HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION REVIEW
1. Occupational health and safety
A. Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill
For reasons unknown, there has been a delay in the publishing of the Draft Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Amendment Bill for comment. Nedlac deliberations had commenced in October 2014 and concluded in March 2016.
The following Regulations were published for comment:
– Draft Ergonomics Regulations
– Draft Asbestos Abatement Regulations
– Lift, Escalator and Passenger Conveyor Regulations Incorporation of the Code of Practice for Inspection and Testing of Lift
No regulations have been promulgated in 2018.
Carbon Tax and Climate Change Bill
The 2017 Draft Carbon Tax Bill is a refinement of the initial 2015 Draft Carbon Tax Bill. The main aim of the carbon tax bill is to put a price on the environmental and economic damages caused by excessive emissions of greenhouse gases. A secondary aim is to change the behaviour of firms and consumers, by encouraging uptake of cost-effective, low-carbon alternatives.
Once the Bill comes into effect, the National Treasury will levy carbon tax on emissions above the absolute carbon budgets (a greenhouse gas emissions allowance allocated to a person over a defined time period). The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is currently devising methodology for the level of the budgets. The DEA also published a Climate Change Bill which, once It comes to effect, will enable the enforcement of Carbon Budgets.
The business position on both Bills is that there is no reason for a developing country, whose GDP growth has remained below 2% since 2016, to have one of the most stringent environmental legislation in the world. Moreover, the imposition of carbon budgets where there are no alternative technologies is prejudicial towards business.
b. Industry Waste Management Plans
On 6 December 2017 the Minister of Environmental Affairs published a notice directing the following industries to submit industry waste management plans for approval:
Electrical and Electronic Equipment and
Paper and Packaging Industry
This was after SEIFSA and BUSA raised flags against the previous notice, citing impractical requirements and compliance unachievable deadlines. The deadline for subscription to approved Industry Waste Management Plans was 6 September 2018. However, by August 2018, there had not been a single plan approved by the Minister. To this end, affected companies may find themselves unable to comply with this requirement. The SEIFSA SHEQ Executive continues to lobby on this matter and keeping the Associations informed.
SHEQ BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems (QMS) is an effective tool for assuring quality of products. According to research, it increases the bottom line and enhances access to markets.
The SHEQ division provides consultancy and training services to assist with the implementation or improvement of QMS. ISO 9001 implementation is offered to small enterprises at competitive rates.
Quality related offerings include internal QMS audits are to evaluate the effectiveness of your system, and second party QMS audits to your suppliers to enhance your supply chain.