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15 September 2017

Hospersa has reported the Limpopo Department of Health (DoH) to the Department of Labour (DoL) for gross Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) violations at Northam Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Station.  The Union has requested the DoL to conduct an urgent inspection at the facility in order to come up with possible solutions.

Hospersa has written to the Department of Labour (DoL) to request an inspection at Northam EMS Station due to reported Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) contraventions.  It is reported that the EMS station is housed at a community centre where the building has numerous health and safety risks.  The building is dilapidated with broken windows, exposed electric wires, leaking ceiling and no lights in the passages.  There are also no working ablution facilities for employees and the control room is used as a storage area for broken equipment.  Furthermore, the Northam Local Municipality is using the centre yard as an overnight parking bay for waste removal trucks causing a stench in the facility. 

“We condemn the use of this facility and have reported the matter to the Department of Labour,” said Hospersa Limpopo Provincial Secretary, JJ Mashego.  “Our members working at this facility are exposed to numerous health and safety risks on a daily basis due to the numerous OHS contraventions.  We have requested the DoL to conduct an urgent inspection with the view of finding an alternative facility to house the EMS station,” added Mashego.

 It is further reported that the community centre has no access control and the yard is not fenced.  Ambulances are parked in the dark in an open field which poses danger for employees working at night.  A recent incident on the dangers faced by employees at the station was reported a few weeks ago whereby community members forced themselves into the EMS station.  It is alleged that the community members were under the influence of alcohol and forced an EMS employee into their private vehicle in order to assist a patient.  The employee was left traumatised by the experience and had to be treated for post-traumatic stress.

“The recent incident bares testament to the safety concerns of our members especially the female employees working at night,” argued Mashego.  “We have previously highlighted all these OHS contraventions to the DoH to find an alternative facility.  Our members have also requested to be relocated to a nearby health centre yet no progress has been made thus far,” said Mashego.

“We call on the DoL to intervene to ensure OHS compliance by the DoH.  We condemn the gross OHS violations taking place at Northem EMS Station and we will not rest until all our members’ concerns are given urgent attention by the DoH,” concluded Mashego.



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For interviews please contact Hospersa Limpopo Provincial Secretary Jabulane Mashego on 083-657-6626


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