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:
• The OHSA
• 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.