What is the Main Role of the Workplace Health and Safety Representative?



Creating a safe working environment is important to the effective functioning of every business.

Occupational health and safety considerations involve managing the risks of the business, decreasing the likelihood of accidents, legislative compliance and improving the businesses performance in general.

The South Africa Labour Guide publishes a handy online guide to labour law in South Africa. It was written in the interests of the health and safety of workers in South Africa and explains the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 in simple, non-legal terms.

Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors have a vital role to play in ensuring that South African businesses comply with the Act. They do follow up inspections after accidents, where there is a presence of hazardous substances, or the use of dangerous machinery in the workplace.

A Health and Safety Representative is a worker who is selected by workers or their union to ensure all health and safety protocol is taken care of in the workplace.

The role of the Health and Safety Representative is to help identify any health and safety issues with workers.

Responsibilities of the Health and Safety Representative include:

- Taking part in regular inspections and investigations of incidents.
- Making recommendations to the employer for improvements on health and safety issues.
- Encouraging workers to report hazards and concerns.

Unplanned inspections arise from complaints of workers, employers or members of the public.

Read the South African Labour Guide.

for more information on the health and safety regulations of South Africa.