Department of Labour must improve.

Why are things the way they are in the Department of Labour?

This is the question so many of us are asking without any riposte.

Vulnerable employees and families  are suffering at the hands of budgets restraints, lack of resources and accurate information sharing for lessons learned.

Just within this week on the Engen Refinery in Durban a young employee had succumb to his injuries after beinginvolved in an explosion.

What does that have to do with me you may ask?
It has everything to do with you, as we may all be affected by these accidents, either personally, or by one of our own family members or friends, who may find themselves in a similar situation , as many families have already experienced.

This leaves a serious situation and effects the future of our fellow employees and families who are constitutionally entitled to a healthy and safe environment for us all.

What can be done within the DOL to change so many of these accidents from recurring?
The DOL needs to develop a proper Serious incidents and accidents sharing portal and blog with investigations being published and shared to all concerned.

We have seen that without government's interventions, through properly enforced laws, and significant fines, jail terms and notices affecting work stoppages, the majority of management are very reluctant to adhere to safety requirements and laws, due to a mentality of no fear of reprisal due to a "toothless" Department of Labour.

We would like to raise an issue of a lingering situation that will affect every employer and employee alike in our country.
The lack of resources and support from the DOL within all areas and departments and the urgent appointments of additional support that will be available through properly trained, experienced and well vetted inspectors.

The DOL can also develop an application for cellphones an a website, where these aspects can be shared to everyone and proper lessons learned drafted, with control measures and if required Government Notices issued by the Minister to enforce implementation by a certain period.

We would like to see a name and shame list, of all these companies who are not adhering to safety rules and legislation and what the DOL has done to that company and responsible managers involved.

Frequently asked questions posed by many safety professionals which we would like answered and most importantly intervention by the Minister and senior management of the DOL.

1) Why has the DOL not taken more stringent action against companies who have seriously contravened the law?

2) Why are significant accidents and incidents with either a high potential of severity been properly published for comments and suggestions and most importantly for lessons learned?

3) Why has there been no proper public consultation and brain storming sessions through ideas and quarterly held forums, with elected and nominated professionals in conjunction with the DOL?

4) Why are we not improving the way our DOL operates by bench-marking ourselves to other agencies in the first world countries in order to grow and move forward in the right direction.

By signing this petition we would like to urge the Minister and all senior management within the Department of Labour to work together and we can collectively work to improving  this critical issue.

Let us unite on this point and hopefully we can ruffle enough feathers for a sit down with them and bring our ideas together and spur on the much needed change.

Please fill out your details and sign this petition digitally and be counted, as change starts with me.