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Thread: Laws fail to make workers safe

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Laws fail to make workers safe

    This article caught my eye this morning.
    Lenient occupational safety laws allowed local companies to get away with inadequate safety measures, the Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene said yesterday.

    Deon van Vuuren, the institute's president, said almost every industry in the country was dangerous if not properly controlled. People who worked in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West were at most risk. Most mines and their refineries, as well as steel companies, the most dangerous industries, were based in those provinces.

    Most firms did not carry out risk assessments every two years, as required by law, because government inspections rarely took place, Van Vuuren said. "America and Europe are at least 20 times stricter than we are."

    Though the law was clear on what companies should do, it did not indicate how frequently government inspections should be conducted.

    "The quality of the inspections is very poor because occupational hygiene is a specialised field," said Van Vuuren. Just over 100 labour inspectors had to handle 15 different sets of regulations. Less than 20 inspectors specialised in occupational safety.
    full story from Business Report here
    Now is this because of bad legislation, or bad administration and enforcement?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    All of the above...

    But the biggest problem is with the companies themselves... Why would you not provide a safe working environment for those that work towards your profits?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm not sure the legal framework is the core problem. It's capacity - within the inspectorate and within companies.

    For example, how many companies even know that they need to conduct a risk assessment every two years?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    If your industry is a dangerous one, or even have a hint of safety issues, shouldn't your company have a safety officer that tends to those things?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think you need a safety officer once you hit 20* on staff anyway - regardless of how dangerous or safe your industry is.

    *I need to double check that number.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    If those numbers are correct, would it be safe to place blame on the safety officer if safety checks are not made on a regular interval?

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