New Legislation – Health and Safety of Children at Work Regulations

by admin on July 29, 2010

The Health and Safety of Children at Work regulations was promulgated on 15 January 2010 and subsequently added to the list of existing regulations in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993.

One of the previously neglected areas in a working environment was the conditions in which minors were working.  This is now addressed with the new Regulation.  The purpose of the Regulation is to –

protect the health and safety at work which child workers are lawfully entitled to work
prohibit categories of work of which child workers may not perform
place conditions on the work that may be performed by child workers
identify which categories of work constitute worst forms of child labour, and to make appropriate enforcement provisions in this regard.

 This regulation must be read together with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993,  the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 9f 1997, and with the International Labour Organisation’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention of 1999 (The text of the Convention is available at www.ilo.org).

Herewith a summary and comments on the Regulation’s contents:

Regulation 1: Definitions – In this regulation their are 4 definitions, namely “the Act”, “child”, “child worker”, and “employer”.  A “child” is defined as a person less than 18 years of age and a “child worker” is defined as any child who is employed by or works for an employer who is employed by or works for an employer and receives or is entitled to receive any remuneration, or who works under the direction or supervision of an employer or any other person.

 Regulation 2 – describes the purpose of the Act, which was discussed above.

 Regulation 3 – Risk Assessment: Everything starts with a Risk Assessment as described in Section 8 of the OHS Act.  The employer need to identify the risks and hazards to which any child worker may be exposed, analysing and evaluating the risks and hazards and preparing and implementing a documented plan of safe work procedures to remove, mitigate, reduce or control the risks identified.  Regulation 3(2) is self explanatory, but employers should take note of it.  Schedule 1 of these Regulations give guidelines on Risk assessments and plans of safe work procedures regarding permitted work by child workers. Schedule 1 is available from our website

 Regulation 4 -10: Regulates the following conditions:

Respiratory hazards
Work in elevated position
Adult supervision necessary
Fall protection required in terms of the Construction Regulations
Work at a height of more than 5 meters above floor or ground
Work in elevated position means work at a height of more than 2 meters from the ground or floor

Lifting of heavy objects
No lifting of objects more than 15KGs
20% of the child’s body weight
objects more than 7,5KGs not more than once per minute
objects more than 5KGs may not be continously lifted for longer than 2 hours, with a break period of 30 minutes between 2 hours intervals.

Work in a cold environment
PPE required as per Reg 2(2)(b)(i) to (iv) of the Evironmental Regulations for Workplaces
0oC – not more than 2 minutes in such environment
6oC – not more than 1 hour in such environment

Work in hot environment
WBGT index not more than 30 unless the child is
acclimatised to such working environment
water breaks every 15 minutes
at least 150ml of liquid with every break

Work in noisy envirnment
no work involving an exposure to a noise level in excess of 80dB(A), unless
hearing protection (Reg 12 of Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations)

Power tools and cutting or grinding equipment
Risk assessment as per Reg 3
PPE Required
Training provided
Adequate supervision is required

 Regulation 12 – Discuss offences and penalties

fine or imprisonment for 12 months
in case of continuing offence, additional fine of R 200 or additional imprisonment for each day on which the offence occurs provided it does not exceed 90 days

 Regulation 13 – A employer who employs a child worker must display the prescribed summary of these regulations in the work place where it can be read by ALL employees.  This summary is provided in Schedule 2 to these Regulations.  Schedule 2 must be acknowledged by the employer with regards to the prohibitations set out in this schedule.  Schedule 2 have more prohibitions than the regulation and must be adhered to by the employer.

 This Regulation is available from our website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the Author:
This article was written by Johann Botes.  More articles available on www.jabconsultants.co.za or www.jabmall.co.za
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