The first piece of legislation relating to health and safety in the workplace is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHSA) with its subordinate regulations and codes of practice. Other associated occupational health and safety legislation in South Africa include the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act no. 29 of 1996), the South African Maritime Safety Authority Act, 1998 (Act no 5 of 1998), the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002 (Act no. 16 of 2001), the Civil Aviation Act, 2009 (Act 13 of 2009) and the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations, 1996 (Act no. 93 of 1996).
The OHSA provides for the protection of the health and safety of employees and other persons at companies, industry and institutions and requires risk assessment, exposure measurement and risk control. The Department of Employment and Labour enforces the OHSA and its regulations.
The main aim of the OHSA is to ensure the health and safety of employees at work and to protect people other than employees (e.g. visitors, contractors) at a workplace from hazards arising out of or in connection with the activities at the workplace.
It regulates and controls health and safety in most workplaces (with the notable exclusion of mines and quarries which are governed by the Mine Health and Safety Act), from an office environment, schools and universities, to the more traditionally hazardous environments such as factories and construction sites.
Dr Williams will assist the organisation with: