Posted on: September 21, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

SA Department of Labour (DOL) reports ‘80% compliance’ in industry with health and safety legislation, in its 2011 legislation and enforcement annual report.

The DOL Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) register incidents relating to labour relations and occupational health and safety matters, as reported by members of the public, and communicate these to relevant structures in Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement sub programmes for investigation.

Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement ensures that employers and employees comply with labour legislation through regular inspections and investigation of reported incidents. The DOL annual report covers the period of 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

DOL IES Strategic Priority 1 is to “speed up economic growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods” and inter alia “ensure transformation of the labour market by achieving 80% compliance with the Employment Equity Act” and “Subject 200 companies to DG review by March 2011.” The target was exceeded with 266 reviewed. Compliance levels were determined at 79%, in line with DOL target.

Strategic Priority 3 is to “Improve the health profile of the nation by protecting vulnerable workers”. Compliance level was found to be 77%, close to DOL target.

DOL inspections during 2010 -2011

• Blitz inspections; 24 013
• Routine inspections;157 132
• Compliance Audit by Roving Team; 129
• Incidents investigated in Gauteng; 249
• DG Review; 266
• Companies applying for Foreign labour: 236
• EE Act procedural inspections: 10 104

Blitz inspections were conducted in these sectors:
• Wholesale and retail
• Hospitality, agriculture, forestry
• Iron and Steel
• Food and Bev
• Chemicals
• Construction.
• Hazardous Biological Agents
• Retail malls
• Domestic sector
• Silica outside mining sector,

Routine inspections totaling 157 312 were conducted, of which 124 980 complied, resulting in 80%, in line with the DOL target. Incident investigations totaled 249. High risk sector inspections totaled 378.

Silica exposure reduction

DOL plans to reduce the prevalence of silicosis in non mining industries.
• A baseline study to determine the prevalence of silicosis and silica exposure in non-mining industries was compiled.
• Provincial Silicosis working groups were to conduct awareness road shows on silica dust risks. Provincial Silicosis working groups were established in Mpumalanga and Limpopo only.
• DOL assists companies to develop programs to control exposure to silica dust, and 49 companies were assisted during 208 inspections for silica exposure, finding 26% compliance.

Agriculture labour roving inspectors

A roving safety representative promoted knowledge of occupational health and safety among employers and workers in the agricultural sector. A pilot project was implemented in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, and will be launched in other provinces.

SA Labour legislation review ongoing

• Construction Regulations amendment draft; the Technical Committee is incorporating comments received from the public. More than anticipated comments were received and review was delayed by state law advisors. The amendment contained a vague and contested provision for registration of private construction health and safety officers.
• Explosives Regulations; there were delays in nominations for a Technical Committee.
• Hazardous chemical substances; declared ultra vires by State Law Advisors.
• Asbestos Regulations
DOL said at an IES seminar in Vereeniging that it plans a review of the OHS Act and all its Regulations to be completed during 2012.

SA Labour inspection professionalisation

DOL IES is implementing a ‘corporate image’ by using uniforms, green cars, and profession conduct by creation and appointment of generalist, principal and specialist inspectors. These aims are “partially achieved” since DOL “has not fully implemented a professionalisation model”.

Customer centered services by a Case Management System was developed, but the system has not gone live yet, since “Siemens could not develop the system due to resource constraints.”

DOL planned to ensure decent work by inspecting 200 000 workplaces and ensure 80% compliance levels with legislation, and to investigate and settle 80% of investigated complaints within 90 days.

These targets were nearly achieved. A total number of 154 441 complaints were received, 120 566 were investigated, 116 131 were settled within 90 days, which represents a 75% settlement rate.

DOL plans to target SMME enterprises to ensure 80% compliance through advocacy campaigns.
Construction self-regulation kit

DOL IES promotes self-regulation, in part by using a self-regulation toolkit in the construction sector. A draft was developed.

SA Labour sectoral seminars

• An Iron and Steel Seminar was held in fourth quarter in Port Elizabeth.
• A Hospitality seminar in Western Cape to be held in 2011 -2012 financial year.
• A Forestry sector seminar was held in the second quarter in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.
• A Construction Seminar was held in the fourth quarter in Gauteng.

DOL planned to train organised labour and trade union shop stewards in target sectors, and 1021 shop stewards were trained on the EE Act, OHS Act and BCE Act.

SA noise induced hearing loss

SA DOL planned to reduce noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) by 5%, starting with a baseline study to determine the extent of the problem in the Iron and Steel Industry. The research was not conducted due to delays in the procurement process. Research will be conducted in the 2011/12 financial year.

SA DOL plans NIHL awareness campaigns in the Secondary Iron and Steel Industry; A baseline study was not yet conducted. Awareness campaigns will be conducted on completion of the study in the 2011 -2012 financial year.

• The full DOL annual report is available on www.labour.gov.za in several parts. The part containing inspection services policies, objectives, targets and activities is Part 2.

PHOTO; SA Department of Labour director general Nkhosinathi Nhleko.

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