The Facilitator: Ms Phindile Mbhele from Seitaodi
VUT’s ethos is that employees are a company’s greatest asset and believes it should assist in achieving business objectives, as well as meet legal and moral obligations in providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.
With this in mind, the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park held an Occupational Health and Safety Workshop for its employees on 5 September.
The workshop was facilitated by Ms Phindile Mbhele and Ms Sebongile Masangane from Seitaodi, a health and safety consultation firm.
Introducing the programme, Ms Mbhele explained about the legislation and compliance requirements. She mentioned that the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, requires the employer to bring about and maintain a work environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the workers. However, it is not expected of the employer to take sole responsibility for their health and safety.
She also mentioned that, regarding the safety responsibilities, the employer must provide and maintain all the equipment that is necessary to do the work, and all the systems according to which work must be done, in a condition that it will not affect the health and safety of workers. And the employee should take care of their own health and safety, as well as that of the other persons who may be affected by their actions and negligence to act.
The staff was also orientated on general safety rules, the use and application of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the workplace, the need for good housekeeping, medical surveillance, hazardous chemicals and storage, risk assessments, contractor management and emergency procedure and equipment.
The workshop was initiated by Science Park Management Team to bring about awareness as some staff members could be exposed to harmful chemicals and do use machines on a daily basis that could cause them harm.
“We as VUT want our employees to be informed when it comes to safety. This workshop was to assure them that we, as the institution, is taking their safety seriously”, said Science Park Management Team.