On 06 December 2019, the new Ergonomics Regulations, 2019 were published by the Minister of Employment and Labour in the Government Gazette, in terms of section 43 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (the “OHASA“). These regulations came into operation on the date of publication in the Government Gazette.
Due to COVID an exemption was granted until 30 June 2021 for employers to:
- Perform an ergonomics risk assessment and
- Place an employee under medical surveillance
In Summary the new Ergonomic Legislation Requires employers to:
- Perform ergonomic risk assessments by a competent person of all jobs that may pose an ergonomic risk to staff before the commencement of work,
- All employees must be trained on the new legislation, the current ergonomic risks in their workplace and the affects this could have on their health.
- Refresher training must occur at intervals determined by the health and safety department.
- All personnel who are deemed to be exposed to high ergonomic risks must be placed under medical surveillance which needs to commence within 30 days of employment and is monitored no less than every 2 years.
- Records must be kept for a minimum of 40 years.
- Employees themselves are compelled by the legislation to comply with any instruction given by their employer or employer’s representative regarding actions to follow pertaining to ergonomic risks and their control.
The regulations speak to an ergonomics programme approach which should be integrated into existing occupational health and safety programmes. An ergonomics programme is a systematic process for anticipating, identifying, analysing and controlling ergonomic risks.
The Regulations are intended to protect the health and safety of any person who may be exposed to ergonomic risks in the workplace.
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To download the Ergonomics Regulations please click here.
To download the Ergonomics Regulations Exemption please click here.