Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.3. The occupational health and safety representation structure

ryanrori February 8, 2021

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Depending on the type of organisation, the employer must implement health and safety procedures to suit the specific needs of the particular organisation to supply a safe workplace such as:

  • Do not run in the workplace
  • Wear shoes with non-slip soles
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Put up signs to mark wet areas
  • Be familiar with the location of the first aid box
  • Make sure that staff know the names of the first aid and safety officers in their departments and how to contact them
  • Have knowledge of the relevant emergency authorities and how to contact them
  • Display emergency and caution signs where they are easily accessible and observed
  • Effectively display fire exits


  • The employer must appoint health and safety representatives
  • The employer must appoint health and safety committees
  • The employer must comply with regulations
  • The employer must record and investigate incidents
Activities in terms of legislative requirements

Health and Safety Reps

Section 17(2) of the OHSA requires all workplaces with more than 20 employees to appoint at least one Health and Safety rep and must consult, negotiate and conclude an agreement with a trade union regarding

  • the election procedure 
  • functions of health and safety reps
  • training and facilities provided to reps
  • advisory members in respect of health and safety issues

Health and Safety Committees

Section 19(1) of the OHSA

A workplace with two or more Health and Safety Reps must establish a Health and Safety Committee.

A Health and safety Committee has three types of members:

  • Manager representatives
  • Health and safety representatives

Health and Safety Committee functions:

  • to meet as often as needed but at least once every three months
  • set own procedures for how it will function
  • make recommendations regarding health and safety at the workplace
  • investigate and discuss incidents at the workplace
  • keep written records of recommendations made in the workplace


Section 26 of OHSA protect workers who report incidents against victimisation

Obligations of others – Suppliers and manufacturers 

Sec 10 of OHSA requires :

  • products and services supplied by others to be safe
  • articles, substances, equipment and machinery must meet health and safety standards as set out by OHSA
  • installation and erection of articles in the workplace must be done in a safe manner
  • information must be made available regarding hazardous substances that are made or old.


The OHSA is enforced by the Department of Labour who:

  • has inspectors who can issue direction, direct health and safety committees and resolves disputes
  • can investigate hazardous conditions
  • can inspect the workplace
  • issues notices such as 
  • prohibition notices which prohibits hazardous conditions or situations
  • contravention notices which informs the employer that a contravention exists
  • improvement notices which directs the employer to improve health and safety issues


Employers can be prosecuted for a number of offences such as failing to implement health and safety measures.