The Department of Labour will on Tuesday 11 November 2008 host a high level construction summit following the recent spate of accidents in the workplace that have claimed lives and left scores of people injured.
The gathering, to be held at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Ekurhuleni will be addressed by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana.
The summit aims at setting targets to reduce the number of fatalities, raise awareness about health and safety issues on construction sites, reduce the number of health-related injuries and deaths.
It also aims to put together an effective practical strategy to deal with the incidents in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Accord signed between the department, business and labour unions in 2002.
The accord also seeks to reduce the high number of work-related accidents and to create a healthy and safe working environment at workplaces.
In South Africa, the iron and steel, construction, agriculture, food, drink and beverage sectors are identified as sectors with the highest risks when it comes to workplace health and safety accidents countrywide.
The four sectors contribute 47 percent of reported workplace injuries and fatalities received by the department’s inspectorate.
Inspectors from the department continuously conduct work place inspections countrywide to ensure labour law compliance.
This is to ensure compliance to labour laws by employers.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are required to bring about and maintain a reasonable practicable work environment that is safe and without risk to the health of workers.
Employers found not adhering to labour laws are fined or given written warnings.
Among those scheduled to participate at the summit are representatives of trade unions, business, professional architects and designers, Occupational Health and Safety legal expects as well as government departments.