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Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Parliament gives the green light

Legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) obliges Parliament to provide and maintain as far as is reasonable practicable,

a working environment that is safe and without hazards and risks to the health of its employees.

There is an expectation that employees co-operate with the employer to ensure that requirements of the Act are met. Parliament has the responsibility to create awareness amongst all its employees about the importance of preserving the environment and the attendant roles and responsibilities.

Parliament has created a coherent plan to manage a safe and efficient work environment, including the development of a Waste Management Policy.

The purpose of the policy is to provide a framework for the equitable, affordable and sustainable service delivery to employees and public persons within the precincts of Parliament.

The policy aims to ensure the safe disposal of waste materials to reduce pollution, to maximize recycling and to ensure that waste generated in Parliament is handled in accordance with the guidelines contained therein.

The Constitution states that the people of South Africa have the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.

This includes the protection of the environment through reasonable legislative and other measures to prevent pollution and ecological degradation, to promote conservation, and to secure ecologically sustainable development.

 “We can reverse some of the harm our planet has suffered if we all take action to make a difference” says Parliament.

Parliament is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all Members and staff of Parliament and all persons lawfully working in or entering its precincts.

The Institution is dedicated to keeping the precincts of Parliament in a good state to provide a safe and healthy work environment, and proactively manage environmental risk in the workplace.

Saving energy

Parliament promotes the use of energy-saving bulbs in order to reduce pollution, save energy and cost. Energy-saving bulbs are used for lighting in most public areas and passages in Parliament.

Waste Management

“Waste” means any matter, whether gaseous, liquid or solid or any combination thereof, which is from time to time designated by the National Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism by notice in the Government Gazette.

Solid Waste Management

•          Dry Waste

Dry Waste is collected on a daily basis in clear plastic bags and in containers from all areas and delivered to the authorized waste holding site.

•          Medical Waste

Medical waste is placed in standard (yellow) plastic containers and removed by a contracted service provider on a regular basis, or when required.

•          Electrical Waste

All redundant florescent tubes are taken to a crushing facility to be safely destroyed.

•          Wet waste

Wet Waste is placed in the marked standard waste containers/bins and removed on a regular basis.

•          Chemical Waste

Chemicals are placed in a locked chemical store to prevent unauthorized use. All chemicals must be placed in identified containers, and small quantities of hazardous chemicals must be labelled correctly.

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