Most Read Contributor in South Africa, September 2016
On Thursday, 07 May 2014, pre-eminent specialist attorneys from
ENSafrica conducted their annual seminar at Emperors Palace in
Johannesburg (in conjunction with LexisNexis) to discuss legal
principles and developments in occupational health and safety law.
The attorneys and speakers at the seminar were Willem Le
Roux and Pieter Colyn (directors and
joint heads of the Mine and Occupational Health and Safety
Department at ENSafrica) and Celeste Coles and
Warren Hendricks, both directors in the
aforementioned department. A number of topics were discussed, with
the speakers and delegates interacting and considering certain
Willem le Roux provided an explanation of the
scope of application of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No.
85 of 1993 ("the OHASA") and the Mine
Health and Safety Act, No. 29 of 1996 ("the
MHSA")), as well as the National Railway Safety Regulator
Act that applies to railways. Willem explained that this Act may
apply in addition to either the OHASA or the MHSA and does not
substitute such legislation. Willem also
highlighted a number of proposed amendments to the Compensation for
Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No. 130 of 1993 and the
effect that such proposed amendments (if promulgated) would have on
all industries, if implemented.
Pieter Colyn provided a comprehensive
presentation in respect of the safety criterion prescribed in terms
of the OHASA, and the steps to be taken to facilitate compliance
with the obligation to ensure a workplace is safe as far as
Pieter also discussed the elements which must be
proven in respect of the criminal transgression of culpable
homicide with particular focus on the concept of the
"reasonable person". Pieter
emphasised the importance of the preparation of appropriate
mandatary agreements in terms of section 37 of the OHASA, to limit
the legal exposure of an "employer" to potential
criminal liability for the criminal conduct of an employee, agent,
contractor or sub-contractor. Celeste Coles
discussed the importance of legal appointments in terms of the
OHASA and debated, amongst others, practical considerations
of appointment structures.
The remaining topics covered during the seminar, delved into the
obligations as envisaged in the Construction Regulations, 2014
("the Construction Regulations"), which
regulations are binding in terms of the OHASA.
Celeste emphasised that the Regulations apply only
to "construction work". For that reason it is
important to analyse and understand the very extensive definition
of "construction work".Warren
Hendricks discussed the primary and additional obligations
imposed on the client, principal contractor and the contractor in
terms of the Construction Regulations, and the health and safety
management system that should be put in place to ensure compliance
with such obligations.
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