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South Africa: Health and safety

Original and updating authors: Helen Wilsenach and Pascale Towers, Bowmans

See the legal services provided by the author of XpertHR International > South Africa, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Under common law, employers have a duty to provide their employees with reasonably safe and healthy working conditions. This duty has been supplemented by various items of legislation. (See General)
  • Employers and employees have various health and safety duties. (See Duties on employers and employees)
  • An employer that has more than 20 employees, and whose business has been operating for at least four months, must designate in writing one or more health and safety representatives. (See Safety representatives)
  • The Department of Labour is responsible for ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation. (See Enforcement and penalties)
  • A statutory scheme provides "no-fault" compensation for employees who are injured in accidents that arise out of and in the course of their employment, or who contract occupational diseases. (See Compensation for injury or illness)