Health and safety

Health and safety is a major area of risk in the mining, construction, engineering and transport sectors - one that requires a systematic approach to both accident prevention and legal risk protection. The level of exposure to risk demands highly specialised and skilled lawyers who understand both regulatory and corporate governance issues experienced by clients in their business operations.   

Norton Rose Fulbright is a leader in health and safety law, providing ongoing compliance advisory, emergency response and crisis handling services to corporate clients. Integral to our service is a comprehensive understanding our clients’ business operations, employees, projects and the risks unique to their industry sector.

Our global practice, recognised by Chambers Global, 2012 as “exceptionally strong,” has handled many high-profile health and safety matters. We draw upon this experience to deliver best practice proactive advice to local clients on the continent so they can enhance their corporate governance practices.

Our proactive approach is aimed at providing integrated, practical and workable solutions for our clients in collaboration with regulatory authorities. For this purpose, we have well-established and extensive relationships with industry regulators to facilitate administrative and regulatory compliance.

This coupled with our employment and labour law expertise means we understand clients’ need for urgent, solutions-orientated and tailored advice that promotes employee relations and addresses industry specific challenges.

The scope of our services extends from the initiation of our clients’ projects and continues throughout the duration of their work.

Our areas of work include:

  • provision of regulatory compliance advice in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (MHSA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHSA)
  • provision of related advice in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (COIDA) and Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, 1973 (ODIMWA)
  • advice on constitutional and administrative issues relating to health and safety law
  • advice on new developments and legislative amendments in health and safety law, and compensation of occupational injuries and diseases
  • preparation of client-specific health and safety management plans, including contractor management plans
  • preparation of legislatively compliant letters of appointment, codes of practice, procedures, instructions and standards
  • preparation of bespoke health and safety legal training, seminars and courses for employers and employees
  • health and safety legal compliance audits, due diligences and gap analyses
  • advice on exemption applications from the provisions of the MHSA and the OHSA
  • advice on claims and representation in group and class litigation involving occupational lung diseases such as silicosis, asbestosis and pneumoconiosis
  • representation at informal investigations and formal inquiry proceedings
  • preparation of written representations to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the Department of Labour (DoL) following recommendations on the imposition of administrative fines, and in review or appeal applications to the Labour Court
  • preparation of written representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) following recommendations on the imposition of criminal charges by the DMR or DoL
  • representation in the upliftment of compliance orders issued in terms of sections 54 and 55 of the MHSA, and section 30 of the OHSA, and in review proceedings of these orders before the Labour Court
  • representation of clients, their directors and senior management in incident and accident-related inquests, civil and criminal proceedings.

Related services:

Construction and engineering

Mining

Employment and labour

Dispute resolution and litigation

Environmental and sustainability