Current S.A. Legislation

Extract from the Department of Labour

“Technical Assistance Guidelines on the Employment of People with Disabilities.”

Chapter 6. paragraph 3.8 - Health and Safety.

“According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer is obligated to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe to all employees.

As part of any ongoing health and safety audit, the needs of employees with disabilities must be included.

Evacuation procedures should take into account any specific or additional measures to ensure that an employee with a disability is safely evacuated from a building or work site during emergencies.”

The OHS Act places the responsibility on the employer to ensure that evacuation plans, routes, training and equipment are provided. As pointed out in the above Department of Labour’s additional measures are to be in place for evacuation of people with disabilities.

Legal advice has interpreted that the employer (who may be the tenant) is primarily responsible, but that the onus is often transferred to the landlord in terms of a lease agreement, and costs are included in rentals. The responsibility of an evacuation procedure of the disabled in multi storey buildings such as office blocks, hotels, apartment blocks, shopping centres etc. rests with the building owners/managers/body corporate or any other type of body which has the responsibility for the safety, maintenance of such buildings.