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KZN Braces For Agriculture, Forestry Workplace Scrutiny

by lloyd last modified 2008-09-30 14:35

The national inspection drive by the Labour Department will shift to the agriculture and forestry sectors next week as labour inspectors in KwaZulu-Natal gear up for a major crackdown on all employers of the sector as from Monday (Feb, 25).

Released by The Department of Labour on 22 February 2008

The national inspection drive by the Labour Department will shift to the agriculture and forestry sectors next week as labour inspectors in KwaZulu-Natal gear up for a major crackdown on all employers of the sector as from Monday (Feb, 25).This initiative is part of the ongoing inspection program on Occupational Health and Safety compliance that seeks to highlight and target high risk sectors on a regular basis country-wide. The campaign began in August, 2007 focussing on Construction and later, the Iron and Steel industry.

 

For the last two years, Kwazulu Natal has recorded 17 fatal accidents and 146 injuries in the agriculture and forestry sectors. The implementation of  health and safety standards on farms will be closely scrutinized given the types of risks that employees are exposed to when it comes to the use machinery, herbicides and pesticides as well as falling trees during felling operations.Inspectors will zoom into compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, Act 85 of 1993 when it comes to the appointment of health and safety reps/committees, keeping of documents, dealing with hazardous materials, personal protective equipment, tools, machinery and equipment, first aid, lighting, ventilation, fire protection, evacuation procedures and hygiene.

 

If an employer is found not to be complying with any aspect of the act, a contravention notice may be issued which allows an employer 60 days to rectify the situation. However, should an inspector identify a situation that poses immediate danger to health and safety of the employees, a prohibition notice may be issued that will stop that activity from continuing until such immediate danger is eliminated.

 

Kwazulu Natal has 82 285 paid employees in large scale formal agriculture with 58 923 full-time workers (Statistics SA Survey on Large Scale Agriculture 2006 -Preliminary Report).

 





 

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