Health and Safety

Hazards may arise from

 
  • The workplace environment e.g. insufficient lighting
  • Equipment/Plant e.g. a noisy engine which has not been insulated
  • Substances e.g. explosive fumes building up in a storage area; and
  • Work systems e.g. storage of files at high level causing retrieval hazards

 

Examples of work related hazards and risks

 

a) Use of work equipment

 

  • Inadequately guarded rotating or moving parts which can crush, clip, stab, knock, catch or pull
  • Free movement of parts or material (falling, rolling, sliding, tipping, flying off, swinging, collapsing) which may result in a person being hit
  • Machine and vehicle movements
  • Danger of fire and explosion (e.g. from friction, pressure vessels)
  • Trapping

 

b) Work practices and layout of premises

 

  • Hazardous surfaces (sharp edges, corners, points, rough surfaces, protruding parts)
  • Working at heights
  • Tasks involving awkward movement/postures
  • Limited space (e.g. having to work between fixed parts)
  • Tripping and slipping (wet or other slippery surfaces etc.)
  • Stability of workstation
  • Impact of wearing personal protective equipment on other aspects of work
  • Work techniques and methods
  • Entry and work in confined spaces

 

c) Use of electricity

 

  • Electrical switchgear
  • Electrical installations, e.g. ring mains, lighting circuits
  • Electrically-operated equipment, controls, insulation
  • Use of portable electric tools
  • Fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy
  • Overhead electric lines

 

d) Exposure to substances or preparations hazardous to health and safety

 

  • Inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption of material hazardous to health (including aerosols and particulates)
  • Use of flammable and explosive materials
  • Lack of oxygen (asphyxia)
  • Presence of corrosive substances
  • Reactive/unstable substances
  • Presence of sensitizers

 

e) Exposure to physical agents

 

  • Exposure to electromagnetic radiation (heat, light, x-ray, ionizing radiation)
  • Exposure to lasers
  • Exposure to noise, ultrasounds
  • Exposure to mechanical vibrations
  • Exposure to hot substances/media
  • Exposure to cold substances/media
  • Presence of fluids under pressure (compressed air, steam, liquids)

 

f) Exposure to biological agents

 

  • Risk of infection arising from handling and resulting in unintentional exposure to micro-organisms, exo- and endo- toxins
  • Risk of infection due to inadvertent exposure to micro-organisms (e.g. legio-nella dispersed from wet cooling towers)
  • Presence of allergens

 

g) Environmental factors and working climate

 

  • Inadequate or inappropriate illumination
  • Inappropriate control of temperature/humidity/ventilation
  • Presence of pollutants

 

h) Interaction of workplace and human factors

 

  • Dependence of safety system on need to receive and process information accurately
  • Dependence on knowledge and capabilities of staff
  • Dependence on norms of behaviour
  • Dependence on good communication and proper instructions to tackle changing conditions
  • Impact of reasonably foreseeable departures from safe working procedures
  • Suitability of personal protective equipment
  • Poor motivation to work safely
  • Ergonomic factors, such as design of the work station to suit the worker

 

i) Psychological factors

 

  • Severity of work (intensity, monotony)
  • Workplace dimensions, e.g. claustrophobia , working alone
  • Role ambiguity and/or conflict
  • Contribution to decision-making affecting work and task
  • High demand, low control of work
  • Reactions in event of emergencies

 

j) Work organization

 

  • Factors conditioned by work processes (e.g. continuity, shift systems, working at night)
  • Effective management systems and arrangements in place for organizing, planning, monitoring and controlling the health and safety process.
  • Maintenance of equipment including safety equipment
  • Proper arrangements for dealing with accidents and emergencies

 

k) Miscellaneous factors

 

  • Dangers caused by other people e.g. violence to counter staff, staff-security guards, police and sports
  • Working with animals
  • Working in pressurized or under-pressurized atmospheres
  • Severe weather conditions
  • Software integrity
  • Working near or under water
  • Variable workplaces

This is an illustrative list and is not exhaustive.

For more information contact

Case Law Summaries and Articles

 

Can employees be dismissed for refusing to accept new terms and conditions of employment?

Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An initial answer may be, “yes”.

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Escape route: “Resignation with immediate effect”

The latest case in the ‘disciplining employees who have resigned with immediate effect’ saga has brought about more uncertainty as to whether an employee who resigns with immediate effect shortly before a disciplinary hearing can avoid disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal.

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Freedom of expression or incitement to commit an offence? A constitutional challenge

On 4 July 2019, the North Gauteng High Court handed down judgment in the case of The EFF and other v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and other (87638/2017 and 45666/2017) in which the EFF and Julius Malema (the applicants) sought to have s18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act, No 17 of 1956 (Riotous Act) declared unconstitutional.

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Consolidated, comprehensive or general final written warnings

Regarding dismissal, according to the Code of Good Practice, “the courts have endorsed the concept of corrective or progressive discipline. This approach regards the purpose of discipline as a means for employees to know and understand what standards are required of them.

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Employment Equity Committee Training

23 August 2019 (Fully Booked)

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

29 August 2019 (Fully Booked)

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

30 August 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

27 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

04 October 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani: Durban

Shop Steward Training

28 August 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Basic Labour Relations

04 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Course

12 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

13 September 2019

Southern Sun: Maharani Towers: Durban

19 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

28 November 2019

Protea Hotel By Marriott Tyger Valley: Cape Town

Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees Full day workshop

20 September 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

27 September 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Cape Town

AARTO and the Impact on Your Business

03 October 2019

Emperors Palace Convention Centre

Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Course

18 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

21 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

Workshop Incident/Accident Investigation Course

25 October 2019

Emperors Palace: Convention Centre

22 November 2019

Tsogo Sun: Century City: Stay Easy: Cape Town

  

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