The construction industry has been called by the department of labour to include women and youth in their health and safety training measures.
Speaking at an explosives workshop in Polokwane last week, Tibor Szana chief inspector of occupational health and safety (OHS) for the department said, “There is an increasing number of women and youth in the construction industry and the sector needs to prepare health and safety measures to accommodate them in their fields of interest”.
Based on Statistics South Africa, there are 26.5 million women in the working population while 19.8 million are youth between the ages of 15-34 Szana noted, that this indicates a need to prepare the industry to accommodate them.
“Safety is an integral part of any profession. No job can be done successfully without evaluating the risks. If you are not taking health and safety home, you have a problem. Equally, if you are not taking health and safety to work you are a problem,” he said.
Szana appealed to stakeholders to work together to achieve workplace health and safety.
Turning to co-regulation, Szana said government wants employers and employees to work together to resolve workplace issues in the management of OHS. This was the expectation of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as well as through the introduction of workplace forums.
Health and safety is evolving. “None of our policies are developed in isolation. In every aspect of our legislation you have an opportunity to influence. This is what is happening internationally through the international Labour Organisation,” he concluded.