The most valuable thing any human being has is life itself. Therefore any act of human activity that throws away life is a crime and should be avoided. Living in a world where more than 2 million people die every year in work-related accidents and diseases, safety should be every worker’s number one priority.
Work related accidents and disease cost out country a lot of money every year. It is estimated to equate to 3.5% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means that 3.5% of all the money made in South Africa comes from work-related accidents and diseases. To the employer, these costs include property damage, lost production time, lost skills as well as the cost of finding and retraining new employees. To the employee and his / her family, it could mean permanent disabling injuries, an incapacitating disease, loss of employment and loss of breadwinners (the person who brings the money home).
It is therefore quite normal that we all want to feel protected from injuries when at work and know that we are not exposed to hazards that could make us ill.
Very often work-related health and safety risks can be minimised by applying basic practices such as good housekeeping, the safe use of tools and equipment, using equipment or measures to protect you from known hazardous and to think before you do something.
In this module, you will look at health, safety and environmental protection measures from a legal compliance (do what the law says we must do) point of view as well as from a practical workplace position. This means that you will study the relevant sections and provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 85 of 1993 (OSH Act).
The first unit gives a general overview on the OSH Act, exploring key concepts.
In the second unit, the responsibilities of all involved in workplace safety are discussed.
Unit 3 looks at safety signs – the various categories and the meaning of the colour coding and shapes.
Unit 4 gives an overview on various types of PPE used in the workplace.
The following unit concentrates on basic safe work practices, for example, storage and transfer procedures, etc.
In Unit 6 the focus falls on chemical hazards and safety, as well as chemical waste.