NEHAWU Free State Statement On Non-Compliance To Occupational Health And Safety By The Legislature
Thursday January 26, 2023
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the Free State Province calls on the management of the Legislature to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] Act.
NEHAWU in the province has on numerous occasions raised serious matters pertaining to Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] that the legislature ought to correct and resolve for the safety of our members and workers.
The legislature is responsible for developing legislation for the citizens of Free State to implement and abide by the legislation that it enacts and yet has deliberately undermined and failed to strictly adhere to the OHS Act and this has got serious implications for the livelihood of workers in the institution. Currently the administrative branch of the legislature is not functional, staff and officials together with the political parties were prohibited to enter the Southern Life Plaza Administration Building which is where the administration of legislature is housed.
The decision to close the building comes after a risk assessment conducted by the Department of Employment & Labour on number of non-compliance of OHS Act, including but not limited to dysfunctional of air conditioners, workers unable to access natural ventilation due to offices windows not opening. It was also established that the emergency exits are dysfunctional, placing workers in danger in case there is fire in the building for emergency evacuation purposes. Further to this the lives of workers are placed in danger due to sewer spillages in the building.
The management of the legislature has failed to repair and maintain a safe and risk free environment for the workers. Workers have been made to work under these utterly devastating conditions, despite the fact that the management was aware of these conditions.
Lastly, the union in the province calls on the legislature to adhere and comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act which provides that every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees.
Issued by NEHAWU Free State Provincial Secretariat
Issued by NEHAWU Free State Secretariat Khauhelo Mnqibisa [Provincial Secretary] at 063 685 1887 or email Khauhelo@nehawu.org.za
Jack Mabeba [Provincial Deputy Secretary] at 063 685 1907 or email Jack@nehawu.org.za