Women and youth swell construction industry

There is an increasing number of women and youth in the construction industry necessitating the pressing need to educate them about health and safety issues said Department of Labour Chief Inspector occupational health and safety (OHS), Tibor Szana addressing delegates attending the explosives workshop in Polokwane on Wednesday (today).

He said the industry needs to prepare health and safety measures to accommodate women and youth in their fields of interest.

“According to Statistic South Africa, 26,5 million or 51,3% represents the number of women in the working population while 19,8 million are youth between the ages of 15-34 joining the Labour market, therefore there is a need to prepare the industry to accommodate them.”

He said safety is an integral part of any profession, you cannot be doing your work unless you have evaluated the risks.

“If you are not taking health and safety home, you have a problem. Equally, if you are not taking health and safety to work you are a problem,” he said.

Szana said: “risk is the probability  that something can happen. Risk assessment is the process of evaluating the risks to a persons health and safety from workplace hazard”.

Accidents happen, but there is a need to have mitigation plans, he said.

He appealed to stakeholders to work together to achieve workplace health and safety.

Turning to co-regulation, Szana said government wants employers and employees to work together to resolve workplace issues in the management of OHS. This was the expectation of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as well as through the introduction of workplace forums.

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