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Module 02: Safety Systems

ryanrori November 1, 2020

1 Safety Systems

1.1  Terms & Definitions

“Approved inspection authority” – means an inspection authority approved by the chief inspector: Provided that an inspection authority approved by the chief inspector with respect to any particular service shall be an approved inspection authority with respect to that service only

“Building” includes-

(a) any structure attached to the soil;

(b) any building or such structure or part thereof which is in the process of being erected; or

(c) any prefabricated building or structure not attached to the soil

“Chief executive officer”, in relation to a body corporate or an enterprise conducted by the State, means the person who is responsible for the overall management and control of the business of such body corporate or enterprise

“Chief inspector” means the officer designated under section 27 as chief inspector, and includes any officer acting as chief inspector


“Council” means the Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety established by section 2

“Danger” means anything which may cause injury or damage to persons or property

“Department” means the Department of Manpower


“Employee” means, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), any person who is employed by or works for an employer and who receives or is entitled to receive any remuneration or who works under the direction or supervision of an employer or any other person

“Employer” means, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), any person who employs or provides work for any person and remunerates that person or expressly or tacitly undertakes to remunerate him, but excludes a labour broker as defined in section 1(1) of the Labour Relations Act, 1956 (Act No. 28 of 1956)

“Employers’ organisation” means an employers’ organisation as defined in section 1 of the Labour Relations Act, 1956 (Act No 28 of 1956); (inserted by Act No. 181 of 1993)


“Employment” or “employed” means employment or employed as an employee

“Hazard” means a source of or exposure to danger


“Health and safety committee” means a committee established under section 19

“Health and safety equipment” means any article or part thereof which is manufactured, provided or installed in the interest of the health or safety of any person

“Health and safety representative” means a person designated in terms of section 17(1)

“Health and safety standard” means any standard, irrespective of whether or not it has the force of law, which, if applied for the purposes of this Act, will in the opinion of the Minister promote the attainment of an object of this Act

“Healthy” means free from illness or injury attributable to occupational causes


“Incident” means an incident as contemplated in section 24(1);

“Industrial court” means the industrial court referred to in section 17 of the Labour Relations Act, 1956 (Act No. 28 of 1956)


“Inspection authority” means any person who with the aid of specialized knowledge or equipment or after such investigations, tests, sampling or analyses as he may consider necessary, and whether for reward or otherwise, renders a service by making special findings, purporting to be objective findings, as to-

(a) the health of any person;

(b) the safety or risk to health of any work, article, substance, plant or machinery, or of any condition prevalent on or in any premises; or

(c) the question of whether any particular standard has been or is being complied with, with respect to any work, article, substance, plant or machinery, or with respect to work or a condition prevalent on or in any premises, or with respect to any other matter, and by issuing a certificate, stating such findings, to the person to whom the service is rendered

“Inspector” means a person designated under section 28

“Listed work” means any work declared to be listed work under section 11


“Local authority” means-

(a) any institution or body contemplated in section 84(1)(f) of the Provincial Government Act, 1961 (Act No. 32 of 1961);

(b) any regional services council established under section 3 of the Regional Services Councils Act, 1985 (Act No. 109 of 1985);

(c) any other institution or body or the holder of any office declared by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be a local authority for the purposes of this Act

“Machinery” means any article or combination of articles assembled, arranged or connected and which is used or intended to be used for converting any form of energy to performing work, or which is used or intended to be used, whether incidental thereto or not, for developing, receiving, storing, containing, confining, transforming, transmitting, transferring or controlling any form of energy

“Major hazard installation” means an installation-

(a) where more than the prescribed quantity of any substance is or may be kept, whether permanently or temporarily; or

(b) where any substance is produced, processed, used, handled or stored in such a form and quantity that it has the potential to cause a major incident; (xxvi)

“Major incident” means an occurrence of catastrophic proportions, resulting from the use of plant or machinery, or from activities at a workplace


“Mandatary” includes an agent, a contractor or a subcontractor for work, but without derogating from his status in his own right as an employer or a user


“Medical surveillance” means a planned programme of periodic examination (which may include clinical examinations, biological monitoring or medical tests) of employees by an occupational health practitioner or, in prescribed cases, by an occupational medicine practitioner

“Minister” means the Minister of Manpower


“Occupational health” includes occupational hygiene, occupational medicine and biological monitoring

“Occupational health practitioner” means an occupational medicine practitioner or a person who holds a qualification in occupational health recognized as such by the South African Medical and Dental Council as referred to in the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974), or the South African Nursing Council as referred to in the Nursing Act, 1978 (Act No. 50 of 1978)

“Occupational hygiene” means the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of conditions arising in or from the workplace, which may cause illness or adverse health effects to persons; (x)

“Occupational medicine” means the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness, injury and adverse health effects associated with a particular type of work; (vi)

“Occupational medicine practitioner” means a medical practitioner as defined in the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974), who holds a qualification in occupational medicine or an equivalent qualification which qualification or equivalent is recognized as such by the South African Medical and Dental Council referred to in the said Act

“Officer” means an officer or employee as defined in section1(1) of the Public Service Act, 1984 (Act No. 111 of 1984)

“Plant” includes fixtures, fittings, implements, equipment, tools and appliances, and anything which is used for any purpose in connection with such plant

“Premises” includes any building, vehicle, vessel, train or aircraft


“Prescribed” means prescribed by regulation

“Properly used” means used with reasonable care, and with due regard to any information, instruction or advice supplied by the designer, manufacturer, importer, seller or supplier



“Reasonably practicable” means practicable having regard to-

(a) the severity and scope of the hazard or risk concerned;

(b) the state of knowledge reasonably available concerning that hazard or risk and of any means of removing or mitigating that hazard or risk;

(c) the availability and suitability of means to remove or mitigate that hazard or risk; and

(d) the cost of removing or mitigating that hazard or risk in relation to the benefits deriving therefrom

“Regulation” means a regulation made under section 43


“Remuneration” means any payment in money or in kind or both in money and in kind, made or owing to any person in pursuance of such person’s employment

“Risk” means the probability that injury or damage will occur


“Safe” means free from any hazard

“Standard” means any provision occurring-

(a) in a specification, compulsory specification, code of practice or standard method as defined in section 1 of the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993); or

(b) in any specification, code or any other directive having standardization as its aim and issued by an institution or organization inside or outside the Republic which, whether generally or with respect to any particular article or matter and whether internationally or in any particular country or territory, seeks to promote standardization


“Substance” includes any solid, liquid, vapour, gas or aerosol, or combination thereof

“this Act” includes any regulation


“User”, in relation to plant or machinery, means the person who uses plant or machinery for his own benefit or who has the right of control over the use of plant or machinery, but does not include a lessor of, or any person employed in connection with, that plant or machinery

“Work” means work as an employee or as a self-employed person, and for such purpose an employee is deemed to be at work during the time that he is in the course of his employment, and a self-employed person is deemed to be at work during such time as he devotes to work as a self-employed person;


“Workplace” means any premises or place where a person performs work in the course of his employment.


 1.2  Characteristics Of A System

Figure 15: The 3 components of an integrated system


1.2.1  The characteristics of a system are listed and described

  • Orderly
  • Logical / understandable
  • User friendly / efficient
  • Manageable
  • Dynamic (live)
  • Interactive
  • Goal orientated
  • Auditable / measurable
  • Corrective
  • Value adding
  • Supportive

1.2.3  Purpose of the System

  • Group all SHE elements and components together in order to manage the SHE functions
  • Control activities
  • Enforce rules, policies, procedures & regulations
  • Educate & inform
  • Measure goals and objectives
  • Keep record
  • Communicate progress
  • Analyse & correct / improve
  • Reduce risk
  • Fulfils legal requirement


1.2.4  The main components (elements) of a safety system

The SHE system in a company is defined using the correct terminology and the components of the system are identified and described

  • Company organization / status
  • Legal Register
  • HIRA
  • Appointments
  • Training
  • Communication
  • Health & Hygiene Program
  • Incident Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Audits & Inspections
  • Documentation & Record Keeping

Figure 16: The SHE System Elements

The interrelation of the various elements of the SHE system is described

The above components grouped together make up the system.  The elements cannot be absorbed into other functions or departments, although elements are periodically used alone in reports, presentations, etc. in order to impart specific messages, highlights, problem areas, statistics, concerns or progress.

All of the elements together measure progress and compliance.  This is usually in the form of audits and inspections.  Summaries and reports are derived from the measurement of the system.  Goals and objectives are determined, formalized or adjusted from the findings of inspections and audits.  Without all of the elements, goals and objectives cannot be formalized and met.

Components often support each other, can be measured together or will not make logical sense without each other.  The system itself is a manual (hard copy) filing system, divided into elements and sub-elements, supported electronically by way of an Integrated Management System or where it may be impractical to store certain files in the system or in hard copy format.  The integrated system is a comprehensive.


1.2.5  How the SHE System fits into the rest of the company

  • Part of a larger management structure / system, and could be collectively grouped together in an Integrated Management System.
  • Financial
  • Nurseries / Tree improvement
  • Silviculture
  • Harvesting
  • Logistics
  • Buying
  • Land
  • Wellness
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Health & Safety
  • Has its own reporting structure
  • Has its own budget / cost function
  • Influences / Impacts on all other departments & functions

Figure 17: Example of a company organogram with SHE functions


1.2.6  Role players

External and internal role players in the SHE system are listed and the interaction between each is defined

  • CEO (S.16.1) – responsible for everything in the company
  • Delegated managers, foresters, etc. (S.16.2 & GMR.2) – held accountable by management.
  • Production orientated
  • Often neglect the SHE components of management
  • SHE Officer supports them in understanding the company & legal requirements
  • Health & Safety Manager (sometimes 2 functions Health / Safety)
  • Appointed by Management to oversee the SHE program.
  • Only found in large companies or corporate organizations.
  • High level function which interfaces with all other heads of departments, contractors, service providers, etc.
  • Writes and reviews policies and procedures
  • Compiles detailed statistical reports.
  • Reports to the Board of Directors on targets and objectives (progress reports).
  • Delegates active monitoring and control of activities to SHE Officers.
  • May be actively involved in investigations, or reviews investigations performed by SHE Officers or others.
  • Advises on corrective and preventative action requirements derived from incident findings, audits and inspections.
  • Formulates emergency policies and procedures.
  • Health & Safety Practitioners / SHE Officers (sometimes 2 functions)
  • In smaller companies, much of the duties of the SHE manager are performed by the SHE Officer or undertaken jointly with a senior manager, in the absence of such a H&S Manager, depending on the company requirement.
  • In large organizations, the SHE Officer / H&S Practitioner would report directly to the SHE Manager / H&S Manager.
  • In this role the SHE Officer is responsible for gathering, recording and storing information.
  • Storing information is the update of the system, electronically and manually (hard copy).
  • Supervisors (S.8) – responsible for the work being carried out safely and productively.
  • Mandatories / Contractors
  • Emergency Co-ordinator
  • Incident Investigator
  • SHE Reps / H&S Reps
  • GMR-2; similar to S.16.2 appointee; someone who is an engineer or advanced technician (motor mechanic, electrician, etc).

A range of sources of safety information in the company are identified

Safety information, (which also includes health and environmental) comes from various sources which can be summarized as follows:

  • The Legislation (OHSA No.85 of 1993; NRTA, NEMA, NWA, COIDA, BCEA, LRA, etc.). This information is critical, is enforced by Inspectors, and amendments are promulgated in parliament and updated in the Gazette.  The OHSA has more to say than any other Act.
  • Company documentation: policies, procedures, directives, instructions, BOP’s, etc. The rules which are made by the company and enforced by management, such as these available on the internet.
  • Public domain magazines, publications, written articles.
  • Institute publications, articles e.g. SAIOSH
  • Verbal and visual presentations and workshops as presented by subject matter experts.
  • Universities and Colleges that offer courses – study material (NOSA, NEBOSH, Unisa Diploma in Safety Management, CEM NWU). This is the most available source of information, however can usually only be obtained by distance study, attending classes and lectures, or purchasing the material.
  • Audits and inspections – strengths and weaknesses, remedial actions, corrective measures, goals and objectives, ratings and scores, levels of compliance, etc.
  • Company annual reports – stats,
  • Information supplied by people on the ground, supervisors and SHE Reps –
  • To management i.e. defect reports, work conditions, production progress, hazardous conditions / problem solving
  • To the workforce; awareness of high risks derived from daily HIRA, checklists, toolbox talks, etc.
  • Meetings such as SHE Committee meetings which are compulsory – agenda dictates, and all SHE information comes together in one forum. All problems are discussed and targets / goals are set to deal with the problems.  Corrective and preventative actions are tabled.  Feedback is given to management and the labour force.
  • Incident investigations and incident recall with serious incidents, even close calls.

Different systems (elements and sub-elements: IRCA, NOSA, ISO, SANS, FSC, etc.) are listed and the key differences are highlighted

NOSA (National Occupational Safety Association) and ISO (International Standards Organization) are national or international standards for system organization and auditing.  All of these have their own element and sub-element structures in the way they are presented and organized, however they all contain common or main elements as listed above (IAC0202).

SANS (South African National Standards) are codes formulated as national standards for certain categories items or work.  These codes support legislation, particularly specific Regulations.

Each Standard has a unique number for reference; these can be found on the internet, incorporated into the Act or published in the Government Gazette. (see example below).

These Standards may be based on existing SABS (South African Bureau of Standards), or international standards, such as EC (European Standards), BS (British Standards) or equivalent standards.

SC (Forestry Stewardship Council) is the international body that forestry companies subscribe to in terms of sustainable forestry practices, with strong emphasis on environmental practice.  Certification is proof that companies are following good practice which is important for their trade and sustainability.  Even though this is an audit-based system with elements of health and safety incorporated within, it is not a system which is used to organize or measure health and safety within companies.  It is a tool mainly to measure environmental practice and sustainability.