming. 
But what does a health and safety inspection entail and what do DoL inspectors want from you?
What does a DoLhealth and safety inspection entail…
According to The South African Labour Guide, when a DoL inspector arrives, he'll check whether:
1. You're registered with the Compensation Fund.
2. You're registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
3. You have a copy of the following acts on display for workers to read:
Summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 
And Summary of the Employment Equity Act
4. You've appointed health and safety representatives and committees in your workplace.
5. You and your employees are trained to recognise health and safety problems. 
The DoL inspector will also check for things like whether: 
Chemicals are used safely and stored in a safe place;
Emergency exits are clearly marked and easily accessible;
Fire extinguishers are accessible and serviced regularly; and
First aid boxes fully equipped and fire extinguishers have been serviced recently.
6. You report workplace injuries to the Department of Labour. 
7. Your workplace has clean, hygienic toilets and washing facilities on site.
And don't forget, to monitor or enforce compliance with the OHSA, a DoL inspector can legally:
Enter any premises where employees work, at all reasonable times, without prior notice; 
Question any person on these premises on any matter relating to the OHSA; 
Inspect any article, substance, plant, machinery or work performed; and
Seize any document, article, substance or machinery as evidence at the trial of any person charged with an offence under the OHSA. 
Don't fear your door bell, as long as your company complies with the OHSA and you know to expect from a health and safety inspection,you have nothing to worry about. 
Order your 29 Essential Health and Safety Inspection Checklists now, and never again will these questions plague you
  • Is my first aid kit complete?
  • How often am I supposed to clean my canteen?
  • What should I include in my daily forklift inspection?

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