If you don’t think it’s safe, it probably isn’t. Stop the job and contact your supervisor.


A risk assessment is a;

  • OHS ACT requirement and is a
  • Systematic method of looking at work activities, considering what could go wrong, and deciding on suitable control measures to prevent loss, damage or injury in the workplace.

The Assessment should and the emphasis is on controlling a hazard at the source and taking steps, as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure;

  • safety and
  • the absence of risks to health in connection with the production, processing, use, handling, storage or transport of articles or substances.

By law, the employer may not permit any employee to work, “unless such an employee uses the required safety equipment or facility provided. There are certain PPE that must be warn/used in the construction industry, and the employers must identify these instances through their “Risk Assessments” of particular tasks to be performed..

Employees in turn have a legal duty in terms of Section 14 of the OHS Act to take care of themselves and others, as well as complying with the measures that the employer puts in place for their protection.

The following are examples of workplace hazards that could cause bodily injury:

  • Temperature extremes;
  • Dangerous/hazardous electrical sittuations
  • Hot splashes from molten metals and other hot liquids;
  • Potential impacts/cuts from tools, machinery and materials;
  • Hazardous chemicals and
  • Radiation.


To ensure your safety, and that of your co-workers, observe and obey the following rules and guidelines:

  • Observe and practice the safety procedures established for the job.
  • In case of sickness or injury, no matter how slight, report at once to your supervisor. In no case should an employee treat his own or someone else’s injuries or attempt to remove foreign particles from the eye.
  • In case of injury resulting in possible fracture to legs, back, or neck, or any accident resulting in an unconscious condition, or a severe head injury, the employee is not to be moved until medical attention has been given by authorized personnel.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or jewellery around machinery. It may catch on moving equipment and cause a serious injury.
  • Never distract the attention of another employee, as you might cause him or her to be injured. If necessary to get the attention of another employee, wait until it can be done safely.
  • Where required, you must wear protective equipment, such as goggles, safety glasses, masks, gloves, hair nets, etc.
  • Safety equipment such as restraints, pull backs, and two-hand devices are designed for your protection. Be sure such equipment is adjusted for you.
  • Pile materials, skids, bins, boxes, or other equipment so as not to block aisles, exits, fire fighting equipment, electric lighting or power panel, valves, etc. FIRE DOORS AND AISLES MUST BE KEPT CLEAR.
  • Keep your work area clean.
  • Use compressed air only for the job for which it is intended. Do not clean your clothes with it and do not fool with it.
  • Observe smoking regulations.
  • Shut down your machine before cleaning, repairing, or leaving.
  • Tow motors and lift trucks will be operated only by authorized personnel. Do not exceed a speed that is safe for existing conditions.
  • Running and horseplay are strictly forbidden.
  • Do not block access to fire extinguishers.
  • Do not tamper with electric controls or switches.
  • Do not operate machines or equipment until you have been properly instructed and authorized to do so by your supervisor.
  • Do not engage in such other practices as may be inconsistent with ordinary and reasonable common sense safety rules.
  • Report any UNSAFE condition or acts to your supervisor.
  • Use designated passages when moving from one place to another; never take hazardous shortcuts.
  • Lift properly—use your legs, not your back. For heavier loads, ask for assistance.
  • Do not adjust, clean, or oil moving machinery.
  • Keep machine guards in their intended place.
  • Do not throw objects.
  • Clean up spilled liquid, oil, or grease immediately.
  • Wear hard sole shoes and appropriate clothing. Shorts or mini dresses are not permitted.
  • Place trash and paper in proper containers and not in cans provided for cigarette butts.


            Personal Protective Clothing (PPC)

The following points 1 to 7 reflects what the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), General Safety Regulations specifies for employers and employees:

Personal safety equipment and facilities

1. Every employer and every user of machinery shall make an evaluation of the risk (it is a risk assessment) attached to any condition or situation which may arise from the activities of such employer or user, as the case may be,

  • and to which persons at a workplace or in the course of their employment or in connection with the use of machinery are exposed,
  • and he shall take such steps as may under the circumstances be necessary to make such condition or situation safe.

2. Where it is not practicable to safeguard the condition or situation, the employer or user of machinery, as the case may be,

  • shall take steps to reduce the risk as much as is practicable, and
  • shall provide free of charge and maintain in a good and clean condition such safety equipment and facilities as may be necessary.

This is to ensure that any person exposed to any such condition or situation at a workplace or in the course of his employment or on premises where machinery is used is rendered safe.

3. Taking into account the nature of the hazard that is to be countered, and without derogating from the general duties imposed on employers and users of machinery the safety equipment and facilities contemplated shall include, as may be necessary —

A suitable goggles, spectacles, face shields, welding shields, visors, hard hats, protective helmets, caps, gloves, gauntlets, aprons, jackets, capes, sleeves, leggings, spats, gaiters, protective footwear, protective overalls, or any similar safety equipment or facility of a type that will effectively prevent bodily injury;
B waterproof clothing, high-visibility clothing, chemical-resistant clothing, low temperature clothing, chain mail garments, waders, fire retardant or flame-proof clothing, ice-jackets, or any similar safety equipment of a type that will effectively protect the wearer thereof against harm
C belts, harnesses, nets, fall arresters, life lines, safety hooks, or any similar equipment of a type that will effectively protect persons against falls;     
D mats, barriers, locking-out devices, safety signs, or any similar facility that will effectively prevent slipping, unsafe entry or unsafe conditions   
E protective ointments, ear-muffs, ear-plugs, respirators, breathing apparatus, dust masks; air lines, hoods, helmets, or any similar safety equipment or facility of a type that will effectively protect against harm;
F suitable insulating material underfoot where persons work on a floor made of metal stone, concrete or other similar material; and
G generally, such safety equipment or facilities as may be necessary to render the persons concerned safe. COVER MOVING PARTS & GUARDS OVER SHARP OBJECTS  
H All employees must use seat belts and shoulder restraints (if available) whenever they operate a vehicle on public roads. The driver is responsible for seeing that all passengers in front and rear seats are buckled up.    
I use of hairnets, removal of jewellery and avoidance of loose clothes in work areas.   

4. An employer or a user of machinery, as the case may be, shall take steps to ensure that no safety equipment or facility provided as required by this or any other regulation is removed from a workplace or from premises where machinery is used, except for purposes of cleaning, repair, maintenance, modification, mending or replacement, and no person shall remove any such safety equipment or facility from a workplace or premises where machinery is used, except for the aforesaid purposes.

5. An employer shall instruct his employees in the proper use, maintenance and limitations of the safety equipment and facilities provided.

7. The provisions of this regulation shall not be construed as derogating from the provisions of any specific regulation prescribing specific safety equipment or facilities


Risk assessment shall be coordinated on manual handling tasks involving:

  • Lifting, carrying or putting down
  • Pushing, pulling, throwing or restraining
  • Any activity involving bending, twisting or awkward postures, even where no object is handled
  • Prolonged, frequent, repetitive movements
  • Activities that require stationary/static muscle loading

Broken tools can be replaced.

A injured or broken back cannot be replaced!!!!


To minimise the risk of  injury, employees shall comply with the following lifting technique:

  • Think & Plan the Lift  
  • Assess the Risk  
  • Adopt a Stable Foot Position  
  • Keep a Firm Grip on the load  
  • Lift With Your Legs (Use the strong muscles of your legs to lift)  
  • Hold Load Close to Body  
  • Avoid Bending & Twisting  
  • Maintain Physical Fitness, and   
  • Aim to maintain the natural curves of your spine, thereby lessening the chance of injury to disks)
Lifting Lift Smart – Think Then Start!
  1. a) and

b) conduct inspections to monitor that safe dress codes are implemented according to workplace instructions. This includes:

  1. wearing PPE such as hand and foot protection, eye, ear, face and head protection, body protection, the use of hairnets, removal of jewellery and avoidance of loose clothes in work areas.
  2. Describe risks associated to the workplace within the construction industry.
  3. Describe basic lifting techniques.
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