KwaZulu-Natal – “Workers employed in the maintenance hospital department are complaining that since 2015 they have not been provided with protective clothing and they are wearing worn out clothing. If they raise this issue with relevant authorities their complaints fall on deaf ears.
Increasingly high noncompliance with Personal Protective Equipment (protocols is an alarming trend and a serious threat to worker health and safety. Whether this is a result of economic conditions, a flawed approach to safety programs, workers who are more inclined to take greater risks or some other reason, it’s essential that workers wear PPE when it is required. PPE protects workers against injury, but it will not work if workers fail to use it and use it properly,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health, Mrs. Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL.
“Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility and it is crucial that workers and their employers are aware of the role that they play in this every day. Workers have the right to report to their employers anything that they think may be of risk to themselves. It is extremely important that everyone is aware of their role in health and safety in the workplace in order to reduce the number of people that become injured or ill,” continued Mrs. Nkwanyana.
“The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) gives workers some rights in health and safety in the workplace. It tells management to set up safety representatives and safety committees in the workplace. Therefore, any employer who fails to adhere to this must be dealt with accordingly.
We further call on the KZN MEC of Health, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo to urgently investigate this matter in order for him to ascertain why these works have not been provided with protective gear? Which company was awarded a tender to supply protective gear in the hospital? If anyone found to be negligence in this matter action must be taken,” concluded Mrs. Nkwanyana.
The IFP further calls on the Department of Labour to dispatch the team of inspectors at King Edward VIII hospital to conduct their own investigation into the failure by the hospital to comply with the OHSA.