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Three tips to get your employees to comply with health and safety laws
Employees think that safety is something 'management' must do. They're wrong. Employees also have duties to comply with the OHS Act.
It's your responsibility to make sure your employees comply. Don't know how to do it?
The DoL inspector will check these 13 points when he assesses your workplace health and safety
1. Have you registered your company with the Compensation Fund?
2. Have you registered your company with the Unemployment Insurance Fund?
3. Do you have a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the relevant Regulations on the premises and is the Act and the Regulations available to the workers if they want to read it?
4. Do you display the Summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA)?
5. Do you display the Summary of the Employment Equity Act (EEA)?
6. Have you appointed Health and Safety Representatives?
7. Have you established Health and Safety Committees in your workplace?
8. Have you trained your workers to recognise health and safety problems such as:
• Unguarded moving parts like drive belts and chains guarded.
• The safe use and storage of chemicals.
• Emergency exits.
• The storage of flammable materials?
9. Do you have fully equipped first aid boxes on the premise?
10. Are all electrical wires insulated and do you use proper plugs in your workplace?
11. Do you report injuries at work to the Department of Labour?
12. Do you provide clean and hygienic toilets and washing facilities for male and female employees?
13. Do you have an attendance register at your workplace?
It's a criminal offense not to protect your employees at work, so if the inspector marks 'no' you could face serious penalties. But don't worry, the inspector won't just slap you with a penalty straight away, he'll do this first.
The inspector will do this first before he slaps you with a penalty
The inspector will first give you a chance to rectify your health and safety problems. He'll tell you which areas don't comply and then he'll give you clear instructions on how to fix them.
It's only if you ignore these instructions that you'll face serious penalties from the Dol. After all, the DoL won't just give you an instruction and then never check if you complied. It will send another inspector and check if you followed the instructions.
So ensure the inspector answers 'yes' to all of these check points and if he doesn't, follow the instructions he gives you to a T.