Concern about labour laws on farms

2011-08-22 08:34

Johannesburg - The low level of compliance with labour legislation in the agricultural sector is a serious concern, the department of labour said on Saturday.

An inspection across farms in Vaalharts, Northern Cape, revealed that basic conditions of employment were being disregarded, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said.

It was found that none of the inspected farms adhered to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The inspection also revealed that incident record books were not updated and risk assessments for noise, dust and illumination were not conducted.

Some employees were found working with hazardous products without the required protective clothing.

Oliphant said the department would help employers in the area understand and implement legislation.

"The department acknowledges that safety in the workplace is unconditional. We are committed to ensuring the safety of workers and do not want to see fatalities in the work place - especially where these can be avoided," she said.

Shop stewards would be trained by the department so they would be able to represent workers accordingly. Employers who did not comply would be fined or their businesses would be closed, the department said.