Tombstone ultimatum

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

TheLabour Department has directed a tombstone manufacturing company in Limpopo to stop exposing its workers to hazardous dust or face prosecution.

The directive comes after inspectors on Monday discovered that Polokwane-based company, Capricorn Tombstones, was using compressed air to remove dust particles from the workers' clothing.

Department spokesman Joe Maila said this method exposed the workers to dust, which contained silica, a harmful substance. He said as a result, the workers risked contracting silicosis, a fatal respiratory disease.

The company has seven days to comply or be prosecuted.

He said failing to comply amounted to breaching provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

"In this case, the employer was issued with several contravention notices and a prohibition notice halting the use of compressed air to blow dust off workers' clothing," said Maila.