Health and safety law update September 2014

This health and safety law update of September 2014 includes Compensation Fund fraud, legal notices, and state OHS Act compliance.

Two Compensation fraudsters rapped over knuckles
A former compensation employee received a suspended sentence and supervision for defrauding the Department of Labour’s Compensation Fund (CF) of R1.2m.

Khathutshelo Nethengwe of Olifantsfontein was sentenced in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on three counts, to 10 years imprisonment suspended for five years, on condition that he is not found guilty of fraud, theft or attempted theft within five years.

He had been out on a bail of R5000. In terms of Criminal Procedure Act he is also sentenced to three years correctional supervision.

He is under house arrest for three years on days when he is not working; shall perform 16 hours community service for every month of the sentence; and attend programmes such as financial management, psychology, and responsibility. The Court restricted his use of intoxicating substances.

His co-accused, Kenneth Martin Mahuluhulu of Thohoyandou, was handed a four year suspended sentence, subject to correctional supervision, in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Mahuluhulu is an information technology fundi and worked at Unisa while eluding justice, where he was arrested by the Hawks. Nethengwe subsequently handed himself over.

The accused committed compensation fraudulent between 2006 and 2009. They collaborated in siphoning public funds by submitting and processing false claims. The fund provides cushion to workers injured, or for diseases sustained at work.

Health and safety law notices
Comment now on Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Regulations. The draft is provided for by section 54 (1) read with section 54 (2) (b) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, to provide for conflict resolution among legislation, spatial plans frameworks and policies and different spheres of government in terms of land use and management. Water Affairs 566 And Rural Development and Land Reform 526 Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act.

Transport 531 Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill 2014. Draft Road Accident Benefit Scheme Regulations 2014: Extension of period for public comments.

OECD guides
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (www.oecd.org) published a number of guidelines relevant to occupational health management;

Guidance Document for Quantitative Method for Evaluating Antibacterial Activity of Porous and Non-Porous Antibacterial Treated Materials at http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2014)18&doclanguage=en

Guidance Document on an Integrated Approach on Testing and Assessment (IATA) for Skin Corrosion and Irritation at
http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2014)19&doclanguage=en

Myriophyllum Spicatum Toxicity Test: Results of an Inter-Laboratory Ring Test Using a Sediment-Free Test System – Ring Test Report at http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2014)21&doclanguage=en

New Scoping Document on in vitro and ex vivo Assays for the Identification of Modulators of Thyroid Hormone Signalling at
http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2014)23&doclanguage=en

State does not comply with OHS Act
About 80% of buildings owned or rented by the Post Office, do not comply with the OHS Act, said Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

The Department of Public Works is involved with many state buildings, and lease tenders.

On a parliamentary question about the Occupational Health and Safety Act, in a written reply, Cwele said 618 of 755 post office buildings “have been denied occupational health and safety certificates”, reported Moneyweb.

Key reasons for the state’s non-compliance included “structural deficiencies” in interior and exterior walls, roofs and ceilings, inadequate ventilation, lack of provision for emergency and escape routes, and inadequate “physical safety and security measures”.

There was also inadequate lighting, as well as insufficient fire extinguishing equipment. Cwele said 137 post office buildings (about 18%) complied with OHS Act provisions.

Steps to raise compliance included the appointment of occupational health and safety representatives, and a special unit to monitor “the progress of mitigating process for the risks identified”.

A budget of R42.7 million was available in the current financial year to carry out upgrades. Cwele said these should be completed in three years, “provided that necessary funding is available throughout the period”.

Hijacking hotline
The Road Freight Association (RFA) warns of a hijacking hotspot at Cato Ridge in KwaZulu Natal. At midday on 8 July, a truck and trailer was pulled over by a vehicle displaying blue lights, hijacked, and the tracking device was jammed.

The RFA has a Hijacking Whistle-blower Hotline on 011 966 0018. The information will be used to identify hijacking hotspots, to inform freighters and the police.

• Sources; DOL. CAIA. PMG. Moneyweb.
SA environmental law updates are posted separately 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.