safety swoops on shopping centres

VIGILANT: Occupational health and safety officers raided such premises to check whether worker health laws are adhered to. Pic. Mhlaba Memela. 21/10/2009. © Sowetan.
VIGILANT: Occupational health and safety officers raided such premises to check whether worker health laws are adhered to. Pic. Mhlaba Memela. 21/10/2009. © Sowetan.

OCCUPATIONAL health and safety, along with other labour law standards, have come under scrutiny at various shopping malls in KwaZulu-Natal.

OCCUPATIONAL health and safety, along with other labour law standards, have come under scrutiny at various shopping malls in KwaZulu-Natal.

Labour inspectors yesterday kicked off their nationwide inspection campaign aimed at improving compliance and raising awareness about all labour laws.

With shopping malls from all municipalities in the province appearing on finalised route plans, teams of inspectors swooped on restaurants, all types of retail stores, service outlets and any other workplace found at shopping malls.

The swoop began at Musgrave Shopping Centre in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal's department of labour spokesperson Jay Anand said their inspectors were checking whether Occupational Health and Safety Act regulations were being adhered to.

"Compliance with various regulations pertaining to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act was thoroughly checked," Anand said.

Anand said they were looking at aspects of the Act as it applied to the wholesale and retail industries, private security, hospitality and the hairdressing trade.

He said offending employers would be brought to book, followed up on and could face prosecution if the law was ignored.

"A record of repeat offending employers would be generated and acted on strictly to ensure compliance," he said.

The drive takes place against the backdrop of labour director-general Jimmy Manyi's position that: "As a result of the most vulnerable workers at shopping malls complaining about their working conditions, the department's inspection division that will be driving this campaign has decided to intensify its inspection programme to ensure compliance.''

The three-day campaign ends tomorrow.

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