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Your Health and Safety Officer has seven essential responsibilities: Are you familiar with them?

by , 10 April 2015
Your Health and Safety Officer has a rather large area of responsibilities on his daily list.

He needs to protect employees' health and safety by making sure risks in the workplace are properly controlled and to ensure that your business is complying with all aspects of health and safety.


Here's what you need to know about your Health and Safety Officer's responsibilities...

Do you know what your Health and Safety Officer should be doing?

Your Health and Safety Officer should have a National Diploma in Safety Management or equivalent.

When it comes to knowledge, he should know the relevant local safety, security and environmental legislation:

–  Environmental Conservation Act;
•  Thorough knowledge of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001; and
•  Working knowledge of safety system

Here are the key responsibilities of his position:

1. Inspecting workplaces and investigate accidents and dentify causes of ill-health and complaints;
2. Inspecting workplaces to enforce safety laws;
3. Examining ways to improve health and safety standards;
4. Negotiating with managers and employees to provide a safe working environment;
5. Developing health and safety programmes and strategies;
6. Keeping up to date with the law and technical knowledge; and
7. Writing reports

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Are you responsible for health and safety in your company?

You know how difficult it is to create a safe and healthy working environment. Especially if you've been tasked to do it on top of your daily job responsibilities.

There are dozens of questions that pop up, like…

•    How do you know the health and safety documents you draw up are legally compliant?
•    Can you be sure that you're checking all the hazards you should be, every single time?

And, how do you do all this without wasting a huge chunk of time that should be dedicated to your real job?

I have the solution for you right here…

And here's a list with the main activities your Health and Safety Officer should fulfil:

•  Develop, implement and maintain an effective program and ensure compliance to satisfy the requirements of local legislation e.g. the OHS, COID and Environmental Conservation Acts.

•  Develop systems to ensure all employees comply with all relevant  legal safety requirements.

•  Identify safety training needs, organise and co-ordinate safety training courses and prepare training material where appropriate.

•  Co-ordinate the monthly safety meeting:
–  Ensure meeting times are set,
–  Agendas are sent out,
–  Minutes are kept and sent out,
-  Ensure that all support documentation in respect of the safety program is received on time and in the correct format from all concerned parties.

•  Assist in appointment of Safety Representatives for all departments.

•  Communicate changes in Safety and Environment legislation to Management.

•  Evaluate incident forms, surveys, audits to establish root causes and together with Supervisors and Managers concerned, formulate a plan of action to correct non-compliant behaviour or conditions.

•  Liaise with on site contractors to ensure their compliance with company safety regulations and adherence to safety standards, including basic safety induction training.

•  Conduct surveys and audits as required to identify and minimise the risk to company and employees.

•  Identify unsafe acts, conditions, and hazards, investigate root causes and identify corrective and preventative actions and report to management.

•  Co-ordinate at least two evacuation exercises per year to ensure that all staff become familiar with these procedures.

•  Assist with the  formulation of emergency/contingency plans for:
–  Natural disasters
–  Industrial action
–  Political unrest
–  Fire
–  Explosions
–  Bomb threats

•  Review and update Emergency Procedures as and when necessary

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Melisizwe Dyubele 2015-04-13 06:15:45

This information is very useful as I begin my journey in becoming a OHS Officer.

Thank you

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