ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
4. General application
5. Application to workplaces belonging to the Government
REGISTRATION OF WORKPLACES
6. Register of workplaces
7. Premises not to be used as a workplace unless registered
8. Application for erection or alteration of workplaces
9. Application for registration of workplaces
10. Notification of change
11. Transfer of workplace
12. Fees for registration, etc.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
13. Duties of employers
14. General duties of employers and self-employed persons to persons other than their employees
15. Duties of other persons
16. General duties of persons in control of workplaces in relation to harmful emissions
17. General duties of manufacturers or suppliers as regards articles and substances used at workplaces
18. General duties of employees at workplaces
19. Interference with or misuse of safeguards
20. Duty not to levy charges on employees
21. Safety committees
HEALTH AND WELFARE
24. Ventilation and temperature
26. Drainage of floor
27. Sanitary conveniences
28. Washing facilities
29. Drinking water
30. Change rooms
32. Facilities for meals
33. First aid
34. Medical examination
35. Fencing and guarding of dangerous machinery
36. Provision as to unfenced machinery
37. Construction and maintenance of fencing
38. Hoists and lifts
40. Cranes and other lifting machines
41. Chains, ropes and lifting tackle
42. Steam boilers
43. Notification of repairs, etc., to boilers
44. Additional information on new boilers
45. Exemptions for steam tube ovens, etc.
46. Steam receivers and steam containers
47. Air receivers
48. Gas plants
49. Gas cylinders
HEALTH AND SAFETY
51. Hazardous substances
52. Vessels, etc., containing dangerous substances
53. Bulk storage of dangerous substances
54. Precautions in relation to explosives, etc.
55. Precautions in relation to work in confined spaces
56. Prevention of fire
57. Means of escape in case of fire
58. Protective clothing and appliances
59. Removal of dust and fumes
60. Protection of eyes
61. Ionizing radiation
62. Non-ionizing radiation
63. Noise and vibration
64. Lifting and handling of weights
65. Information and training
NOTIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENTS, DANGEROUS OCCURENCES AND INDUSTRIAL DISEASES
66. Notification of accidents
67. Dangerous occurrences
68. Notification of industrial diseases
69. Posting of abstract of the Act, etc.
70. General register
71. Preservation of registers and records
72. Appointment of inspectors
73. Powers of inspectors
74. Power to deal with cause of imminent danger
75. Inspectors not to disclose information
76. Improvement notices
77. Prohibition notices
78. Provisions on prohibition notices and improvement notices
79. Appointment of Arbitration Board
80. Appeal against improvement or prohibition notices
81. Certificates by the Director to be gazetted
OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
83. General penalty
84. Power of court to order contravention to be remedied
85. Penalty in case of death or bodily injury
86. Penalty on persons actually committing offence for which occupier is liable
87. Power of occupier or owner to exempt himself from liability on conviction of the actual offender
88. Proceedings against persons other than occupiers or owners
89. Owner of machine liable in certain cases instead of occupier
90. Special provisions as to evidence
91. Service of documents
92. Power to modify agreements
93. Power to apportion expenses
96. Repeal and savings
21 of 1997
An Act to make provision for the regulation of the conditions of employment in workplaces as regards the safety, health and welfare of persons employed therein; for the inspection of certain plant and machinery, and the prevention and regulation of accidents occurring to persons employed or authorized to go into the workplaces; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing
[8TH DECEMBER 1997]
This Act may be cited as the Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“air receiver” means—
(a) any vessel, other than a pipe or coil, or an accessory, fitting or part of a compressor, for containing compressed air and connected with an air-compressing plant;
(b) any fixed vessel for containing compressed air or compressed exhaust gases and used for starting an internal combustion engine;
(c) any fixed or portable vessel, not being part of a spraying pistol used for the purpose of spraying by means of compressed air any paint, varnish, lacquer or similar material, or an insecticide; and
(d) any vessel in which oil is stored and from which it is forced by compressed air;
“article” includes any solid, liquid or gas, or any combination thereof;
“Board” means the Arbitration Board appointed under section 79;
“bodily injury” includes injury to health;
“building operation” means the construction, structural alterations, repair or maintenance of a building (including repainting, redecoration and external cleaning of the structure), the demolition of a building, and the preparation for, and laying the foundation of, an intended building, but does not include any operation which is a work of engineering construction within the meaning of this Act;
“Director” means the Director of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare appointed under section 72;
“class or description” in relation to workplaces, includes a group of workplaces described by reference to locality;
“competent person” means a person with such practical and theoretical knowledge and actual experience of the type of machinery or plant which he or she has to examine as will enable him or her to detect defects or weaknesses which it is the purpose of the examination to discover, and to assess their importance in relation to the strength and functions of the particular machinery or plant;
“driving belt” means a device that transmits motion from one machinery component to another, and includes strap or rope or chain;
“fume” includes gas and vapour;
“gas plant” means an installation for generating, cleaning, storing and compressing gas in cylinders or containers;
“general register” means the register kept in accordance with section 70;
“hazardous substance” means any matter which by virtue of its chemical, physical or toxicological properties constitutes a risk to safety, health or welfare of persons;
“inspector” means a public officer appointed as such under section 72, and includes the Director;
(a) any locomotive or any stationary or portable engine, boiler or other steam apparatus; and
(b) any appliance or combination of appliances intended for developing, receiving, storing, transmitting or converting power, but does not include a vehicle;
“maintained” means kept in an efficient state, in efficient safe working order and in good repair;
“persons employed” means persons employed in engineering, agricultural, management, staff and skilled allied trade services in the formal and informal sector;
“occupier” means the person in actual occupation of a workplace, whether that person be the owner thereof or not;
“owner” means the person for the time being receiving the rents or profits of the premises in connexion with which the workplace is used, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee for any other person, or who would so receive the rents if the premises were leased;“
“prime mover” means every engine, motor or other appliance which provides mechanical energy derived from steam, water, wind, electricity, the combustion of fuel or any other source;
“quarry” means any place, excavation or working, other than a mine, wherever, wherein or whereby any operation in connexion with the extraction of sand, stone, laterite or similar materials or minerals is carried on;
“railway” means any railway used for the purpose of public traffic, whether for passenger, goods or other traffic, and includes any works used in connexion with and for such purposes;
“sanitary conveniences” means urinals, water closets, earth closets, privies, ashpits, chemical closets and any similar convenience and includes washing facilities;
“steam receiver” means any vessel or apparatus, other than a steam boiler, steam container, a steam pipe or coil or a part of a prime mover, used for containing steam under pressure greater than atmospheric pressure;
“steam container” means any vessel (other than a steam pipe or coil) constructed with a permanent outlet into the atmosphere or into a space where the pressure does not exceed atmospheric pressure, and through which steam is passed at atmospheric pressure, or at approximately that pressure, for the purpose of heating, boiling, drying, evaporating or other similar;
“substance” means any matter of particular or definite chemical composition;
“transmission machinery” means every shaft, gear, drum, pulley, system of fast and loose pulleys, coupling, clutch, driving-belt or other device by which the motion of a prime mover is transmitted to, or received by, any machine or appliance;
“work of engineering construction” means the construction of any railway line or siding, otherwise than upon an existing railway, and the construction, structural alteration or repair (including repainting and repointing) or the demolition of any dock, harbour, inland navigation tunnel, bridge, viaduct, waterworks, reservoir, pipeline, aqueduct, sewer, road, sewage works, gasholder, and includes such other works as the Director may prescribe by notice in the Gazette;
“young person” means any person under the apparent age of eighteen years.
(2) For the purposes of this Act—
(a) machinery or plant shall be deemed to have been constructed or reconstructed before the date of coming into operation of this Act, and a workplace or building shall be deemed to have been constructed, reconstructed, extended, added to or converted for use as a workplace, before the date of coming into operation of this Act or the coming into operation of any provision of the Act, if the construction, reconstruction, extension, addition or conversion was begun before the date of coming into operation of this Act, or the date of coming into operation of any provision of this Act, as the case may be;
(b) an apprentice shall be deemed to be a person employed;
(c) a person who works in a workplace, whether for wages or not, in collecting, carrying or delivering goods, carrying messages or running errands or any other legitimate purpose shall be deemed to be employed in the workplace.
(1) Subject to this section, the expression “workplace” means any premises in which, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, one or more persons are employed in any process for or incidental to any of the following purposes—
(a) the making of any article or of part of any article; or
(b) the altering, repairing, renovating, ornamenting, painting, spraying, polishing, finishing, cleaning, dyeing, washing or breaking up of any article;
(c) the adapting for sale of any article;
(d) the sorting, assembling or packaging, including washing or filling bottles or other containers, of any article;
(e) the painting, spraying, construction, reconstruction, assembling, repairing or breaking up of vehicles or parts thereof;
(f) the printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure or other similar process, bookbinding, including any activity associated with the printing industry;
(g) the production and storage of gas in a holder of more than one hundred and fifty cubic metres storage capacity being premises in which, or within the close or curtilage or precincts of which, there is carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain and over which the employer of the persons therein has the right of access or control.
(2) The expression “workplace” also includes the following premises in which one or more persons are employed, whether or not they are workplaces by reason of subsection (1)—
(a) any yard or dry dock, including the precincts thereof, in which ships, boats or vessels are constructed, reconstructed, assembled, repaired, refitted, finished or broken up;
(b) any premises in which the construction, reconstruction or repair of aircraft, locomotives, vehicles or other plant for use for transport purposes is carried on as ancillary to a transport undertaking or other industrial or commercial undertaking, which are not premises used for the purpose of housing aircraft, locomotives or vehicles where only cleaning, washing or minor adjustments are carried out;
(c) any premises in which mechanical power is used in connexion with the making or repair of articles of metal or wood incidental to any business carried on by way of trade or for the purpose of gain;
(d) any premises in which building operations and works of engineering construction is undertaken;
(e) any premises in which articles are made or prepared incidental to carrying on of building operations or works of engineering construction, not being premises in which such operations or works are carried on;
(f) any premises in which persons are regularly employed in, or in connexion with, the generating of electrical energy for supply by way of trade, or for supply for the purpose of any industrial or commercial undertaking or of any public building or public institution, or for supply to streets or other public places;
(g) any premises in which mechanical power is used for the purposes of, or in connexion with, a water supply (being premises in which such persons are regularly employed);
(h) any premises in which the business of sorting or grading any articles is carried on as a preliminary to the work carried on in any workplace or incidental to the purposes of any workplace;
(i) any laundry carried on as ancillary to another business, or incidental to the purposes of any public institution;
(j) any premises in which the business of making or mending nets is carried on incidental to the fishing industry;
(k) any sewage works in which mechanical power is used, and any pumping station used in connexion with any sewage works, regardless of location;
(l) any premises in which the refrigeration of any article is carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain, other than premises in which refrigeration is only incidental to the conduct of business engaged mainly in the sale of goods by retail, or a mortuary.
(3) Any line or siding, not being part of a railway, which is used in connexion with and for the purpose of a workplace shall be deemed to be part of the workplace and, if any such line or siding is used in connexion with more than one workplace belonging to different occupiers, the line or siding shall be deemed to be a separate workplace; and this Act shall apply as if such different occupiers were jointly the occupiers of the line or siding so deemed to be a workplace.
(4) Any workplace in which, with the permission of or under agreement with the owner or occupier, one or more persons carry on any work which would constitute a workplace if the persons therein were in the employment of the owner or occupier, shall be deemed to be a workplace for the purposes of this Act and, in the case of any such workplace, this Act shall apply as if the owner or occupier of the workplace were the occupier and the persons working therein were persons employed in the workplace.
(5) Any premises belonging to a quarry or a mine being premises in which the dressing, breaking down, processing or preparation for sale of sand, stone or mineral is carried on and any place, excavation or working wherever, wherein or whereby any operation in connexion with the extraction of sand, stone, mineral or similar materials, is carried on, shall be deemed to be a workplace.
(6) Any premises in which agricultural activities such as chemical weeding, spraying, fumigation, or preservation is carried on shall be deemed to be a workplace.
(7) Premises shall not be excluded from the definition of a workplace by reason only that they are open air premises.
Save as is in this Act otherwise expressly provided, this Act shall apply to all workplaces as defined by this Act.
This Act shall also apply to—
(a) every workplace belonging to or in the occupation of the Government;
(b) building operations and works of engineering construction undertaken by, or on behalf of the Government; and
(c) the employment by, or under the Government, of persons engaged in demolishing, painting or renovating buildings.
REGISTRATION OF WORKPLACES
The Director shall keep a register of workplaces in which he shall cause to be entered such particulars in relation to every workplace required to be registered under this Act as he may consider necessary or desirable.
(1) No person shall occupy or use a workplace unless he is the holder of—
(a) a registration certificate issued in respect of such premises under section 9 (2);
(b) a current provisional registration permit issued in respect of such workplace under section 9 (3).
(2) The occupier of a registered workplace shall not carry on therein any activity referred to in section 3 other than that specified in the registration certificate or provisional registration permit, as the case may be.
(1) Every person who intends to—
(a) erect or cause to be erected any building for use as a workplace; or
(b) effect any structural or other alteration to any premises registered as a workplace under this Act; or
(c) alter or add to any existing building not registered as a workplace under this Act with the intention of using such building or a portion thereof as a workplace,
shall submit to the Director, in duplicate in the prescribed form, plans of the site, and of the proposed building, alterations or additions, together with the prescribed particulars.
(2) If the Director considers that—
(a) the proposed structural or other alterations to any premises registered as a workplace under this Act would result in such a workplace unsuitable in terms of the regulations for use as a workplace in respect of the activity which is specified in the registration certificate for such a workplace; or
(b) the proposed building or additions or the building altered in the manner proposed would not be suitable in terms of the regulations for use as a workplace of the nature proposed,
he shall disapprove such plans and particulars and shall give reasons for his disapproval.
(3) Where, in accordance with any written law, application is made to a local authority or a town planning committee for the approval of any plans for the erection, rebuilding or alteration of any building used or intended to be used for a workplace, such local authority or town planning committee, as the case may be, shall submit such plans to the Director for examination by him, and shall not approve such plans unless the Director has notified the local authority or town planning committee, as the case may be, in writing that he considers the building will be suitable for use as workplace of the nature proposed.
(1) Application for registration of any premises as a workplace under this Act shall be made to the Director in the prescribed form by the person occupying or intending to occupy such premises as a workplace.
(2) Every application for registration under this section shall be accompanied by plans of the proposed workplace, which shall give the following particulars—
(a) materials to be used in the building;
(b) material to be used in the roofing;
(c) provision for ventilation;
(d) provision of drainage;
(e) provision for natural and artificial lighting;
(f) provision of means of escape in case of fire;
(g) provision for sanitary facilities;
(h) provision for disposal of waste where applicable;
(i) provision of water supply; and
(j) such other additional information or drawings as the Director may require.
(3) As soon as possible after receipt of an application, and any additional information or drawings required under subsection (2), and after consultation with the relevant local authority or town planning committee, as the case may be, the Director shall—
(a) register the premises in respect of which the application is made by issuing a registration certificate in the prescribed form, specifying the activity in respect of which the workplace is registered, the name of the occupier and any other particulars as may be prescribed; or
(b) refuse to register the premises on any of the following grounds—
(i) that the premises are unsuitable for use as a workplace;
(ii) the activity to be carried on in the workplace or the siting of the workplace would be in contravention of any approved scheme, operative regional plan, operative master plan or operative local plan as defined in any written law; or
(iii) that the applicant has not obtained any licence or permit required under any in respect of the operations to be carried on the premises.
(4) After the registration of any premises as a workplace under this Act, no person shall effect or cause to be effected any structural or other alterations to such premises without the written prior approval of the Director, and if any such alteration is commenced or carried out without such approval, the Director may, by notice in writing to the occupier, cancel the registration certificate, whereupon the premises shall cease to be registered as a workplace under this Act.
(5) If the occupier of a workplace loses a registration certificate issued to him under subsection (3) or a duplicate registration certificate issued to him under this subsection, he shall, within fifteen days after the discovery of the loss, apply for a duplicate registration certificate from the Director and the application shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.
(6) Application for renewal of registration of a workplace shall be made by the occupier annually as from 1st April of each financial year by sending to the Director a written application in the prescribed form.
(7) Upon receipt of application under subsection (6) and if satisfied that the workplace to which the application relates is suitable for use as a workplace of the nature stated in the application, the Director shall renew the registration of the workplace and shall issue to the occupier a certificate of registration in the prescribed form.
(8) Registration shall, unless sooner determined, be effective for a period of twelve months but may be renewed annually.
(9) The occupier of a workplace shall exhibit the registration certificate issued to him in terms of this section on the premises.
(10) Any person who, without there having been issued to him a certificate of registration occupies or uses as a workplace any premises which were not occupied or used by him at the date of coming into operation of the Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K10,000, and if the contravention in respect of which he is convicted continues after conviction, he shall be liable to a fine of K500 for each day that the offence continues.
If, at any time after an application has been submitted to the Director in accordance with section 7 or section 8, any substantial change occurs with respect to the particulars set out in the application, the occupier of the premises to which the application relates shall forthwith inform the Director in writing of such change, and every applicant who fails to do so shall be guilty of an offence.
When the right to occupy any workplace has been transferred, the transferee, or person acting in his behalf, shall forthwith send notice in writing to the Director stating the name and postal address of the transferee, the situation of the workplace and the nature of the trade or business to be carried on in the workplace, together with the prescribed transfer fee.
The Minister may make regulations prescribing fees which shall be paid in respect of registration of existing workplaces, the registration of new workplaces and renewal of registration, the transfer of a workplace and the issue of duplicate certificates of registration.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under subsection (1), the matters to which that duty extends includes in particular—
(a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health;
(b) arrangements for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connexion with the use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances;
(c) the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision in accordance with section 65 to ensure the safety and health at work of his employees;
(d) as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the provision of maintenance in a manner that is safe and without risks to health, and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
(e) the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.
(3) Except in such cases as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer to prepare and as often as may be appropriate, revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the safety and health at workplace of his employees, and the organization and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.
(4) The Minister may make regulations providing for—
(a) the appointment by trade unions of safety representatives from amongst the employees, to represent the employees in consultations with the employers under subsection (5), and the safety representative shall have such other functions as may be prescribed;
(b) the election by employees of safety representatives from amongst the employees, to represent employees in consultations with the employers under subsection (5), and the safety representatives may have such other functions as may be prescribed.
(5) It shall be the duty of every employer to consult with any safety representatives with a view to the making and maintenance of arrangements which will enable the employer and his employees to cooperate effectively in promoting and developing measures to ensure the safety and health at work of the employees, and in checking the effectiveness of such measures.
(6) In every such case as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer, if requested to do so by the safety representatives, to establish, in accordance with section 21, a safety committee to review measures taken to ensure the safety and health at work of employees, and the safety committee shall have such other functions as may be prescribed.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure that persons not in his employment who may be affected by the undertaking are not thereby exposed to risks to their safety or health.
(2) It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure that other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected by the undertaking are not thereby exposed to risks to their safety or health.
(3) In every such case as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer and every self-employed person, in the prescribed manner, to give to persons (not being his employees) who may be affected by the way in which he conducts his undertaking prescribed information about such aspects of his undertaking as might affect their safety or health.
(1) This section shall apply to non-domestic premises used as a place of work, and to any plant, equipment or substance used on such premises in connexion with any work performed thereon.
(2) It shall be the duty of every person who has, to any extent, control of premises to which this section applies, or of the means of access thereto or egress therefrom, or of any plant, equipment or substance in such premises, to take such measures as are reasonable for a person in his position to take to ensure that the premises, or means of access thereto or egress therefrom available for use by persons using the premises, and any plant, equipment or substance on the premises or provided for use thereon, is safe and without risks to health.
(3) Where, by virtue of any contract or tenancy, a person has an obligation of any extent in relation to—
(a) the maintenance or repair of any premises to which this section applies, or any means of access thereto, or egress therefrom; or
(b) the safety or the absence of risks to health arising from plant, equipment or substances in any such premises,
that person shall be treated, for the purposes of subsection (2) as being a person who has control of the matters to which his obligation extends.
(4) Any reference in this section to a person having control of any premises or matter is a reference to a person having control of the premises or matter in connexion with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking, whether for profit or not.
(1) It shall be the duty of every person having control of any premises to use the best practicable means for preventing the emission into the atmosphere from the premises of noxious or offensive substances, and for rendering harmless and inoffensive such substances as may be so emitted.
(2) The Minister may, for purposes of subsection (1), by order published in the Gazette, prescribe any substance to be noxious or offensive.
(3) The reference in subsection (1) to the means to be used for the purposes therein mentioned, includes reference to the manner in which the plant provided for those purposes is used, and to the supervision of any operation involving the emission of the substances to which that subsection applies.
(4) Any reference in this section to a person having control of any premises is a reference to a person having control of the premises in connexion with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking, whether for profit or not, and any duty imposed on any such person shall extend only to matters within his control.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to request from any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article for use at a workplace—
(a) to ensure that the article is designed and constructed to be safe and without risks to health when properly used;
(b) to carry out or arrange for the carrying out of such testing and examination as may be necessary for the performance of the duty imposed on him under subsection (1) (a);
(c) to take such steps as are necessary to secure that there is available, in connexion with the use of the article at workplace, adequate information about the use for which it is designed and has been tested, and about any conditions necessary to ensure that, when put to that use, the article will be safe and without risks to health.
(2) It shall be the duty of every person who undertakes the design or manufacture of any article for use at a workplace to carry out or arrange for the carrying out of any necessary research with a view to discover and, so far as is reasonably practicable, to eliminate or minimize any risks to safety or health to which the design or manufacture of the article may give rise.
(3) It shall be the duty of every person who erects or installs any article for use at a workplace in any premises where that article is to be used by persons at work to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that nothing about the way in which the article is erected or installed makes it unsafe or risky to health when properly used.
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