Health and safety law update, March 2014

SA health and safety law update for March 2014; new SANS standards, Lesotho inspections, Compensation Fund IT capacity, and African chemicals emergency plans.

SA labour inspections and compensation in Lesotho

Lesotho labour inspections and compensation for injured workers in all sectors, including mining, is now rendered by the South African Department of Labour.

South Africa will “process claims with the Compensation Commission, and consider to possibly establish an Unemployment Insurance Fund for Lesotho citizens.

Also in inspection and enforcement, SA and Lesotho officials will “share its operational approach, indicating specific tools for compliance… and actively engage each other to develop a common inspection approach,” said South African Department of Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant as she signed a memorandum with Kingdom of Lesotho labour officials in December.

The mutual service plan covers areas such as inspection, enforcement, labour market information systems, occupational health and safety, social dialogue, dispute resolution, and public employment services. Use of the employment services is compulsory to South African employers.
SA had an initial labour agreement with Lesotho for seven years, that is now upgraded to “common policy positions” and multilateral forums in support of what SA calls “promotion of the African agenda on a bilateral level”.

SA Compensation Fund absorbs IT company

The Compensation Fund is “under new management” after appointing 400 former contractors to the Department of Labour team. It is now trying to process massive backlogs, although there are still problems with IT.

The managers are identifying what legislation has to be amended, plus simplifying and tightening up on dispute resolution processes, lodging and processing of claims, and access to medical treatment for claimants.

Some of the staff of the former contractor was retrenched. Meanwhile the Department of Labour is using UIF funds in a deal with the Media, Information, Communication and Telecoms (MICT) Seta to train 2000 black first-time job seekers in telephone marketing of state revenue functions.

New SANS standards relevant to health and safety

Site risk standard; SATR 62713: 2013 / IEC/TR 62713: 2013 Safety procedures for reduction of risk outside a structure.

Construction management standard; SANS 1393: 2013 Construction management systems; Requirements

Electrical standard; SANS 1489-4: 2013 Electrical connectors in group I and group II hazardous areas – Part 4: Medium voltage couplers and adaptors for group I hazardous areas

Electrical motors standard; SATS 60034-20-1: 2013 / IEC/TS 60034-20-1: 2002 Rotating electrical machines, Part 20-1: Control motors, Stepping motors.

Noise standards revised; SANS 10083: 2013, Edition 5.2 Measurement and assessment of occupational noise for hearing conservation purposes. Consolidated edition incorporating amendment 2. Amended to change requirements for baseline audiometry, and to change the title and text of the table on frequency of contribution to the PHL (table 1).

SANS 11201: 2013 Acoustics, Noise emitted by machinery and equipment – Determination of emission sound pressure levels at a work station and at other specified positions in an essentially free field over a reflecting plane with negligible environmental corrections.

Explosives atmospheric standard revised; SANS 60079-33: 2013 /IEC 60079- 33: 2012 Explosive atmospheres Part 33: Equipment protection by special protection ‘s’. Gives the specific methodology for the assessment and testing, and requirements for marking of electrical equipment, parts of electrical equipment and components with special protection, ‘s’.

Dangerous goods standards revised; SANS 1157: 2013 Edition 1.1 Transport of dangerous goods – Inspection requirements of road vehicles for the issue of municipal dangerous goods transport permits. Consolidated edition incorporating amendment 2

SANS 10087-1: 2013 Handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of liquefied petroleum gas in domestic, commercial, and industrial installations – Part 1: Liquefied petroleum gas installations involving gas storage container of individual water capacity not exceeding 500 L and a combined water capacity not exceeding 3000 L per installation.

SANS 10405 ED2: 2013 Transport of dangerous goods – Reprocessing of previously certified packaging

SANS 10405 ED2: 2013 Transport of dangerous goods by rail – Operational and design requirements and emergency preparedness.

African states must plan for chemicals emergencies

African countries must prepare for and respond to chemicals emergencies under the legally binding World Health Organisation (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR).

Members of the African Core Group and affiliated parties of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) met in Pretoria from 18 – 22 November 2013. The meeting was attended by 94 participants which included 36 Governments, 6 Inter Governmental Organisations (IGOs), 1 regional centre, 15 NGOs and 13 representatives of the academic community.

The forum aims at the 2020 goal of sound chemical management, calling on African governments to support development of effective national chemicals management systems.

The Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) hosted its first training session on the IOMC toolbox. The German government sponsored a new session on environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants (EPPPs).

Five resolutions were adopted on strengthening SAICM as a Chemicals Management Mechanism, financing the strategic approach, Highly hazardous pesticides, Lead in Paint, and Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Request a copy of the Draft Resolutions via caiainfo@caia.co.za

African chemicals safety resolutions

Resolutions of an African chemicals transportation safety workshop by ICCA and UNEP in Kenya in November 2013 are posted at http://www.icca-chem.org/en/Home/Newsroom/In-Focus/IN-FOCUS-ICCA-Working-with-UNEP-to-Enhance-Safe-Transportation-of-Chemicals-in-Africa/

New Responsible Care Process Safety Management Practice Standard

The Responsible Care Standing Committee decided to allow signatories more time to implement the new Process Safety Management Practice Standard before the auditing of the standard becomes a mandatory Responsible Care requirement, and subsequently revised the time lines for its implementation;
• Implementation, self-assessment and second party audits must be carried out from 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2014
• Two self-assessments must be submitted to CAIA by 30 April 2014, and by 31 October 2014
• Mandatory third party auditing of the Responsible Care Management Practice Standard will start in January 2015.

Some vet medicine banned

Fertilizers, Farms Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act; Notice of the prohibition of import, export, possession, acquisition, sale, use and disposal of [certain] agricultural remedies.

• See earlier health and safety law updates on Sheqafrica.com. Environment law updates appear in a separate series of posts 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.

2 thoughts on “Health and safety law update, March 2014

  1. I am interested in OHS Consulting, can you please advice on what route can I take,I am working as a OHS Officer for Gauteng Treasury and have a strong passion in health and safety issues.

    Editor comments; You have a long road ahead. Gain experience in a high risk industry, and training courses in management in that industry, as well as either safety, health, enviro or quality management, preferably from a training provider with consulting experience in that sector. You may have an aptitude for either systems implementation, or training, or coaching, or audit, either of which requries yet another skills development and experience path. Then consider consulting in that industry and in that function. All your potential clients already have safety officers.

  2. Morakane – passion is not enough. You must have contacts. You must be able to deal wif finance and the marketing. You must be self-motivated, because there is no boss to keep a check on you -just maybe the banks manager. But if you have contacts and you can win the tenders, you will be well on your way to making the big bucks.

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