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Health and safety warning: Are you in danger of a prohibition order?

by , 19 February 2014
The Department of Labour (DoL) is serious about workplace safety. It has the power to conduct health and safety inspections in your workplace. And it'll issue a prohibition order if you're not compliant. Continue reading to find out how this order is enforced.

SARS isn't the only body that has extensive powers. The DoL is powerful too.

In fact, A DoL inspector can enter your premises any time without previous notice to investigate your compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

What's more…An inspector has special powers to deal with dangerous conditions. This means he can prevent you from starting or continuing work if he feels it threatens the health or safety of your employees. This is called a prohibition order.

Here's how prohibition orders are enforced

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management explains that a DoL inspector may give any instruction necessary to protect the health and safety of your employees at your premises.

This instruction must be in writing and may include, but isn't limited to, the following:

#1: A written prohibition to a user of a plant or machinery to stop using this plant or machinery in a way that threatens or is likely to threaten the safety or health of any person.

#2: A written prohibition to you not to expose your employees (or a specific category of employees) while working for a longer period of time than is specified in the prohibition to any article, substance, organism or condition that threatens or is likely to threaten their health or safety.

#3: The blocking, barring, barricading or fencing off of a part of your workplace to enforce a prohibition order.

It's important that you read the instruction notice carefully as it may require you to take corrective action.

Bottom line:  You're in danger of receiving a prohibition order if you're not compliant with safety laws. Don't take that risk. Make sure your employees are always safe when carrying out their work.

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