Though Occupational Health and Safety Training for staff can seem like nothing more than an additional expense, the Department of Labour stipulates that every company with more than 20 employees must appoint health and safety representatives and that these representatives be properly trained.
Occupational Health and Safety Training
Not only does Occupational Health and Safety Training enable workers and employers to identify risks and save lives, for many companies in South Africa, OHS training is mandatory, and fines for non-compliance can be significantly higher than the cost of training staff. Section 8 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act clearly stipulates that the employer is obligated to provide and maintain a workplace that is safe and without risk to the health of their employees, and ensuring that employees are properly trained is essential for creating a safe workplace and learning how to manage any accidents or injuries that occur. Besides the fact that failure to appoint a Health and Safety Rep is a direct contravention of regulations and is punishable by up to a year in prison, or up to R50 000 in fines, or both, ensuring that employees and representatives are properly trained will also give employers and employees peace of mind, and ensure less work-related injuries or accidents occur. This will save employers overall costs associated with cost of injury, IOD claims, illness, death, damage to equipment, loss of income, higher insurance premiums, staff turnover, and also delayed deliveries of products and service.