Health and Safety

Employer Cares

Legal provisions pertaining to occupational safety and health in the Kingdom of Lesotho are contained primarily in two pieces of legislation. These are the Labour Code and the Mine Safety Act 4 of 1981. There are other laws and regulations on specific themes such as the Noise Regulations and Spray painting regulations or the Mine Safety Act that regulates occupational safety and health matters in the mining sector.

The Law imposes a range of specific obligations on the employers which are as follows:

  • To hold medical exams of employees prior to work in order to determine their health status (and fitness for work);
  • Make first-aid arrangements at workplace by providing first-aid items, medical supplies and related equipment;
  • To ensure that there are appropriate sanitary installations, adequate supply of clean drinking water and hygienic eating facilities that serve quality food;
  • Appoint safety representatives responsible for ensuring occupational health and safety standards;
  • To create OSH committees comprising of the representatives of the employees for consultation on OSH issues.

Source: §93, 97, 98, 110 and 157 of the Labour Code, 1992, §17-19 of the Mine Safety Act 1981

Free Protection

The employer is required to provide satisfactory personal protective equipment to the employees and to ensure that the employees are trained in the use of such equipment and that the equipment is used. Employees are required to use protective equipment, exercise caution and contribute to the prevention of accidents and injury to health. Such equipment is provided free of cost, maintained, and renewed by the employer as necessary.

Source: §109 of the Labour Code, 1992

Training

Employers are required to provide information, instruction, training and supervision that are necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work and of employees.

No person will work at any machine unless he or she has been fully instructed as to the dangers arising in connection with the machine and the precautions to be observed, and has received sufficient training in work at the machine.

Source: §93 and 103 of the Labour Code, 1992

Labour Inspection System

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of occupational health and safety legislation. The Labour Department is further subdivided into six sections, two of which have responsibilities over labor inspection: the Industrial Relations Section and the Occupational Health and Safety Section.

The Labour Department enforces the Labour Code, Workmen’s Compensation Act and the Wages Order. The Occupational safety and health department conducts workplace inspections, surveys and investigation of accidents, dangerous occurrences and work-related diseases and monitoring adherence to Occupational Safety and Health legislation. The OSH Promotional Services Unit provides relevant training to social partners to enhance the understanding of their duties and obligations in promoting safety and health; promote and implement the National HIV&AIDS Policy at workplaces; compile and analyze statistics on occupational safety and health; and disseminate information on Occupational Safety and health.

Labour officers monitor compliance with the labour code. In this regard, they have the power to enter workplaces to conduct investigations and inspections; prohibit the use of a place of work that does not comply with OSH standards; make an order instructing the employer to remedy any defect relating to health, safety or welfare; cancel registration of workplaces who do not comply with OSH standard; Institute and carry on in his or her own name proceedings in respect of any contravention of, or any offence committed by any person against, any of the provisions of the Code; and resolve any disputes that arise with respect to the rights and liabilities of any party under a contract of employment.

National Advisory Council on OSH is also appointed by the Minister for Labor, which is responsible for giving advice and assistance in respect of OSH issues. This Council consists of representatives of the government, the employees, the employers, and the independent experts with experience in the field.

Source: §11-16, 46, 112 and 114 of the Labour Code, 1992; §08-11 of the Mine Safety Act, 1981

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