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IMPORTANT UPDATE: AMENDMENTS PROPOSED FOR THE OHS ACT

The Department of Labour is committed to creating a safer work environment for all South Africans. As part of this ongoing effort, a notice to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act) was published in May 2021.


What are the Proposed Changes?

The proposed amendments aim to:

  • Strengthen worker safety: The bill seeks to enhance existing provisions to better protect the health and safety of workers, including those working on plants and machinery.

  • Expand safety measures: The amendments aim to improve the protection of everyone, not just workers, from potential workplace hazards.

  • Enhance OHS Advisory Council: The proposed changes aim to improve the control and effectiveness of the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council.


A Focus on Construction Safety

The Department of Labour recognizes the need for continuous improvement in construction safety.  Here are some recent developments:

  • High Non-Compliance Rate: Inspections conducted in the 2022/23 financial year revealed a concerning 35% non-compliance rate with construction regulations.

  • Enforcement Measures: The Department will issue notices for compliance and provide timeframes for rectification. In cases of persistent non-compliance, prosecution may be pursued.


International Best Practices

South Africa is committed to upholding international labour standards and best practices.  The proposed amendments and ongoing enforcement efforts demonstrate this commitment to fostering safe and healthy work environments for all.


The Department of Labour's Strategy:

The Department's strategy focuses on these key pillars:

  • Effective Legislation: Developing clear and enforceable OHS laws and regulations.

  • Strong Policy Framework: Creating comprehensive policies to support workplace safety.

  • Rigorous Inspections: Conducting regular inspections to ensure compliance with regulations.

  • OHS Risk Management: Encouraging businesses to implement robust OHS risk management systems.

 

By working together, we can create safer workplaces for all South Africans.

Stay informed!  We will continue to provide updates on the OHS Act amendments and other workplace safety initiatives.

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