Health and Safety at South African police stations are in a mess. None of the police stations in Gauteng, as well as North West and Limpopo, were found to be fully compliant with Health and Safety legislation.
Of the 469 police stations around the country that were inspected for compliance with the Health and Safety act and regulations, only 21 were found to be fully compliant.
Provinces such as the Free State, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and the Northern Cape had no compliant stations. The Eastern Cape had but one.
Giving these figures in a written Parliamentary answer to Dianne Kohler Barnard of the Democratic Alliance on Tuesday, the Safety and Security Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, said that “non-compliant” should not be interpreted as “totally non-compliant”.
“During an evaluation it might be found that only one aspect out of a number of aspects is not in place and then that station is indicated as non-compliant,” he said, “although it might be 90% compliant in real terms”.
Some of the failings of the police stations included inadequate sanitation facilities, no certificate of compliance for the electrical installation or installations of the station, insufficient fire extinguishing equipment, leaking roofs and peeling paint, and rubbish and refuse around the place.
A number of stations failed on the ground of first aid precautions, with no symbolic safety sign affixed indicating the first aid kit or box, nor the name of the member responsible for the first aid kit or box prominently displayed.
The minister said that stations were given three months in which to comply with legislation when pointed out, and then provided a return stating what steps were put in place to comply. There are follow-up inspections.
All stations which do not comply will be reported to the Provincial Commissioner for further action. Further non-compliance can result in disciplinary steps being taken.
Posted on: 28 October 2008