Occupational Health and Safety
Health and safety is a legal requirement and serves to protect your employees
81 Articles Found
WEBINAR | Occupational Safety and Health in Urban Public Workplaces for workers in the Informal Economy
The National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) cordially invites you to a free training webinar aimed at COGTA, SALGA, Local Government Representatives responsible for OHS regulations, OHS Professionals & Advisors and Membership Based Organizations of workers in the inform
Electrical safety in the food industry - How to ensure this is not a “shocking experience
When we think of electricity in the workplace, most of us would say this is the job of the electrician. Have you ever found a plug with water in it after cleaning? Have you ever cleaned equipment and slopped water over it? Have you, or someone working for you, ever had a shock fr
Working safely during COVID-19 checklist
This checklist gives some practical considerations of how social distancing can be applied in the workplace.
Don’t Get Tripped Up
Health and safety has become a big deal in the food industry since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. And rightly so. For many of us, we have had to dust off the safety file and really put in a lot of effort to ensure we are compliant.While we may be really focussed in physical
The New Normal for Grocery Store Health and Safety
While many grocery stores made operational changes to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, more adjustments are needed to help stem future infections.
What is the right mask for wear for COVID-19?
To mask or not to mask – that is the question! There has been a huge debate about this is the last few weeks since we have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We unmask the issue by looking at the advice given by a number of countries and the legal requirements in So
COVID-19 Return To Work Posters from the NIOH
The NIOH have put together some Covid-19 Return –To-Work posters which are ready for print in A3 sizes. Feel free to print them out and use in your respective workplaces for awareness purposes.
Webinar | The role of surface swabbing during COVID-19
View this recording on the cleaning of surfaces during this COVID 19 pandemic and much debate about sanitisers, the efficacy of these and now the introduction of surface swabbing.
CDC Publishes New Guidance for Meat and Poultry Industry
Multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 among meat and poultry processing facility workers have occurred in the U.S. recently. The CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have issued new guidance for the meat and poultry industry that advises creating a COVID-19 a
How to measure body temperature correctly using an infrared thermometer
In recent weeks, many companies have introduced additional screening methods for employees in order to comply with their legal obligation in Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHSA). This requires every employer to provide and maintain, as far as reasonabl
Labour Intervention Measures During Coronavirus Lockdown
Speaking notes by Minister of Labour, Thulas Nxesi during a media briefing to update on the COVID-19 lockdown measures
Urgent call for businesses to divert PPE inventories to national healthcare sector
Business for SA’s Public Health Workgroup is calling on all companies, especially those in lockdown, to urgently divert their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in the national healthcare sector.
Is your disinfectant legal
Did you know that the National Regulator for compulsory specifications in South Africa?
Protecting food industry employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
We have been receiving a lot of enquiries on the implementing the correct requirements for protecting your employees while they are working during the lockdown.
NIOH YouTube channel offers COVID-19 workplace training videos
We are pleased to announce that the NIOH YouTube channel is up and running, with essential COVID-19 workplace training videos. Please do subscribe and share with other colleagues to keep up to date with developments and guidelines.
NICD COVID Update | 21 March
21 March 2020 - the NICD confirms 38 new additional cases that have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. To date, South Africa has a total of 240 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the first confirmed case on 5 March 2020.
DOH LATEST CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19
Department of Health: As of today, 21 March, South Africa now has 240 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 38 from yesterday’s announcement.
NICD COVID-19 UPDATE | 16 March
As of 16 March 2020, the NICD confirms an additional 11 new COVID-19 cases that have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing it to a total of 62 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Department of Employment and Labour Guidelines to deal with Covid-19 at workplaces
The Department of Employment and Labour has appealed to employers to use the prescriptions of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act of 1993 in governing workplaces in relation to Coronavirus Disease 2019 COVID–19.
Coronavirus: Department of Health launches website and WhatsApp support group
The Department of Health has announced a newly-launched website detailing all COVID-19 related resources. The website contains important contact details, including the emergency support hotline, and up-to-date news and resources.
Coronavirus: Ten reasons why you ought not to panic
With the media gripped by coronavirus panic, there is deep concern and mass planning for worst-case scenarios but there are causes for optimism; reasons to think there may be ways to contain and defeat the virus. And lessons to learn for the future.
Coronavirus: how big, how bad, and what to look out for
Cases of illness from the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease, known as COVID-19, have been confirmed in more than 100 countries. The outbreak was first recorded in China in December last year. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses that can range from a comm
Department of Health COVID-19 Update 11 March
The Department of health issues a media statement on the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa.
WHO COVID-19 Webinars (9-13 March 2020)
A key component of epidemic and pandemic preparedness is ensuring systems are in place for real-time information to flow from a trusted source to the people at risk. Join these targeted webinars for accurate information from the WHO.
How to manage the threat of COVID in your workplace or institution
The NICD and DOH outline details of COVID-19, including the risks to life and livelihood for South African businesses and institutions and how to mitigate these risks
Coronavirus Poster from the National Health Laboratory Service and the Department of Health
Accident Prevention Begins with a Conversation
Have you ever asked the question, “What else can I do to improve our safety culture?” The answer may be in your next conversation. One of the most common safety weaknesses I see in organizations is a lack of management engagement with employees...
Human Fatigue: A Hidden Food Safety Hazard
Human fatigue is a widespread and more troubling condition than most realize.
Your transition to ISO 45001
Every 15 seconds a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. With these alarming statistics, the advantages of having the an effectively implemented and maintained ISO 45001 management system should be of high priority.
Planning your Health, Safety and Environment file
One of the banes in the lives of contractors and people employing contractors is the “Health, Safety and Environment file” that the law requires. This file is a legal agreement between the contractor and the customer. It is called a “File” because the paper required will not fit
Hazards and Risk Assessments | Part 2
This article is the second in a series on Hazard and Risk Assessments, and addresses the requirements of a contractor’s Health and Safety file, which is legally required when a contractor works on a customer’s site.
Hazards and Risk Assessments | Part 1
This article addresses the requirements of a contractor’s Health and Safety file, which is legally required when a contractor works on a customer’s site. I will describe the Hazard and Risk Assessment process, but you can use the same format for the Environmental Aspects and ...
Protecting your maintenance crew in a food facility
Maintenance is a workplace activities that can affect health and safety not only of the workers directly involved, but also of other workers if safe procedures are not followed. When we consider health and safety hazards in a food facility we often only think about the production
Cleaning chemicals safety checklist - avoiding accidents
Looking for a safety checklist for cleaning chemicals, that will help you and your staff handle them safely to avoid unnecessary accidents? This will help.
Hepatitis A and the Food Industry
Frozen tuna recalled due to hepatitis A | Another frozen berry recall over Hepatitis A fear | Scallops recalled after hundreds of people contract hepatitis A. Alarming headlines like these are a stark reminder of the need for an international focus on this preventable disease
Safety Maturity: 3 Crucial Elements of Best-in-Class Safety - Part 4
It's important for manufacturers to have a solid understanding of their safety technologies and techniques. Companies can do this by determining which of the following categories they best fit into, in part 4 of this article series.
Safety Maturity: 3 Crucial Elements of Best-in-Class Safety - Part 3
In part 3 of this article we look at one of the significant challenges for manufacturers - determining how to bridge the disconnect between engineering and EHS. Often, the larger the company, the larger the gulf is between these two groups.
Safety Maturity: 3 Crucial Elements of Best-in-Class Safety - Part 2
Find out how your company measures up when it comes to safety. A safety culture generally is indicative of the broader company culture.
Safety Maturity: 3 Crucial Elements of Best-in-Class Safety - Part 1
Find out how your company measures up when it comes to safety.The human cost of occupational accidents is vast. Worker safety is a fundamental human need and requirement in industrial settings. It protects workers, prevents unnecessary downtime and satisfies standards compliance.
A uniform approach to HACCP
Under HACCP, it is every manufacturer’s prerogative to rank the severity of the physical, chemical and microbial dangers in a process. While uniforms and garments are not likely the weakest link for a business in which food safety is imperative, operators should recognize the ris
Culture carriers ensure that safety comes first
The larger your company, the more you must rely on delegation and the efficacy of your systems to conduct key messages, behaviours and activities to all members in the company. But is that enough?
Supporting a Culture of Caring Can Reduce Injuries and Costs, Improve Performance
A senior vice president at an insurance company who is an expert in workers’ compensation insurance shares ways clients have reduced injuries, improved morale, saved money and increased production
Focus on road safety
Do you have personnel on the road, if so there is a high risk for injuries and fatalities, especially around busy holiday periods. And although you may have policies and procedures in place, are they good enough? Elsabé Steyn addresses this question with practical advice.
The latest update on ISO 45001
The development of the new ISO standard for occupational health and safety has been a bumpy ride. ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001 as the internationally acknowledged standard for Occupational Health and Safety management systems.
Incidents versus Accidents
A bank robbery, a funny or controversial situation, an argument between celebrities, etc. – all can be described as incidents. An accident is a bad event caused by error or by chance. Accidents are always unintentional, and they usually result in some damage or injury
Latest transmission patterns for drug resistant TB pose a new challenge
The emergence of drug resistant tuberculosis has resulted in scientists taking a more aggressive and urgent approach to research into the development of the disease. As the number of drug resistant TB cases has continued to rise, so has the need for rapid diagnosis, new treatment
The Basics of Lockout/Tagout Compliance - Part 2
In part 2 of this two-part series about lockout/tagout compliance, the author examines the importance of lockout/tagout and the components of an effective program.
Are your employees spending too much time on smoke breaks?
Many employers who allow smoking in the workplace often complain about the amount of productivity that's lost because of the frequent smoke breaks employees take. Here are five tips you can use to control the smoke breaks your employee takes.
The Basics of Lockout/Tagout Compliance - Part 1
In part 1 of a two-part series about lockout/tagout compliance, the author examines the importance of lockout/tagout and the components of an effective program.
Lockout/tagout Programs falling short in Food Industry
Although this article highlights statistics from the USA, the concerns are valid in the South African food industry too. This should make you think and having you reaching for your safety file to ensure you have a lock out procedure.
What's in your safety file?
What information do you need in your safety file? Here’s a handy checklist developed by the experts
OHS Systems - Why on earth do we need them?
If you read our article on the documentation you should have enough in place to demonstrate due diligence and compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and you might be wondering why on earth would you need to do anything more, but ...
Diabetes Toolbox Talk
This month is national diabetes month. Need a toolbox talk to highlight the seriousness of the condition at work? Here we go.
Diabetes and Driving
The crazy season is upon us and road accidents increase. Do you know if your drivers have diabetes? Do you understand the risks associated with driving with diabetes? This special feature will give you useful insight to the condition. Use it as a training session for
5 easy steps to integrate health & safety to your FSMS
Working smarter not harder! 5 easy steps to integrate your health and safety to your food safety management system. (Psst - you are doing most of it anyway).
Farm worker training – what you need to know
In our previous article we met Daisy and explained the basic care for dairy cows, (Ultimately our food). In this article we interview a dairy farmer and chat about his concerns to ensure the correct practices are practiced by farm workers.
10 Steps to health and safety - Part 1
You are already losing sleep about your cashflow, now you find out that you have to implement a health and safety system. Let us show you how in 10 simple steps.
10 Steps to health and safety - Part 2
In the first part of this article we helped you with identifying risks and training your employees. Learn more in the next 5 steps.
Health and safety made simple – 10 basic steps
You are already losing sleep about your cashflow, now you find out that you have to implement a health and safety system. Let us show you how in 10 simple steps.
Pre-employment medicals in the food industry – a legal contradiction?
You are fuming over the audit finding that you do not conduct annual medicals for all your staff. You are considering how to broach the subject with the MD and Finance guy. Think about the risks and make sure you know the facts from a legal perspective too.
A guide to health and safety in the manufacturing sector
Whether you are processing milk into cheese or manufacturing chocolate pudding, your work environment includes a host of hazardous equipment such as man eating mixers, finger chopping bowl cutters and more knives than a second grade karate movie. The Department of labour’s views
A guide to health and safety in the hospitality sector
You run a 5-star kitchen and churn out the best gourmet dishes. Your kitchen is probably tiny and comes equipped with hot tempered executive chefs armed with sharp knives. Health and safety in this environment – a piece of cake! Check out the Department of Labour's views on this.
Sow safely – a guide on health and safety in agriculture
Farm safety is a serious concern. Between hazardous farm equipment and sometimes erratic livestock, our frontline producers live in a very dangerous world. However, while farms are one of the riskiest places to work, farm safety doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
Driving safety – don’t do it distracted
There aren’t many sectors in the food industry that don’t have employees driving. Whether its drivers of delivery vehicles or sales staff or even senior executives, road safety should feature on all safety plans. Make sure this hazard is addressed regularly.
Human Resources required under OHS Laws and Regulations in South Africa
Are you confused as to what human resources you are required to appoint in terms of all the OHS Law and regulations? Well join the club, I was too. So I have put this information leaflet together that can assist you to get started with the basics.
A guide to health and safety in the retail sector
There is no one size fits all the occupational health and safety management systems. It’s all about the hazards you have to deal with, depending on where you are in the food chain. The Department of Labour have recognised this and have provided useful guides to assist with gettin
Bakery safety hazards – how you can beat them
The smell of warm baked bread can dull one’s senses but this should not be case when identifying hazards in the workplace. Our walkabout highlighted a few too many. We put them to music! See how you can improve safety in your bakery while humming a tune.
Office safety – more than paper cuts
For those of us who spend more of our days inside the factory or kitchen, we scoff at our colleagues’ eye and neck strains. We consider ergonomically designed keyboards an unnecessary luxury. But read on! See if you can list at least 10 hazards by the end of the article.
Occupational Medical and the Law
The information regarding occupational medicals for can be very confusing. Some say yes and others say no. In this article we discuss the legal requirements and the element of risk you face as an employer.
Latex Allergy in the Food Industry
Are your gloves making you sick? In this article, South African allergy expert Dr Harris Steinman helps us to understand the issues with latex sensitivities and the implications for the food industry.
General Code of Practice for Medical Surveillance
Have you been looking for an example of a standard operating procedure for medical surveillance? Here we go – this will be a useful guideline to help you set up your procedure.
Top 10 Forklift Health & Safety Tips
Health and Safety is never more important then when operating a forklift. Mitsubishi have compiled a list of the top 10 forklift health and safety tips for you. See the infographic below.
The truth about health hazards in the poultry industry - what's really happening to your workers - Part 2
In part 2 of the article where we dig into the review on occupational ergonomic hazards research conducted on the poultry industry by South African Leon Harmse, we review what are the physical and ergonomic hazardous practices and where they originate from. You will identify pot
Shocking health revelations from workers in the poultry industry
South African Leon Harmse, conducted an extensive review of related physical and ergonomic impacts entitled “The Impact of Physical and Ergonomic Hazards on Poultry Abattoir Processing Workers”. The following shocking revelations were made by workers interviewed by the reviewed
The truth about health hazards in the poultry industry - what is really happening to your workers - Part 1
What are the real issues in occupational health and safety in the poultry industry? An extensive review titled The Impact of Physical and Ergonomic Hazards on Poultry Abattoir Processing Workers: A Review was conducted by Leon Harmse as part of a his doctorate thesis and in this
The truth about health hazards in the poultry industry - what's really happening to your workers - Part 3
In part 3 of the article where we dig into the research conducted in the poultry industry by South African Leon Harmse, the conclusions of the review highlighted that management must take responsibility for the hazardous situations and rectify these.
Do’s and Don’ts for forklift safety
They have the strength of Superman; we can’t run a food operation without them; but they can kill. In this article we talk about the do’s and don’ts for owners, drivers and pedestrians.
Kitchen Safety Tips - We all need them
We all have kitchens. But would you pass a safety audit? It’s time to consider basic safety requirements and ensure you implement them in your hotel kitchen and your home. This article deals with the basics we should all practice.
Employment Medicals - What you need to know
So you heard from your friend of a friend that because you are an employer, you need to do medicals on all your staff. And you are thinking that it’s just another scare story. You would be wrong! As an employer, it is your responsibility to reduce risks in the workplace.
Employee health – a contentious issue
Every audit highlights the sensitivity of handling employee health. How to identify symptoms, what to do once you have, how to handle days off in terms of sick leave and where to place employees that may still be infectious are just some of the discussions that are had. And that’
The low-down on using latex gloves in food preparation
A recent question about the use of latex gloves sent me back to check my facts. In part 1, we go back to the basics to understand why gloves are even considered in the food industry. You need to know this information to be able to make the right call on your risk assessment.