Construction regulations change regarding safety on site

August 19th, 2014, Published in Articles: PositionIT

 

ssa-055-09-2014In accordance with the latest construction regulations all site personnel have to undergo medicals before assuming duty and being allowed to work on site. Mark Traut, Senior Safety Consultant at Safety Solutions Africa, reports that this is having a serious impact on the levels of local community employment in the Western Cape Region. He states that in the area in which he operates more than 50% of the local labour tested positive for drugs (heroin, tik and dagga).

Government through its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) requires organisations to employ local labour as part of its job creation programme. The problem, says Traut, is the law states that you may dismiss someone for using alcohol or drugs but telling him he may not work could cause a riot amongst the workers leading to further health and safety issues. This leaves the employer in a difficult position because allowing the employee to operate heavy equipment e.g., jack hammer could lead to serious injury and even death.

General safety Regulation 2 – Intoxication states:

2A.(1) Subject to the provisions of sub regulation (3), an employer or a user, as the case may be, shall not permit any person who is or who appears to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, to enter or remain at a workplace.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub regulation (3), no person at a workplace shall be under the influence of or have in his or her possession or partake of or offer any other person intoxicating liquor or drugs.
(3) An employer or a user, as the case may be, shall, in the case where a person is taking medicines, only allow such person to perform duties at the workplace if the side effects of such medicine do not constitute a threat to the health or safety of the person concerned or other persons at such workplace.

To overcome the above concerns Safety Solutions Africa works closely with clients and medical staff carrying out testing, and together with local community leaders finds an amicable solution to pave the way forward for these workers who so desperately require employment.

Contact John Killian, Safety Solutions Africa, johnk@safetysolutionsafrica.co.za

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