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Health and Safety Representatives at Rhodes University

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), all workplaces that have more than 20 employees must have a Health and Safety Representative. The Health & Safety Rep is a person who acts as a watchdog of the employer in terms of occupational health and safety matters.

Support and Info:

Appointment (Designation) of Health and Safety Representatives:

Please take your Appointment Form RU HnS Rep‌ form to your 16(2) appointee to sign. This way, s/he will get to know who all the health and safety appointees are in his/her area of responsibility. Once everything is signed, please:

  1. Keep the original in your dept/div safety file; 
  2. Send a copy (scanned or photocopy) to safety(at)ru.ac.za or SHE Office, Alumni House; 
  3. Send a copy to your HR generalist.

Extract from the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), General Safety Regulations - Section 17. Health and Safety Representatives

1. Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) , every employer who has more than 20 employees in his employment at any workplace, shall, within four months after the commencement of this Act or after commencing business, or from such time as the number of employees exceeds 20, as the case may be, designate in writing for a specified period health & safety representatives for such workplace, or for different sections thereof.

2. An employer and the representative of his employees recognized by him or, where there are no such representatives, the employees shall consult in good faith regarding the arrangements and procedures for the nomination or election, period of office and subsequent designation of health and safety representatives in terms of subsection (1): Provided that if such consultation fails, the matter shall be referred for arbitration to a person mutually agreed upon, whose decision shall be final: Provided further that if the parties do not agree within 14 days on an arbitrator, the employer shall give notice to this effect in writing to the President of the Industrial Court, who shall in consultation with the chief inspector designate an arbitrator, whose decision shall be final.

3. Arbitration in terms of subsection (2) shall not be subject to the provisions of the Arbitration Act, 1965 (Act No. 42 of 1965), and a failure of the consultation contemplated in that subsection shall not be deemed to be a dispute in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1956 (Act No. 28 of 1956): Provided that the Minister may prescribe the manner of arbitration and the remuneration of the arbitrator designated by the President of the Industrial Court.

4. Only those employees employed in a full-time capacity at a specific workplace and who are acquainted with conditions and activities at that workplace or section thereof, as the case may be, shall be eligible for designation as health and safety representatives for that workplace or section.

5. The number of health and safety representatives for a workplace or section thereof shall in the case of shops and offices be at least one health and safety representative for every 100 employees or part thereof, and in the case of all other workplaces at least one health and safety representative for every 50 employees or part thereof: Provided that those employees performing work at a workplace other than that where they ordinarily report for duty, shall be deemed to be working at the workplace where they so report for duty.

6. If an inspector is of the opinion that the number of health and safety representatives for any workplace or section thereof, including a workplace or section with 20 or fewer employees, is inadequate, he may by notice in writing direct the employer to designate such number of employees as the inspector may determine as health and safety representatives for that workplace or section thereof in accordance with the arrangements and procedures referred to in subsection (2).

7. All activities in connection with the designation, functions and training of health and safety representatives shall be performed during ordinary working hours, and any time reasonably spent by any employee in this regard shall for all purposes be deemed to be time spent by him in the carrying out of his duties as an employee.

Return to Rhodes University's Safety front page. Questions/Suggestions? Contact safety(at)ru.ac.za

Last Modified: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:05:45 SAST