Dangerous workplaces fly under the radar too easily
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana singled out under-reportage of workplace accidents as the greatest challenge facing the labour department.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 2,2million workers die every year globally due to workplace accidents and more than 270million workers are injured worldwide, which adds up to a loss of 4 percent of the gross domestic product.
"The battle for ensuring that all accidents occurring at work are reported must not be taken lightly. I therefore call on unions to join me in ensuring that we achieve that goal," Mdladlana said.
"We should ensure that in every workplace there is a health and safety committee. If you do not have it, how are you going to ensure that accidents don't happen? Who is going to be our eyes and ears if we do not have health and safety committees?" he asked.
"For every 100 workers, we need one health and safety representative as failure to do so would warrant a red card to the offending party."
He urged workers to refuse to work in dangerous conditions. "Workers are entitled to be provided with protective clothing and equipment."