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Will your construction vehicle driver get you in trouble with the Department of Labour?

by , 10 April 2013
Construction comes with many health and safety hazards. That's why Germiston's Golden Walk Mall was served with a notice halting construction after a crane crashed through the roof of its Woolworths store on Monday. Labour inspectors were sent to investigate the cause of the accident and whether occupational health and safety standards were complied with at the time of the accident. Here's how to make sure your construction vehicle drivers always comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act!

Construction at the Golden Walk Mall has been halted pending the outcome of a formal probe by the department of labour, says Fin24.
This comes as more than 20 people were injured when the crane crashed through the roof of the Woolworths store, with two people suffering serious injuries and the crane driver himself got hurt.
The sad part? The accident could've been avoided if safety checks were properly conducted to make sure the crane was safe before it was used.
And this isn't the only construction accident to make headlines in the past few weeks.
Construction vehicles are a life-threatening hazard!
A British contractor in a construction vehicle ran over a boy on his bike near an inn that was undergoing renovations, says The Cape Breton Post.
The worst part? The contractor admitted that he didn't use any hazard assessment forms, policies or checklists before operating the construction vehicle.
In South Africa, this would out you in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
That's why it's vital to perform a special type of hazard risk assessment the moment you hire construction contractors to work on site, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
A specialised risk assessment will help you identify risk of employees being injured around construction vehicles.
Make sure your forklift and crane operators comply with the OHSA…
According to the Health and Safety Advisor crane operators must be trained and have appropriate medical examinations. 
Forklift operators also have to comply with the Driven Machinery Regulation 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, says the Health and Safety Advisor.
This means a person may not be transported or lifted by the forklift, the forklift unit keys must not be left in the ignition nor left idling unattended.
Make sure all construction vehicles comply with the OHSA, too!
Cranes must also be inspected at regular intervals, with special criteria set down in Construction Regulation 20 for tower cranes and tower crane operators. 
The full inspection and check reports, as well as certificates of fitness for both operator and crane must be kept in your the Health and Safety File.
In addition, daily and weekly pre-use and post-use inspections must be performed, and the forklift operator is not allowed to exceed regulated speed limits.
Best you comply with these health and safety regulations, because the Department of Labour (DoL) inspectors have the power to stop your construction project if they find you're not complying with the regulations, and you could end up with a criminal record or civil action against you, says The Health and Safety Advisor.

Turn to you Health and Safety Advisor to read more on construction regulations and how you can comply with all legal requirements. 

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