SA health and safety legislation exam Q and A
Exam Q&A extracts are posted for comparison to local approaches and training material in African countries. The extract is not comprehensive and does not represent a full course, exam, or qualification. Approaches and legislative elements vary among African countries.
SA OHS legislation exam questions
At a small mining company in South Africa, which health and safety legislation apply?
If a worker cut his finger, and another worker sees the incident, must the witness report the incident to management?
If a worker uses new, specialised equipment or machinery, and is unsure of how to use the equipment, what obligation does his employer have? What obligation does the worker have?
Name legislation (Acts) containing sections on occupational health and safety?
Name the Regulations promulgated under the OHS Act?
If a worker does a risk assessment and feels that his workplace is unsafe, what must he do? Which Act and which section applies?
If a worker works in a place with a lot of dust in the air, without a dust mask or respirator, what must the employer do?
A procedural approach to legislation would;
A. Set a general standard to meet, disregarding compliance methods
B. Set requirements of procedural justice
C. Set rules of the Court
D. Set detailed rules prescribing how to reach standard performance.
SA OHS legislation exam answers
Several Acts of Parliament regulate rights and responsibilities of employers and employees regarding workplace health and safety, including;
• SA Constitution, Act 108 of 1996. This is the supreme law, and laws or conduct or contracts inconsistent with it, are invalid. Several sections in the Constitution promote principles of a safe and healthy work.
Section 12(2)(b) right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right to security in and control over a person’s own body. Section 24(a) right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being.
• Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 (OHS Act), applies to workplaces excepting mines or mining works as defined in the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, and except for vessels as defined in section 2(1), Merchant Shipping Act,1951.
OHS Act section 8 lists general duties of employers to workers;
• Provide a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of employees
• Provide safe working equipment
• Take steps to eliminate or mitigate hazards and potential hazards to the safety or health of employees, before resorting to personal protective equipment
• Conduct risk assessments on jobs, to implement precautionary measures
• Train and inform employees regarding safe working procedures
• Prevent employees from working unsafely or in an unsafe environment;
• Ensure that work is performed and that plant or machinery is used under supervision of a person trained to understand the hazards associated with it
• Inform employees on their scope of authority.
OHS Act section 14 lists general duties of employees at work;
• Take reasonable care of his/her personal health and safety and of other persons who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions
• Cooperate with the employer on health and safety issues
• Carry out any lawful order given to him/her, and obeying the health and safety rules and procedures laid down by the employer
• Report incidents, possible hazards and unsafe behaviour of fellow employees to management.
• Mine Health and Safety Act, 29 of 1996 (MHS Act)
The Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) applies to a mine, a mining area or works as set out in the act. The purpose of the MHSA is similar to that of the OHSA in that it governs the legal relationship between employers and employees in respect of health and safety.
• Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 130 of 1993 (COID Act)
• Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, 78 of 1973 (ODMW Act)
• Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997 (BCE Act). Sections include regulation of working time that promote good practices in the workplace regarding occupational health and safety.
Health and safety beyond legal compliance
The ability of an organisation to move beyond a legal compliance mindset is a test of its culture and commitment to safety. Legal compliance is achievement of minimum requirements set by legislation, policies and codes of practice.
Many compliant workplaces still harm workers’ health and safety. Organisations should strive for excellence in their work environment by sharing and implementing best practice, being practicable and effective, according to the ‘reasonable man’ principle.
Due to length, posts on exam questions and answers are divided into a series, based on different OHS exam theme sections, including;
• Risk management principles questions
• OHS legislative approaches questions
• OHS corporate culture questions
• OHS legal duties questions
• OHS related labour relations questions
• Occupational health and safety representative functions questions
• Occupational health and safety advisor functions questions
• OHS management systems questions
• Occupational safety and behavioural management questions
• Occupational health management questions
• Occupational hygiene management questions
• Workplace ergonomics management questions
• Equipment, hand tools, ladders, PPE
• Occupational environmental management questions
• OHS internal audit management questions
• OHS incident investigation questions
Sources of extracts in this series
SA Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA)
Solidarity Certificate in basic Occupational Health and Safety, 2009, for HS Representatives
SA Department of Labour Compliance conference March 2012
Master Builders SA
Board of Canadian Registered Safety Practitioners (BCRSP) textbooks
BCRSP sample HSE exam questions and answers
Advantage ACT Toolbox Talks
These extracts and the series do not reflect a comprehensive training course, qualification or exam. Approaches and legislative elements differ in various African countries.