Occupational health and safety forms part of the National Health Act and exists in its entirety to ensure the well-being of employees in the workplace. It was created to minimise and prevent injuries on the job and is implemented in a variety of work environments, including office buildings, construction sites, and plants.
It is important to note that some workplaces are not covered by the OHS Act, and these include both ships and boats, as well as any area where mining takes place. There are 50 different sections within the OHS Act, all of which must be studied and fully understood by any company that implements health and safety measures within their workspace. This also means that the onus is on the employer to ensure the safety of workers.
It is also the main requirement of the Act that all employees within a company have a clean, safe, and healthy environment to perform their daily tasks. The following steps must be taken to ensure that this is the case:
- Conducting risk assessments and identifying all hazards within the immediate workplace.
- Managing any found risks and hazards.
- Investigating any incidents and taking the appropriate measures.
- Ensuring employees have the opportunity to learn basic first aid.
- Continuously monitoring ongoing compliance with the OHS Act.
Any employer who owns a business that falls within the scope of the OHS Act must ensure by law that the Health and Safety standards are upheld at all times. Ignoring this responsibility or flouting the regulations can lead to hefty fines and even a prison sentence. Breaking the law when it comes to health and safety, will also lead to a permanent entry on an employer’s criminal record.
On the positive side, employers who stick to the regulations will continuously reduce risk to their employees while they are carrying out their tasks. Employees who are trained to look out for hazards will also assist in making the workplace safer every day.
Furthermore, employees who feel safe in their working environment are more productive. This is because a safe workplace promotes mental and physical health.
It is also true that large organisations often present occupational health and safety as a requirement for going into partnership or doing business with other companies. Whenever OHS is upheld as a standard within a company, that company will likely be awarded more contracts and more partnerships.
At Aprolasa Western Cape, we are committed to helping South African businesses become safer and hazard-free. We offer comprehensive Occupational Health & Safety services including:
- Compliance and management system audits
- Compiling of specification documents
- Compiling of contractor OHS plans
- Training and development
- Fall protecting plan
- Incident investigation
- Compiling safety files
For more information on how we can help your business become compliant with OHS, please contact Aprolasa WC today for a consultation:
Jean: 082 301 3866 / Christiaan: 061 465 6077 / Lee-Andrew: 079 884 4202