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Labour Inspectors to raid steel, farming employers again

by lloyd last modified 2009-07-30 12:52

30 July 2009

Department of Labour inspectors will hit the road again in the second week of August to pursue employers who were served with contravention notices in the agriculture and iron and steel industries a few weeks ago.

Chief Inspector Thobile Lamati said the focus would be on ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations though other areas of non-compliance with other labour laws will be check as well.

“It is the Minister’s position that workers are sacrosanct and that employers should not sacrifice workers’ lives for profit,” Lamati said.

The initial inspection identified the two sectors as being among the culprits in terms of risk. This latest round of inspections came hot on the heels of countrywide visits to employers in the construction sector. The latter revealed, among others, that there was a high degree of non- compliance among employers.  The situation is worrying especially regarding small employers and sub-contractors.

The construction sector remains one of South Africa’s most dangerous workplaces, with the highest number of occupational fatalities and injuries, but a series of Labour Department’s nationwide blitz inspections a fortnight ago suggest the trend is still far from improving – with disregard of occupational health and safety standards being a glaring factor.

Lamati said a highly-trained team of inspectors would comb the country from August 11-12.

He said the department would stop at nothing to ensure “safe and healthy workplaces in South Africa.”

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