Health and safety law update mid-February 2015

This SA health and safety law update of mid-February 2015 includes DOL meeting dates, SANS standards for firehouse reels and concrete, and security shifts.

Thongathi Mall enquiry postpones contractor’s evidence
The three-day penultimate session of the Department of Labour’s Commission of Inquiry into the structural collapse of the Thongathi Mall, was west for February, but cancelled until further notice.

Department of Labour Deputy Director: Civil and Construction Sector, Phumi Maphaha who chairs the Inquiry, was admitted to hospital due to a severe tonsillitis inflammation.

Expected to take a stand was the mall’s contractor, and Chief Executive of Gralio Contractor Precast (Pty) Ltd, Jay Singh. The DOL commission is nearing conclusion.

Other parties that have appeared before the Inquiry include the foreman, engineers, supervisor, property developer, workers, eThekwini metro, safety consultant, sub-contractors and steel fixer.

DOL and CCMA labour law roadshow dates
The Department of Labour and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) will educate stakeholders on the implications of the new amended labour laws now in force.

The Labour Law Amendments roadshows are from 9am to 1pm on;
16 Feb; Cape Town Fountains Hotel 1 Saint George Mall
17 Feb; Protea Hotel Big Hole West Circular Road in Kimberley
18 Feb; President Hotel 1 Union Avenue, Bloemfontein
20 Feb; Sandton Convention Centre Maude Street, Johannesburg
23 Feb; ICC 45 Bram Fischer Road, Durban
25 Feb; Sun Meropa Casino, Plot 59 Roodepoort Road, Polokwane
26 Feb; Umbali Lodge, Cromdale, Nelspruit (Mbombela)
2 March; Kat Leisure Osner Hotel, Kennaway Esplanade, East London
_? March; Spondo Street, Struandale in Port Elizabeth
5 March; Safari Lodge Hotel, 1 Donkerhoek Road, Rustenburg
6 March; CSIR Conference Centre, Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria.

The roadshows are aimed at employer organisations, trade unions, academics, human resource practitioners and the public at large. The key labour laws that were recently reviewed, and were now in force include:

• Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act (no 20 of 2013) – which was assented and gazetted on 9th December 2013 and promulgated on 1st September 2014.
• Employment Equity Amendment Act (no 47 of 2013) assented and gazetted on 16th January 2014 and promulgated on 1st August 2014.
• Labour Relations Amendment Act (no 6 of 2014) assented and gazetted on 18th August 2014. Promulgation to follow.
• Employment Services Act (no 4 of 2014) assented and gazetted on 7th April 2014. Promulgation to follow.

The brief of the presentations during the national roadshows will focus on aspects such as broad changes on the protection of employees earning up to the BCEA threshold of R205 433,30; regulation of temporary employment which is now limited to a period not exceeding three months; unionisation in vulnerable sectors; improving the functioning of labour market institutions such as the CCMA, bargaining and statutory councils; addressing current problems in industrial disputes and dispute resolution; enforcement and enhancing compliance; disputes concerning discrimination and issues of pay for work of equal value.

The review of the labour laws was initiated four years ago. This was subsequently followed by an impact assessment study, said the DOL.

Key to the amendments was to respond to increased informalisation of labour to ensure that vulnerable categories of workers receive adequate protection and are employed in conditions of decent work;

• Enhance the effectiveness of the primary labour market institutions such as the Labour Court, the CCMA, the Essential Services Committee and the labour inspectorate;
• Strengthen the implementation of Employment Equity and enhance equal treatment in the workplace;
• Re-position the public employment service.

The Construction Regulations Amendment is promoted separately by built environment bodies, including SACPCMP, SAFCEC, Master Builders, Achasm, Saiosh, and IoSM.

Private security workers want shorter shifts
Public hearings to review wages and conditions of employment in the security industry got off to a hectic start with heated debates between employers and workers about what a sector could afford.

The meeting, the first in a series set to end on 6 March 2015, were held in Klerksdorp in the North West, and Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Workers say the new minimum wage should be R5000 per month in all areas, instead of the current level of R2800.

Employers say their clients could not afford the increase. “How can we be expected to afford such a steep rise in wages when the economy is doing so badly and set to rise by two percent. If you insist on this R5000, we will introduce technology to replace many of you”.

Kekulu Padi of the Department of Labour’s employment standards said; “the purpose of the hearings was to gather inputs on the review of wages and conditions of employment in the sector”.

About employment conditions, several workers said the hours of work should be reduced to eight hours a day, as opposed to the present twelve hours per day, to reduce fatigue and other occupational health impacts.

In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) Labour Minister should consult with stakeholders in the sector with the aim to source information in relation to the wage adjustment.

The current minimum wage agreement in the Private Security sector ends on 31 August 2015. The public hearings start at 10am, and will end on 6 March in Nelspruit (Mbombela), Mpumalanga, and in Bethlehem, Free State.

Other issues discussed during the national public hearings include special allowances, maternity leave, night shift, temporary employment services and overtime.

Health and safety SANS standards udpate
Several SA National Standards (SANS) drafts are out for public comment, including drinking water, fire protection systems, fire hose reels, vehicles, carts, earth rods, lifts, cables, concrete, cellphones, and other applications (dates in brackets after the document number is the date on which the draft was issued).

SANS 241-1 (2014-11-25) Drinking water Part 1: Microbiological, physical, aesthetic and chemical determinants. Specifies the quality of acceptable drinking water, defined in terms of microbiological, physical, aesthetic and chemical determinants.

SANS 241-2 (2014-11-25) Drinking water Part 2: Application of SANS 241-1

SANS 246 (2014-11-25) Code of practice for fire protection for electronic equipment installations

SANS 543 (SABS 543) (2014-11-20) Fire hose reels. Specifies requirements for the construction and performance of fire hose reel systems with semi-rigid hoses for installation in buildings and other construction works, permanently connected to a water supply.

SANS 961 (2014-11-04) Vehicle classifications

SANS 1025 (2014-11-20) Animal drawn carts. Requirements for the construction and performance of animal drawn vehicles.

SANS 1063 (SABS 1063) (2014-12-04) Earth rods, couplers and connections. Specifies requirements for metallic earth rods, couplers and connections intended to be driven direct into the ground or installed into predrilled holes as part of an earthing system. Covers copper rods, copper-electroplated steel rods, stainless steel rods, galvanized steel rods and fusion copper bonded steel rods. Mechanical and welded coupling and connection methods are covered in the standard.

SANS 1507-5 (SABS 1507-5) (2014-10-28) Traffic lights

SANS 1545-1 (SABS 1545-1) (2014-12-23) Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts Part 1: Electric lifts. Specifies safety rules for the construction and installation of escalators and passenger conveyors. Is a applicable to all new escalators and passenger conveyors (pallet or belt type). Does not apply to existing escalators and passenger conveyors.

SANS 1545-2 (SABS 1545-2) (2014-11-20) Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts Part 2: Hydraulic lifts

SANS 1545-6 (2014-12-11) Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts Part 6: Rack-and-pinion lifts. Specifies safety rules for the construction, installation and maintenance of rack-and-pinion lifts that serve defined landing levels, that have cars designed for the transportation of persons or persons and goods, and that move on guide rails. Does not cover electric lifts where the car is suspended by ropes or chains, hydraulic and screw types of lift, and safety during transport, repair and dismantling of lifts.

SANS 3001-GR56 (2014-10-28) Civil engineering test methods Part GR56: Determination of the wet-dry durability of compacted and cured specimens of cementitiously stabilized materials by mechanical brushing. Applies to cementitiously stabilized materials (crushed stone, gravel, sand and soil), and describes a method to determine the wet-dry durability of test specimens that have been compacted and cured.

SANS 10263-0 (2014-12-02) /SANS 10263-2 (2014-12-02) /SANS 10263-5 (2014-12-02) Warehousing of dangerous goods Part 0: General requirements /Warehousing of dangerous goods Part 2: The storage and handling of gas cylinders /Warehousing of dangerous goods Part 5: The storage and handling of oxidizing substances. Lays down design features and procedures to be followed to minimize risks to the safety of persons, property and the environment in cases where emergencies occur in warehouses used for the storage of dangerous goods. Applies to the warehousing of dangerous goods in excess of certain exempt quantities. Specifies requirements for safe handling and storage of industrial and medical gas cylinders for compressed, liquefied or dissolved gases that have a water capacity of 0,5 L to 150 L throughout the supply chain, to and from end users. It also includes undercover and open air conditions. Sites where gas cylinders are filled are specifically excluded. Lays down requirements for the safe storage and handling of oxidizing substances of Division 5.1 (SANS 10228) and their associated subsidiary risks, in locations that are generally industrial, commercial and retail, excluding laboratories. Does not apply to: the storage and handling of ammonium nitrate; the storage and handling of oxidizing substances for normal use on residential premises or for own consumption at farms; the storage of oxidizing substances in pack sizes of more than 50 kg; dangerous goods having a Division 5.1 subsidiary risk; and major hazard installations (MHI).

SANS 10400-Q (2014-10-21) Application of the National Building Regulations Part Q: Non-water-borne means of sanitary disposal

SANS 13162 (2014-10-23) /SANS 13166 (2014-10-28) /SANS 13167 (2014-10-23) /SANS 13169 (2014-10-23) /SANS 13170 (2014-10-28) /SANS 13171 (2014-10-28); Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made mineral wool (MW) products – Specifications /Thermal insulation for buildings – Factory made phenolic foam (PF) products – Specification /Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made cellular glass ( CG) products – Specification /Thermal insulation products for buildings-Factory made expanded perlite board (EPB) products-Specification /Thermal insulation products of expanded cork (ICB) – Specification /Thermal insulation products for buildings – Factory made wood fibre(WF) products – Specification

SANS 53411-1 (2014-12-11) Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 1: Thimbles for steel wire rope slings. Specifies the minimum requirements for non welded general purpose steel thimbles produced from plate having dimensions in accordance with Figure 1. The thimbles are intended to be used in slings made with six or eight strand steel wire ropes from 8 mm to 60 mm diameter complying width EN 12385-4. Reeving thimbles and solid thimbles are not covered by this standard.

SANS 53411-2 (2014-12-11) /SANS 53411-3 (2014-12-11) /SANS 53411-4 (2014-12-03) /SANS 53411-5 (2014-12-23) /SANS 53411-6 (2014-12-23); Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 2: Splicing of eyes for wire rope slings /Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 3: Ferrules and ferrule-securing / Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 4: Metal and resin socketing /Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 5: U-bolt wire rope grips /Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 6: Asymmetric wedge socket

SANS 53411-7 (2014-12-23) /SANS 53411-8 (2014-12-23) Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 7: Symmetric wedge socket /Terminations for steel wire ropes – Safety Part 8: Swage terminals and swaging

SANS 60065 (SABS IEC 60065) (2014-12-09) Audio, video and similar electronic apparatus – Safety requirements

SANS 60335-2-15 (SABS IEC 60335-2-15) (2014-10-27) /SANS 60335-2-35 (SABS IEC 60335-2-35) (2014-10-27) /SANS 60335-2-40 (SABS IEC 60335-2-40) (2014-10-27); Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-15: Particular requirements for appliances for heating liquids /Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-35: Particular requirements for instantaneous water heaters /Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-40: Particular requirements for electrical heat pumps, air-conditioners and dehumidifiers. Safety of electrical appliances for heating liquids for household and similar purposes, their rated voltage being not more than 250 V. /Safety of electric instantaneous water heaters for household and similar purposes and intended for heating water below boiling temperature, their rated voltage being not more than 250 V for single-phase appliances and 480 V for other appliances. /Safety of electric heat pumps, including sanitary hot water heat pumps, air-conditioners, and dehumidifiers incorporating motor-compressors and hydronic room fan coils, their maximum rated voltages being not more than 250 V for single phase appliances and 600 V for all other appliances.

SANS 60335-2-41 (SABS IEC 60335-2-41) (2014-10-27) Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-41: Particular requirements for pumps

SANS 60335-2-72 (SABS IEC 60335-2-72) (2014-10-27) Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-72: Particular requirements for automatic machines for floor treatment for commercial and industrial use

SANS 301908-1 (2014-11-06) /SANS 301908-2 (2014-11-06) /SANS 301908-4 (2014-11-06) /SANS 301908-5 (2014-11-06); Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Base Stations (BS), Repeaters and User Equipment (UE) for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks Part 1: Harmonized EN for IMT-2000, introduction and common requirements, covering essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive /Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Base Stations (BS), Repeaters and User Equipment (UE) for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks Part 2: Harmonized EN for IMT-2000, CDMA Direct Spread (UTRA FDD) (UE) covering essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive /Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Base Stations (BS), Repeaters and User Equipment (UE) for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks Part 4: Harmonized EN for IMT-2000, CDMA Multi-Carrier (cdma2000) (UE) covering essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive /Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Base Stations (BS), Repeaters and User Equipment (UE) for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks Part 5: Harmonized EN for IMT-2000, CDMA Multi-Carrier (cdma2000) (BS and Repeaters) covering essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive

SANS 301908-6 (2014-11-06) Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Base Stations (BS), Repeaters and User Equipment (UE) for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks Part 6: Harmonized EN for IMT-2000, CDMA TDD (UTRA TDD) (UE) covering essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive

• Sources; DOL. DPW. SABS.
• South African environment law updates are posted separately from health and safety law on Sheqafrica.com

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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.

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