Penalties in South Africa

Non-compliance with health and safety regulations can lead to a range of penalties, from minor fines and corrective measures to severe consequences like the closure of the premises or imprisonment of company owners. Therefore, it is crucial for employers and employees to be aware of actions that can result in such penalties, to prevent unnecessary harm or loss of productivity caused by avoidable offenses.

According to Section 38 of the OHSA, the following actions can contribute to health and safety non-compliance penalties: failure to comply with sections 7-36 of the OHSA, furnishing false or misleading information, hindering or obstructing an inspector’s duties, refusing or failing to comply with inspector requests, tampering with or discouraging evidence, prejudicing or influencing inquiry proceedings, tampering with safety equipment or failing to use it, and willfully or recklessly endangering anyone’s health and safety. Additionally, refusing to appear before an inspector, swearing an oath, answering questions, or producing documents can also lead to penalties.

The above actions can result in severe consequences such as hefty fines or imprisonment. Therefore, it is vital to comply with health and safety regulations to avoid such penalties and ensure the safety of all employees.