In an effort to help organisations to understand their duties and accountabilities here are 7 reasons to comply with Health, Safety and Environmental legislation.
Every CEO of a business is personally liable to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation or face criminal prosecution with fines of up to R100,000 and / or 5 years imprisonment. Alternatively, if the business is found to be causing damage to the environment the CEO could face prosecution with fines up to R10,000,000 and / or 10 years imprisonment.
The KING IV Report on Corporate Governance includes a principle that the "the Governing Body should govern compliance with applicable laws, non-binding rules, codes and standards in a way that supports the organisation being an ethical and good corporate citizen." This includes compliance to the relevant Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental legislation but also includes municipal by-laws. There should also be regular measurement against bare minimum legislative and regulatory requirements. Performance should be disclosed to stakeholders. (Part 5.4, Chapter 4).
The ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18000 (soon to be ISO 45000) Standards require a company to “determine statutory and regulatory requirements” and to ensure that “the organisation has the ability to meet the defined requirements” (Clause 7.2.1, 7.2.2).
The Promotion of Access to Information Act (No 2 of 2000) requires all public and private companies to make available records of public interest on request. This may include “information about Health and Safety” (Business Day 8 January 2003).
A Growing Number of Corporate Clients request contracting firms to sign Contractual Agreements whereby the responsibility for health and safety matters relating to the work performed by the contractor are the sole obligation of the contractor – Section 37 (2) of the OHS Act.
Tender Requirements: Tenders issued by government, parastatals and corporates now often include the requirement for disclosing your compliance status and incident history. Compliance is now becoming a prerequisite for tender opportunities.
To qualify for Insurance Payout on Claims, one must comply with all respective legal requirements. If found not to be compliant, any claims may be repudiated (even though premiums are paid up).