On 5 February 2016, the Chief Inspector of Mines, in terms of section 49 (6) of the Mine, Health and Safety Act, 1996 ("MHSA") published four guidelines in the government gazette for the compilation of mandatory codes of practice ("COP"):
- Guideline for the compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice for an Occupational Health Programme (Occupational Hygiene and Medical Surveillance) on Thermal Stress (effective from 1 July 2016);
- Guideline for the compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice on the Minimum Standards of Fitness to Perform Work on a Mine (effective from 30 June 2016);
- Guideline for the compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice on the Right to Refuse Dangerous Work and Leave a Dangerous Working Place (effective from 1 July 2016); and
- Guideline for the compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice for the Management of Medical Incapacity due to Ill-Health and Injury (effective from 31 May 2016).
The first two guidelines listed above are revisions whereas the last two are brand new guidelines. The preparation and implementation of COP's is not optional. All employers whose activities are governed by the MHSA must implement the COP's and to provide their employees with training thereon.
The objective of these guidelines is to enable the employer at every mine to compile a COP, which, if properly implemented and complied with, will protect and improve the health of employees working at a mine. The guidelines provide guidance of a general nature on the required format and content of the COP's and details sufficient technical background to enable the drafting committee at the mine to prepare a comprehensive and practical COP for their mine.
Employers are welcome to contact us should they require any assistance in drafting their COP's.