Greytown sawmill area closed

2010-09-23 00:00

THE Labour Department this week closed down a section of the Seven Oaks sawmill plant in Greytown after its inspection revealed that the plant has failed to comply with several health and regulatory standards.

This was the second time the department visited the mill this year and found safety and health violations.

The inspectors, led by Siyanda Zondekile, the national deputy director-general, closed down the stinger joining mill, where the employees join wood with glue, after they found that the safety conditions were not adhered to and employees were working with hazardous chemicals without safety gear to prevent inhalation.

The inspection at the Seven Oaks sawmill came a day before the department held a conference in Pietermaritzburg to address concerns over safety and compliance with the basic employment conditions in the sawmill sector.

Spokesperson for the department Jay Anand said the problems discovered were similar to the issues the employer had been asked to address in March.

Among the problems, the delegation found that the workers operating heavy machinery are not properly trained and the machinery is not being serviced regularly.

Production manager Peter Nel said they welcomed the department’s visit as the sawmill strives to ensure safety and compliance, “while it is not always possible to be 100% compliant”.

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