Sometimes you may find it tough to talk to your boss about workplace safety, but it’s important and it has to be done. Employers need to know about workplace hazards so they can take the necessary steps to implement policies and procedures to protect you and your fellow employees.
As you are aware, this enquiry has suffered multiple postponements for various reasons. Here’s where it stands as of today.
The Department of Labour’s (DoL) inquiry into the collapse of the Grayston drive pedestrian bridge, on Gauteng’s M1 highway – which resulted in the death of two people and the injury of a further 19 – has been postponed, possibly until July, 2018. The presiding inspector Lennie Samuel said that he would make a decision on this within the next two weeks.
As a corporate leader, global competition and razor-thin margins can pressure your employer to make financial decisions that conflict with health and safety standards. As health and safety professionals, it can become tiresome, having to constantly justify necessary spend. Let’s be honest – we know the safety training our company needs, and perhaps in the interests of getting that training, we’ll opt for the ‘discount’ option in order to please our employers and their bottom lines while still meeting our HSE legal requirements.
In reality, however, current safety statistics show that improving work site safety practices reduces both direct and indirect employee costs in the long run, saving money and even the company itself. Here’s how paying cheap now can cost you dearly later.
It’s good to see that the law is standing firm when it comes to enforcing penalties – and punishment – for health and safety violations. This is certainly the case in Delaware in the United States, where former coal baron Donald Blankenship will stay in jail after an appeals court upheld his conviction for flouting mine-safety laws.
The self-named ‘political prisoner’ was unable to identify any reversible errors in his 2016 trial, where he was charged with ignoring safety rules at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine.
Last week the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) released its 2016 statistics for mine health and safety, which were met with a mixed reception.