A single health and safety act for mining and industry in South Africa
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Health and safety in the workplace has been a highly debated subject in the past few years as the terms "health" and "well-being" are included in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Everyone has the right to a working environment that is not detrimental to his or her health and well-being. As the Occupational Health and Safety Act governs health and safety in the industry, and the Mine Health and Safety Act the health and safety in mining, a gap exists as there are two different departments governing the two pieces of legislation, namely the Department of Labour and the Department of Mineral Resources. In 2003 a draft integrated policy was compiled – the National Occupational Health and Safety Integration Bill which established an authority to govern health and safety in terms of both mining and industry. This study will consider the background of health and safety legislation by referring to the definitions applicable to health and safety. In order to propose a single health and safety act in South Africa a consideration of the duties and responsibilities of employers, employees, health and safety representatives, health and safety committees, suppliers and manufacturers, users of machinery and institutions is necessary. To reach a conclusion as to whether or not the introduction of a single health and safety act is possible in South Africa, it is necessary to compare the different provisions of the MHSA, the OHSA and the Integration Bill
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