A healthy workplace is not only a legal requirement and an expression of fundamental human rights; a safe and conducive work environment is vital for optimal productivity and provides positive spin-offs for employers, employees and their relationships.
In its annual report of January 2012, the SA Department of Labour reports an average workplace compliance with the OHS of 77%. They expect a 3% improvement in the coming year. The Department of Labour has recently stepped up compliance checks, causing over a thousand companies to stop production last year as a result of non-compliance.
A survey of members of the Siyakhana SME Project conducted in early 2012 indicated that most respondents seemed unaware of the legal obligations imposed on workplaces by the OHS Act. There is further a pervasive assumption that the expenses associated with achieving compliance with the Act would be exorbitant.
The Siyakhana mobile medical surveillance and health and safety risk advisory services are a cost-effective solution, which will promote awareness of the legal obligations and simultaneously assist SMEs to achieve compliance to the provisions of the Act pertinent to their workplace.
The execution of workplace hazard scans, health and safety education as well as the provision of health and safety risk advisory services will assist employers to determine the extent of the medical surveillance programme required at their workplace.
Once Siyakhana has established the occupational hygiene profile and hazard status of a workplace, appropriate remedial responses will be activated in consultation with the SME. This may include medical surveillance. The Siyakhana Mobile Clinic will move between workplaces to provide on-site medical surveillance as an adjunct to the integrated health screening service.