Proposed Changes in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993

Proposed Changes in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993

Risk Assessments:

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 is a proactive attempt by South African government to prevent and avoid work related injuries and illness. It regulates and controls the health and safety in all organisations, from a normal office environment to a more hazardous environment like an industrial plant and/or construction sites.

The proposed changes to risk assessments under the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill, 2020 addresses the following:

A new and refreshed section 8(2)(a)-(d) to the OHS bill has been added, where “Risk Assessment” is also now specifically defined under section 1, and all the aspects that must be considered in the process have been listed.

These aspects include:

  • complete hazard identification;
  • identification of everyone affected;
  • how the person is affected;
  • analysis and evaluation of risks;
  • prioritisation of risk.

In addition to the requirement of conducting a risk assessment, the new section 8(2)(a) requires the development and implementation of a “risk management plan” for every identified risk. The concept of a “risk management plan” is new in our legislation. Section 8(2)(b) further requires that the risk assessment must be conducted by a competent person.

Section 8(2)(c) refers to the risk management plan in 2(a) but includes the wording “workplace specific”. This implies that generic plans will not suffice under this requirement.

Lastly, section 8(2)(d) stipulates that no work may be undertaken unless the control measures contained in the risk management plan are complied with.

The new stringent requirements are a major departure from the current Act. Schedule 1 imposes a fine of up to R5 million for contraventions to section 8.

ATVANCE EMPOWERED RISK MANAGEMENT can assist with training your organisations staff in being competent in conducting these risk assessments effectively.

We can conduct comprehensive risk assessments with you and your team to ensure compliance to the proposed changes in the Act.

Contact our expert Espee Hattingh for more information today!