Employment and Labour closes government building due to safety issues

  

Department of Employment and Labour: Republic of South Africa


A building housing various government departments in Mokopane was closed down by the Department of Employment and Labour Inspectors on Wednesday 24 November as it posed immediate dangers to employees.

The building is owned by the Department of Public Works and employees had raised a complaint in October 2021 with the Department indicating that the building posed a risk and was in danger of collapse due to the deterioration of its structure and the rain water leakage from the roof.

The office building is being rented to Social Development, Health (Malaria control), Agriculture&Rural Development, Economic Development Environment and Tourism, and the South African Social Security Agency.

The affected departments have had to leave the building immediately (25 November 2021).

Provincial Chief inspector, Phaswane Tladi said: “The department has zero tolerance for this kind of non-compliance and we will act strongly or accordingly to make sure that employers comply with the law. The health and safety of employees is very important to us; it is the department’s mandate to make sure that they everyone is safe.”

Tladi said enforcing the law does not only apply to government building but all work places in general.

“The department has increased the capacity of OHS Inspectors, so employers will have nowhere to hide. Our inspectors are out daily conducting inspections and offering assistance where needed in a form of advocacy sessions for employers who aspire to get their houses in order,” said Tladi.

“We appreciate the work done by our OHS inspectors, and we urge them to work without fear or favour to implement the law. So far, they are doing a great job and will continue to do so with the support from management.”

The prohibition notices were issued on the following contravention:

  • The building has cracks in almost each and every office and those cracks are visible from inside and outside thus posing immediate danger of structure failure/collapse and potential deaths.
  • Damaged ceiling caused by water leakage which ceiling may fall at any time and cause immediate danger or fatal injuries to persons.
  • The building has a damaged roof leading to excessively rain water leaks. The roof structure is rotten and may fall at any.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Employment and Labour: Republic of South Africa.

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