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Don't let unsafe working conditions be the reason your employees refuse to work

by , 24 June 2014
Did you know: If the conditions your employees have to work in are unsafe, they can eventually refuse to work until you fix them. This is their legal right because the law says everyone has the right to work in a safe and secure environment.

As their employer, you have to provide them with this safe working environment. But don't panic, your employees can't just down tools at the first sign of an unsafe working conditions.

This is the process they have to go through first...

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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer
When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses? 
Do you comply with the Hazardous Chemical Regulations? 
There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations. 

Your employees have to go through this process if they spot health and safety risks

According to SheqAfrica.com, if your employees spot unsafe working conditions they must:
1. Tell you or their supervisor;
2. If you don't fix the problem, they must then tell the worker's health and safety representative or Health and Safety committee;
3. If the problem still isn't fixed, they must report it to the nearest DoL office;
4. And if the problem is still there, then they can legally refuse to work until you fix the problem.
Imagine this: It may cost you R5 000 to give your employees new safety equipment. If you don't fix the problem, it might cost you R50 000 because your employees downed tools. 
Why put your company in this position when you could just do these things to improve working conditions?

You can improve the safety of your working conditions with these simple steps

1. Provide your employees with proper safety equipment and OHS training;
2. Don't let your employees work long hours or when they're exhausted;
4. Listen to your employees if they report unsafe working conditions to you.
This way, you'll keep your employees safe and your business running smoothly. 
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

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