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Warning: You'll face these penalties if you don't comply with your safe work permit obligations

by , 22 October 2013
You need a safe work permit whenever 'listed work' is done at your workplace. If you fail to comply with this Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requirement, prepare to face the following penalties.

According to the Health & Safety Advisor, a safe work permit (SWP) is a form that a competent person must complete to ensure employees and external contractors are protected when they do hazardous work.

The SWP contains all possible hazards and risks you have to remove or reduce before you allow your employee or external contractor to work.

You'll need a SWP for:

  • Work in confined or enclosed spaces;
  • Work in elevated positions;
  • Roof or ceiling work;
  • Work where there's a danger of the earth collapsing (for example, excavation work or work in trenches);
  • Hot work (any work that can be a fire hazard);
  • Demolition work (when you're breaking down buildings);
  • Working on pressurised pipes;
  • Blasting (usually construction and mining);
  • Work on internal combustion engines;
  • And Electrical installations.

It's crucial that you get a permit for any of the 'listed work' mentioned.

If you don't get a SWP for 'listed work,' you'll face the following consequences

If you're convicted in court for not complying with your obligations for work permits, you'll be fined or sent to prison for up to six months.

If you do nothing to correct the situation, you'll pay an additional fine of R200 or have more jail time added to your sentence for each day you continue with the offence.

The Advisor warns that the Department of Labour can shut your business down if you've exceeded the fine payments and jail time.

Remember, your safe work permits must be issued by a competent person after doing proper inspections. If they aren't, your employees can get seriously hurt, not to mention your company being shut down.

Now that's a risk you can't afford to take!



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