Department of Employment and Labour
The Ergonomics Regulations have been launched.
In a statement, the employment and labour department declared that the “newly promulgated Ergonomics Regulations impose duties and responsibilities with regard to preventing occupational diseases and injuries relating to exposure to ergonomic hazards on all those involved in the workplace”.
The regulations, drawn up in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, were gazetted in December 2019 designed to protect the health and safety of any person who may be exposed to ergonomic risks in the workplace.
“Ergonomics” is defined as the “scientific discipline concerned with the fundamental understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance”.
According to the department, South Africa is one of the first countries in the world to have promulgated a regulation specific to ergonomics in the workplace.
During the launch, the employment and labour minister, Thulas Nxesi, pointed out that the regulations require the employer to implement a programme to control the exposure of employees and other people affected by their actions, to ergonomic hazards and also place duties on designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers.
“With the development and promulgation of the new Regulations, South Africa has become one of the leading countries to regulate ergonomics and reduce ergonomic hazards in the workplace. We can be proud of this. These regulations are in everyone’s interests – improving working conditions as well as performance,” said Nxesi.
Workshops on the regulations for stakeholders are also on the cards.