OHS Act review; comment in May

The SA Department of Labour calls for comment on a review of the Occupational Health and Safety Act before 15 May 2010.

DOL executive manager of Construction and Major Hazard Installations Occupational Health and Safety, Tibor Szana, said the review of the Act is the initiative of the Minister of Labour’s Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety, ACOHS.

The review follows an imminent government decision to maintain separate industrial and mining legislation and inspectorates. The OHS Act, 85 of 1993, and the Mine H&S Act, were set to be replaced by a new Act, but the integration process was handled at low level and was not supported by leading DOL and DME officials and politicians.

Ministries affected by the proposed integrated National Occupational Health and Safety Bill have halted the formerly planned integration process of industries and mining into one Act and one inspectorate, said SAIOHS in a statement citing ACOHS member Neels Nortje.

The Minister of Labour’s Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety, ACOHS, has formed a technical committee to review the OHS Act. ACOHS member Neels Nortje is one of the SAIOHS founder members. He was nominated to serve on the review committee.

PHOTO; DOL chief inspector Thobile Lamati fill one of the positions assured by the new initiative to retain separate Labour and Minerals inspectorates.

Construction Regulations amended

Department of Labour chief inspector Thobile Lamati said a Construction Regulations amendment by the Department of Justice raised some ‘interpretation issues’ with state legal advisors in April 2010.

Amended Construction Regulations would be published for public comment during 2010.

Air emissions standards

Government Notice 248 lists activities and minimum emissions standards identified in terms of Section 21 of the Air Quality Act of 2004. The notice is published under authority of the National Environmental Management Act, Nema, and Air Quality Act, 39 of 2004. See Government Gazette 33064 of 31 March 2010, says CAIA.

Silica exposure down to 0.1 mg/m3

Government Notice R683 amends the Occupational Exposure Control limit for silica in Table 1 of the Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations from 0.4 mg/m3 to 0.1 mg/m3. The notice is published under authority of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, 85 of 1993, in Government Gazette 32930 of 5 February 2010. The notice includes a silica dust data collection guide and an exposure compliance tool.

Waste management strategy

The first draft of the National Waste Management Strategy, aiming to guide implementation of the recent Waste Management Act, is published for public comment. Contact the Department of Water and Environment, or the Chemicals and Allied Industries Association on caiainfo@iafrica.com

Green competition

Greening the Future competition entries are invited for the seventh year in 2010. The Mail and Guardian awards, honours and celebrates the achievements of companies and organisations contributing to a sustained and healthy planet.

The award inspires innovation and action to reduce impacts on water resources, biodiversity, and eco-efficiency. Categories include Water Care, Energy Efficiency, and Carbon Management.

The closing date for entries is 23 April. Visit http://labs.mg.co.za/greeningthe future/home.php

Green chemistry

A March 2010 symposium on green chemistry was organised by the Department of Science and Technology to promote twelve principles inherent in the Responsible Care ethic.

The principles include pollution prevention, atom economy, less hazardous chemical synthesis, safer chemicals, safer solvents, energy efficiency, renewable feedstocks and use of catalysis.

Visit http://www.greenchemistry.co.za as a resource on chemicals impacts reduction and cleaner production.

Environmental management sources

Environmental management by the ISO 14000 family of International standards; an updated ISO basic introduction brochure, 12 pages. First published in 1998, two years after the launching of the first standards in the ISO 14000 family. Worldwide impact and standards evolution is summarized. Visit http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1283

National Air Quality Office News; including 2009 Air Quality Governance Lekgotla, launch of the State of Air Report 2005, Ozone Layer Protection, Vaal Triangle Airshed Priority Area, Highveld Priority Area. Available via caiainfo@iafrica.com

Chemical Industry in India, by Mitsubishi Chemical Techno Research Corporation; US$ 4000

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