Employees health and well-being must be your top priority for 2020
Occupational Health and Safety
On-site safety should be every employer’s top priority. According to Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is every employer’s responsibility to provide and maintain a work environment that is safe for its employees and does not hold any risk to the health of its employees. Furthermore, Section 13 places a duty on the employer to inform the employee of all hazards relating to an employee’s health and safety that is attached to any work which the employee is required to do.
Furthermore, an employer will be required to submit an incident report in terms of Section 24 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act if any employee dies, becomes unconscious, suffers the loss of a limb or part of a limb, or is otherwise injured or becomes ill to such a degree that he/she is likely either to die or to suffer a permanent physical defect or likely to be unable, for a period of at least 14 days, either to work or to continue with the activity for which he/she was employed or is usually employed.
In light of the aforementioned, an employer must act proactively rather than reactive when an employee's safety is considered. Preventing injuries must be a top priority and a holistic approach should be taken to the wellbeing of employees. This multi-faceted approach must include social, emotional, financial and environmental dimensions of health.
It is recommended that an employer document and implement an Incident Management Plan that has been communicated to employees. Regular training on safety issues and the implementation of this plan is imperative in demonstrating a strong commitment to your employee’s wellbeing.
When appointing safety specialists or safety consultants, ensure that they have your employees’ best interest at heart and that they are interested in upskilling your on-site employees regarding safety.