Health and safety law update January 2017

An update of health and safety law, January 2017.
An update of health and safety law, January 2017.

This health and safety law update of January 2017 includes Labour prosecution outcomes; the anti-bribery standard; Chinese medicine; and the UIF Act.

DOL reports prosecution outcomes

The Department of Labour started a Prosecution Register in November. Chief Inspector Tibor Szana said other counties such as the UK have been doing it for many years.

The South African Labour Prosecution Register will indicate the date the case was finalised; whether it involved a fatality or not; the employer; Acts and Regulations contravened; outcome of the case (guilty or not); inspector’s name; and province. It does not stipulate sentences or fines.

The first three cases listed were:

  • Feb 16 Joda Sawmill, Carolina. No fatality. Ex‐Inspection Prosecution Middelburg Court, NIHLR 6(1)(a);7(1)(c);DMR 18(5);18(7);18(11). Employer pleaded guilty.
  • Mar 16 DCM Line Boring , Middelburg. No fatality. Ex‐Inspection Prosecution Middelburg Court. OHS Act 38(1)(e,f,g,h). Employer pleaded guilty.
  • Oct 15 T Pretorius. No fatality. Ex‐Inspection Prosecution Benoni Magistrate’s Court. OHS Act Section 38 & EMR 12(5)(b). Employer pleaded guilty.

Visit the prosecution register HERE or at http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/downloads/documents/useful-documents/occupational-health-and-safety/prosecutionregister_2016.pdf

In a recent court case, the DOL was forced to provide certain investigation information to interested parties, such as the bereaved after workplace deaths or injuries (see a separate report on the Paarl Print fire investigation, on Sheqafrica.com).

Anti-bribery standard

The new ISO 37001: 2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standard was developed using the high-level ISO structure. ISO 37001 addresses bribery by the organisation, and bribery of the organisation, including personnel and associates.

The legal definition of bribery differs from country to country. ISO 37001 does not define bribery, but offers a framework to detect, prevent and manage bribery as part of its management system.

Organisations may be certified to the standard anywhere in the world. The standard was developed with input from 37 participating and 23 observer countries.

SABS supports traditional Chinese medicine

An estimated 70% of people in Africa use traditional medicine for primary healthcare, said the World Health Organisation (WHO). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is gaining market share in Africa.

Amanda Gcabashe, the South African Bureau of Standards’ (SABS) specialist in traditional medicine, said South Africa has had TCM clinics for 30 years.

In 2000, SA recognised the legality of TCM, including acupuncture. TCM doctors are regulated by the Allied Health Practitioners Council, reporting to the Department of Health.

TCM medicines are regulated under the Complementary Medicines Regulations of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) Act.

There is an influx of these products, some of questionable quality, said Gcabashe. SABS is part of the ISO technical committee ISO TC 249 standardising Traditional Chinese Medicine, including the raw material stage, and the manufacturing stage.

SABS is optimistic about the future prospects of traditional medicine, reported CRIEnglish.com.

UI Act Amendment changes unemployment insurance

The Unemployment Insurance Act Amendment has been through the parliamentary processes and was signed into law by the president in January 2017.

The amendment broadens measures to addresses the plight of those that lose employment, and those that get retrenched.

The Labour minister will release measures that her department will take to implement the amendments.

See earlier reports on chronic management problems at the UIF, and at the Compensation Fund (CF), and at other Labour Department entities, on Sheqafrica.com.

  • Sources; DOL. DOH. PMG. Sheqafrica.com. CRIEnglish.com.
  • This post refers to some relevant legislation. It does not constitute any law, or official notice, or legal register, or legal advice.
  • South African environment law updates are posted in a separate series 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.