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Is your Company Occupational Health and Safety Compliant?

When it comes to Occupational health and safety of your employees in your company or work place, no stone should be left unturned to ensure that there are no hazards which may jeopardize the safety of your employees. This is one aspect of your business that must be given the highest priority at all times. Each organisation is different and the levels of exposure to dangerous or hazardous work experiences will be unique to each company. So even if your business is not one in which it is likely that accidents could occur leaving employees without the ability to temporarily or permanently perform their jobs, as well as exposing you as the employer to a number of difficult consequences, it is still something that needs to remain on your TO DO list and which you should remain ever vigilant about.

The Occupational health and safety Act is a criminal act which means the repercussions for the employer be debilitating. And just as our staff are our largest expense, so too are they our largest liability when you consider the potential of human beings to behave in ways which may harm themselves or even other, while at work. Just today, someone in our office locked themselves inside the office with no way out and another employee offered to climb through to window to help find a way out. Perhaps a kind-hearted gesture and doesn’t sound too dangerous but most certainly a recipe for disaster if not executed properly!

Important things that each employer must keep in mind is that the government requires copies of certain legislation to be displayed in every office to help raise awareness around certain issues. One of the acts that is required by law, is the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Employers must also ensure that their employees receive basic health and safety training such as firefighting and First Aid. All offices should have the correct signage displayed, which helps identify firefighting equipment, escape routes, first aid boxes and who the first aide people are. Not forgetting easy access to emergency numbers. Larger offices may perform periodic fire drills to ensure that staff know how to leave the building safely, which exits to take and where to safely gather outside of the building in case of emergency. All relevant safety equipment should be accessible and in working order. Hazardous substances such as chemicals need to be stored and handled safely and appropriate protective clothing should not only be provided but strictly monitored to ensure that employees wear the correct uniforms or equipment at all times.

Consequences of not adhering to, or implementing Occupational health and safety measures can be costly. But there is no cost greater than loss of life. Accidents and injuries can cost an employer their livelihood if the employer is not registered with the Compensation Fund (COID). From the moment that employers hire their first employee, they are required to register for COID. Doing so not only ensures that the company is properly insured financially against the cost of workplace accidents but so too are their employees. Pay Solutions offers all of their client’s assistance with their Compensation payments and helpful staff are ready to assist with any queries Employers may have.

Read the Act

http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/downloads/legislation/acts/occupational-health-and-safety/amendments/Amended%20Act%20-%20Occupational%20Health%20and%20Safety.pdf