Labour Dept to hit Iron and Steel this week

Health and Safety for all

Determined to ensure the health and safety of workers, the Gauteng Department of Labour inspectors will hit the road again, this time focusing on the accident prone iron and steel industry.

The weeklong campaign, scheduled to start today on 12 July, will take place in all provinces with inspectors accompanied by senior officials of the department. The inspection comes soon after the agriculture and forestry blitz that uncovered worrying levels of non compliance by some employers.

Mishack Magakwe, Gauteng departmental spokesperson, said the raid would see teams of inspectors checking everything from conditions of employment to health and safety in the workplace in line with Labour Minister, Membathisi Mdladlana’s insistence on respect for the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda.

The steel industry is fraught with potential hazards. Heavy-duty machinery, bulky loads and low visibility locations make it one of the most perilous sectors to work in. The most important assets of an organisation are its employees. Their safety and well being is of utmost importance and that human lives are priceless!

The latter is meant to ensure that workplace standards are decent, that employers do not sacrifice safety for profit and that workers operate in conditions of safety.

Mdladlana for his part has repeatedly called on social partners from business, labour, government and the community to make the health and safety of employees their responsibility. He has equally been vociferous in insisting on workplace health and safety committees that would act in the interest of workers.

“This is because it is not possible for our inspectors to be everywhere. We therefore urge all workers to take their safety into their own hands and act as our eyes and ears. This is for the collective good of all workers and has a direct link with productivity and therefore economic growth of the country,” Mdladlana said.

Source: Department of Labour

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