Labour inspection raises compliance from 60% to 77%

SA Department of Labour inspection revealed average compliance at 60%, raised to 77% after enforcement, says the DOL annual report of January 2012.

To monitor and enforce compliance with labour legislation, 192 129 workplaces were blitzed, inspected or “audited”, resulting in a 147 626 (77%) compliance rate, much better than the 60% average compliance found in initial blitz inspections before selective compliance audits, notices and other enforcement measures.

SA Department of Labour aims to ensure 80% compliance with Labour legislation, and its optimistic report of 77% compliance suggests that its activities raise compliance from 60% to 77%, missing its mandate by only 3%, a similar figure to the year before.

“A total of 378 inspections and compliance audits were conducted in high risk sectors to enforce compliance with the SA Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act”, says the report.

Compliance in some sectors vary greatly depending on the type of inspection, with surprise blitz inspections among hospitality employers, for example, finding only 48% compliance at financial year end, while other hospitality sector inspections through the year “achieved 64% compliance”.

Agriculture, domestic and retail employers are among the most compliant, while HBA sector and silica exposed workplaces are among the least compliant, or generally non-compliant with health, safety, equity and other labour legislation.

Labour inspectors in green cars, uniforms

SA Labour inspectors received green branded cars and uniforms last year. DOL aims at professionalisation of the inspectorate, with creation and appointment of generalist, principal, and specialist inspectors.

The department has not fully implemented a professionalisation model, and will continue this task in 2012.

Commentators have criticised generlisation of inspections in the last decade, claiming that specialist inspectors were required to make inspections effective, while non-specialists would merely focus on paper compliance, and are prone to interpreting some legal provisions rigidly and out of context.

Two branches, Public Employment Services (DOL PES) and Inspection and Enforcement Services (DOL IES) “were established and are showing an impact in providing strategic leadership and support to Provincial Operations for effective implementation of the core business of the Department”, reports DOL.

Blitz inspections 2011 find 60% compliance

Agriculture sector 1739, compliant 1307, 68%
Chemicals 2011 March 124, compliant 37, 30%
Chemicals employers 523, compliant 228, 42%
Construction sectors 1008, compliant 511, 47%
Contract cleaning sect 903, compliant 521, 58%
Domestic employers 4931 compliant 3363, 68%
Food and Beverages 1667, compliant 987, 49%
HBA sector employers 441, compliant 138, 22%
Hospitality 2011 March 1380, compliant 669, 48%
Hospitality employers 2933, complaint 1819, 64%
Iron and Steel sectors 1542, compliant 779, 49%
Retail malls employers 1881, compliant 1137, 53%
Retail Wholesale sect 3487, compliant 2213, 65%
Security priv employers 1246, compliant 686, 53%
Silica non-mining sectors 208, compliant 54, 26%
Inspection blitz total 24 013, compliant 14 449, 60%

SA Labour inspections types

Blitz inspections 24 013, compliant 14 449, 60%
Routine inspection 157 132, compliant 124 980, 80%
Roving audit inspection 129
Incident investigation 249 in Gauteng
DOL DG Review [of cases] 266
Companies applying for Foreign labour 236
Employment equity inspections 10 104
Full compliance audits in high risk sectors 378
Full compliance incident investigations 249

Hearing loss prevention aim

DOL aims to reduce noise induced hearing loss by 5%, and to conduct a baseline study to determine the extent of the problem in the Iron and Steel Industry. Research was not conducted due to delays in procurement of either research or data contractors. Research will be conducted in the 2011/12 financial year.

DOL divisions

DOL Occupational Health and Safety promotes health and safety in the workplace by regulating dangerous activities and the use of plant and machinery.

DOL Registration at Inspection and Enforcement Services registers incidents relating to labour relations and occupational health and safety matters, as reported by members of the public, and communicates these to the relevant structures within the Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement sub programme for investigation.

Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement ensures that employers and employees comply with labour legislation through regular inspections and following up on reported incidents.

DOL targets R12-m revenue

SA DOL collection of departmental revenue figures show a modest R3.7-million last year, against a target of R12.5-million. There were large departmental loans of up to R20-million per year in recent years.

SA Department of Labour spending on Agencies and Accounts for 2011 includes large amounts on these budgets;
Occupational injuries Compensation Fund (CC)
Commission for Concilliation, Mediation, Arbitration (CCMA)
SA National Productivity Institute
National Econ Dev and Labour Council (NEDLAC)
International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Wholesale and Retail labour inspection blitzes

Inspections 3487, compliant 2213, 63%
Notices 1715, Type 1130, Orders 105
Contras 394, Improvements 71, Prohibitions 15.
Most of these inspections were in KZN province (755).

Hospitality inspection blitzes

Inspections 4277, complaint 2488, 58%
Notices 2454, Type 1456, Orders 27
Contras 893, Improvements 38, Prohibitions 18.

DOL Agriculture and Forestry inspection blitzes

Inspections 1739, compliant 1307, 75%
Notices 668, Type 419, Orders 6
Contras 224, Improvements 13, Prohibitions 6.

In agriculture, a roving safety representative promoted knowledge of occupational health and safety to employers and workers in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, to be extended to other provinces in 2012. However, farm and domestic employers are among the most compliant sectors.

DOL Food and Bev inspections

Inspections 1667, compliant 987, 59%
Notices 960, Type 199, Orders 2
Contras 619, Improvements 57. Prohibitions 8

Iron and Steel labour inspection blitzes

Inspections 1542, complaint 717, 46%
Notices 862, Type 214, Orders 0
Contras 984, Improvements 44, Prohibitions 22

Chemicals labour inspection blitzes

Inspections 647, compliant 265, 41%
Notices 673, Type 108, Orders 0
Contras 528, Improvements 18, Prohibitions 22

Construction labour inspection blitzes

Inspections 1008, compliant 511, 51%
Notices 811, Type 168, Orders 2
Contras 482, Improvements 17, Prohibitions 92

A draft self-regulation toolkit for construction employers is being developed by the DOL. However, there are already about 12 statutory, business and membership bodies adopting or rendering various self-regulation services in the construction sector, including the CIDB, SACPCMP, Achasm, Master Builders SA, Safcec, and others, joined this year by the formation of Buildsafe.

Private Security labour inspection blitzes
Total 1246, compliance 55%

Retail Malls labour inspection blitzes
Total 1881, compliance 60%

Hazardous Biological Agents labour inspection blitzes
Total 441, compliance 31%

Domestic labour inspection blitzes
Total 4931, compliance 68%

Contract Cleaning labour inspection blitzes
Total 903, compliance 58%

Silica non-mining labour inspection blitzes
Total 208, compliance 26%

Silica exposure focus

DOL had established a provincial Silicosis working group to conduct road shows in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Inspectors assisted 49 companies in developing control of exposure to silica dust during inspections. There were 208 Inspections at companies exposing workers to silica, finding 26% compliance.

To reduce exposure to silica, a Baseline study on silicosis was conducted and report is available; and 49 companies were assisted in developing a program for the control of exposure to silica dust. In addition to these, 208 companies were inspected with regard to silica exposure and 54 compliance rate was achieved.

Routine labour inspections statistics

There were 189 160 routine inspections in the 2010 -2011 financial year, reactive and proactive, in high risk and problematic sectors.

Roving Team labour inspections revealed 33% compliance;
Forestry Sawmill 13, complaint 8
Automotive 15, compliant 13
Iron and Steel foundries 6, complaint 3
Hospitality 5, compliant 0
General 90, compliant 19
Roving total 129, compliant 43, or 33%

Some 154 441 complaints were received by DOL, 120 566 were investigated, and 116 131 settled within 90 days, or a 75% settlement.

SMME HS seminars

SMMEs DOL health and safety seminars were presented in these sectors and provinces:
• Iron and steel EC in Port Elizabeth
• Hospitality WC to follow in early 2012
• Forestry KZN in Pietermaritzburg
• Construction in Gauteng.

Shop stewards in target sectors were trained on EE Act, OHS Act and BCE Act, total 1021.

Focus on employment equity

The DOL inspectorate mission includes to monitor and enforce compliance with employment equity implementation and enforcement mechanisms, by conducting inspections and director-general reviews at JSE Securities Exchange listed companies.

“Follow-up was conducted on 60 JSE listed companies which were subjected to DG Review in the 2009 -2010 financial year and 61 copies of final approval letters written to address income differentials”, reports DOL.

“A total of 266 companies were subjected to DG review. Of the 96 JSE listed companies reviewed, 87 recommendations were made and of the 170 designated companies reviewed, 156 recommendations were made. A total of 9 468 EEA procedural inspections were conducted and 7449 (79%) compliance rate achieved.”

PHOTO; SA Department of Labour director general Nkhosinathi Nhleko.

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