southafricalogoBusinessTech reports that the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has launched new ergonomic regulations that aim to prevent occupational diseases and injuries relating to ergonomic hazards in workplaces.  

Ergonomics is the study of how humans interact with man-made objects and its goal is to create an environment that is well-suited to a user’s physical needs.  The new regulations will require employers to implement a programme to control the exposure of employees – and other people affected by their actions – to ergonomic hazards.  The DEL’s definition of ergonomic risks is quite broad, indicating that it is “a characteristic or action in the workplace, work place conditions, or a combination thereof that may impair overall system performance and human well-being”.  According to Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, the new regulations are not a stand-alone programme, but rather another aspect to be incorporated into the employer’s already existing health and safety programmes.  DEL chief inspector Tibor Szana pointed out that most of the accidents in the world of work were caused by failure to adhere to ergonomics.  He advised that the DEL had in partnership with Rhodes University trained a team of 30 inspectors to enforce the regulations.

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