Zululand Observer - Weekender

Labour to increase health and safety inspectors

- Gugu Myeni

DEPARTMENT of Employment and Labour Inspector-General Aggy Moiloa has urged employers not to be lured by the ‘short cut syndrome’ when it comes to the health and safety of workers.

Moiloa was speaking at an Occupation­al Health and Safety (OHS) conference in Johannesbu­rg recently.

‘Workers have the right to work in an environmen­t that is not harmful to them.

‘Decent work cannot be achieved without a sound, safe and healthy environmen­t and when that gets compromise­d, productivi­ty levels suffer,’ Moiloa said.

The department announced it will be employing 500 occupation­al health and safety (OHS) inspectors to look into compliance in workplaces.

Chief Inspector Tibor Szana said this major change would require the department to broaden its scope of work by also focusing on the small, medium and micro enterprise­s (SMMEs) and the informal sector.

Speaking at the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ZCCI) forum meeting recently, Morgan Prinsloo of Health, Safety and Environmen­t Africa said a number of small businesses face issues relating to non-compliance with the OHS Act.

Prinsloo said the Act stipulates regulation­s relating to hazardous chemical substances, the environmen­t, general health, electrical and general machinery handling, among others.

‘We often find that emerging businesses and SMMEs do not always have health and safety systems in place,’ Prinsloo said.

He said it is the responsibi­lity of companies to maintain a safe and healthy working environmen­t.

‘Whatever the operations of the company are, it is their duty to ensure it does not affect the working environmen­t, and this includes the bio-diversity.

‘Even offices must adhere to health and safety procedures to a certain extent,’ Prinsloo said.

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