Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.8. Authorised access requirements to the workplace – legal and organisational requirements

ryanrori February 8, 2021

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A  Health and Safety Plan generally includes inspection of access requirements in respect of a building or business site. If unauthorised people have access to the workplace, then people ignorant of hazards and safety procedures for that specific workplace could be endangered and at risk of being injured.

Everyone involved in the workplace has a responsibility to prevent injury or ill health. The best way to meet this responsibility is by working together to reduce the occurrence and severity of work-related injury and disease.

One of the basic duties at the workplace is to provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe access to and egress (exit) from the work placed under the employer’s control. Access and egress is the means of entry or exit to a workplace. It includes footpaths, corridors, doorways, ladders, steps:

  • Walkways should provide safe access and egress at all times. The use of walkways for temporary storage can introduce tripping or falling hazards and block emergency exits. The through traffic using walkways can be a source of noise and distraction for staff positioned near them. Walkways near office workstations should be bordered by sound absorbing panelling to help reduce noise.
  • Routes into and out of the premises
  • Lighting
  • Vehicle movements
  • Floor surfaces, taking into account likely spillages, trip hazards and foot wear
  • Access and egress for disabled persons
  • Areas where falls can occur from edges, into pits, tanks, excavations, etc, and from access steps, stairs and the like
  • Emergency egress arrangements
  • Maintenance arrangements, including contractors especially contract cleaners. 

Every organisation’s Health and Safety Plan should include emergency procedures which stipulate access and exit 

The OHSA regulation stipulates that:

  • an employer or user, as the case may be, shall not permit a person to enter a workplace where the health or safety of such person is at risk or may be at risk, unless such person enters such workplace with the express or implied permission of and subject to the conditions laid down by such employer or user: Provided that such express or implied permission shall not apply in respect of a person entitled by law to enter such workplace or premises, and
  • an employer or a user, as the case may be, shall, if he deems it necessary in the interests of health and safety, post up a notice at every entrance to a workplace prohibiting the entry of unauthorised persons to such workplace and no person shall enter or remain at such workplace without the permission of the employer or user, as the case may be

No person may refuse an inspector entry into his or her premises to perform his or her functions unless that person is authorised to do so by any other law.  An inspector or his or her assistant may require an employer or user to make a person available who has full knowledge of the hazards associated with the activities of the workplace to accompany him or her during the entire visit of the workplace.(Based on Legislation in GAR 2, of the Occupational Health and Safety Act)

An inspector may also without previous notice, at all reasonable times, enter any premises which are occupied or used by an employer or on or in which an employee performs any work or any plant or machinery is used, or which he suspects to be such premises. (Based on Legislation in section 29(a), of the Occupational Health and Safety Act)