Occupational Safety and Health Decree


Occupational Safety and Health Decree

Decree 54 of 1978

  • Commenced on 14 December 1978
  • [This is the version of this document at 30 June 2012 and includes any amendments published up to 30 June 2014.]
[Dec. 54 of 1978; Act 3 of 1989; SI. 39 of 2003]

Part I – Preliminary

1. Short title

This Decree may be cited as the Occupational Safety and Health Decree.

2. Interpretation

In this Decree unless the context otherwise requires—"Director" means the person acting as, or discharging the functions of, Chief Executive in the Ministry, or as the case may be, the Department, responsible for the administration of the Employment Act; and"Premises" includes any place, means of transport, work place in the open air or fixed or moveable structure on land or off-shore.

3. Application

(1)This Decree shall apply to—
(a)all employees including employees of the Government;
(b)all employers including the Government;
(c)all self-employed persons where the activities could put themselves or other person at risk; and
(d)any other persons on whom special duties are imposed by Part II.
(2)The Minister may be order, exempt any person or category of persons from the operation of all or any provisions of the Decree and subject to such conditions as he thinks fit.

Part II – Duties

4. General duties of employer to employees

(1)It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, in accordance with the Decree and any other written law, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2)Without prejudice to subsection (1) those duties include—
(a)the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health;
(b)arrangement for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
(c)the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of his employees;
(d)as regards any place of work under the employer's control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks;
(e)the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work,
(f)the provision of protective equipment for his employees and training them to use such equipment.

5. General duties of employers and self employed persons to persons other than employees

(1)It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
(2)It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure that every person whom he seeks to engage as an employee has undergone, prior to engagement, a medical examination prescribed for the job category in which he is to be engaged and thereafter to ensure such periodical medical examination of the employee as may be prescribed.
(3)It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure that he and other persons, not being his employees, who may be affected thereby are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

6. Duties concerning premises

(1)It shall be the duty of any person having control of premises which are used as a place of work by persons not in his employment or in which there is any plant or substance provided for use by persons not in his employment, to ensure that the premises, plant or substances are safe and without risk to health.
(2)It shall be the duty of any person having control of any premises to prevent or render harmless and inoffensive the emission from the premises of noxious or offensive gases and of smoke, grit and dust.

7. Duties of designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers

(1)It shall be the duty of any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article or substance for use at work to—
(a)ensure that the article or substance is safe and without risk to health when properly used;
(b)carry out any necessary testing and examination of the article or substance;
(c)provide adequate information about the use of the article or substance to ensure that it will be safe and not a risk to health when properly used.
(2)It shall be the duty of any person who designs and manufactures any article or substance for use at work to make use of the results of research and conducted in or outside Seychelles, to carry out research to discover and eliminate or minimise any risks to safety or health caused by the article or substance when properly used.
(3)It shall be the duty of any person who erects or instals any article for use at work to ensure that the erection or installation is not unsafe or a risk to health when properly used.

8. General duties of employees at work

It shall be the duty of every employee while at work—
(a)to take reasonable care for the health, safety and well being of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work;
(b)as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under this Decree or any other written law, to co-operate with the employer or that other person so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with, and
(c)to use, and take care of, such equipment as may be provided by his employer in accordance with the directions given by the employer.

9. Prohibition of interference or of levying of charges

(1)No person shall intentionally, or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interest of health, safety or welfare.
(2)No employer shall levy or permit to be levied on any employee of his, any charge in respect of anything done or provided in pursuance of any specific requirement of this Decree.

Part III – Occupational Safety Board

10. Establishment

The Occupational Safety Board is hereby established to advise and assist the Minister in his functions under this Decree and to perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by this Decree or by the Minister.

11. Membership

The Board shall consist of a chairman and not less than nine members appointed by the Minister of whom equal numbers shall represent Government, employers and employees.

12. Employee members

The members representing employees shall be appointed after consultation with such organisations as appear to the Minister to be representative of employees generally.

13. Employer members

The members representing employers shall be appointed after consultation with such organisation as appear to the Minister to be representative of employers generally.

14. Vice-chairman and secretary

The Minister shall appoint a vice-chairman from the members and shall also appoint a secretary.

15. Term of office

The chairman and other members shall hold office for periods of up to three years, as determined by the Minister, and may be reappointed.

16. Vacancies

A member may resign at any time, and if a member becomes, in the opinion of the Minister, unfit to continue in office or incapable of performing his duties, the Minister may declare his office vacant.

17. Quorum

The quorum at a meeting of the Board shall be five which shall include the Chairman or Vice-Chairman.

18. Meetings and specialist advice

The Board shall meet not less than once every six months and may invite persons having specialist knowledge or experience to advise it.

19. Other matters

The Board may otherwise regulate its own procedure.

Part IV – Officials and health and safety representatives

20. Director responsible for administration

Subject to the directions of the Minister, the Director shall be responsible for the administration of this Decree and shall perform all such functions as may be necessary for its effective implementation and enforcement.

21. Appointment of officers

For the purposes of this Decree the Minister shall appoint officers from amongst persons who in his opinion are suitably qualified to enforce the Decree.

22. Instruments of appointment

Officers appointed under section 21 shall be provided with written instruments of appointment which the officers would be required to produce for inspection, if so requested, during the course of their duty.

23. Powers of officer

An Officer appointed under section 21 may for the purpose of carrying into effect this Decree—
(a)enter at any reasonable time (or at any time in a dangerous situation) any premises which he has reason to believe it is necessary for him to enter;
(b)call for and obtain the assistance of a police officer if he apprehends any resistance to the exercise of his powers;
(c)take with him any other person duly authorised by the Minister, and any equipment or materials;
(d)make such examination and investigation as may be necessary;
(e)take such samples, measurements and photographs and make such recordings as he may consider necessary;
(f)require any person who he has reasonable cause to believe to be able to give any information relevant to any examination or investigation under paragraph (d) to answer such questions as the officer thinks fit to ask and to sign a declaration of the truth of his answers provided that no such answers shall be admissible in evidence against that person or his spouse;
(g)issue and require compliance with any improvement or prohibition notice which it may be his duty to serve under Part V;
(h)exercise any other power which is necessary for the effective performance of his duties.

24. Prohibition of obstruction of officials

No person shall resist, hinder or obstruct the Director or officer appointed under section 21 in the exercise of his functions under this Decree.

25. Health and safety representatives

In categories of enterprises designated by the Director as involving particular risks to safety, the employees in such categories of enterprises shall elect from amongst themselves a health and safety representative and the employer of such catergories of enterprises may, in addition to a representative elected by the employees, also designate an employee as a health and safety representative.

26. Health and safety representatives to attend courses

Health and safety representatives elected or designated under section 25 shall attend without loss of earning, short courses on basic safety and health to be organised by the Government.

27. Duties of health and safety representatives

Health and safety representatives appointed or designated under section 25 shall monitor and report safety and health problems and needs in the enterprise to management and shall be released from their other duties for this purpose without loss of earnings.

Part V – Improvement and prohibition notices

28. Improvement notices

If an officer appointed under section 21 is of the opinion that a person is contravening a statutory provision he may serve on him an improvement notice in the form set out in Part VII of the Schedule specifying the provision, giving reasons and requiring the person to remedy the contravention within a specified period which shall be not less than the appeal period under section 30(4).

29. Prohibition notices

(1)If an officer appointed under section 21 is of the opinion that activities involve a risk of serious personal injury, he may serve a prohibition notice on the employer or person in control.
(2)A prohibition notice shall—
(a)be in the form set out in Part VIII of the Schedule and shall specify the activities causing the risk;
(b)where the activities involve a contravention of any statutory provision specify the provision and the contravention; and
(c)direct that the activities shall not continue after a specified date, unless the contravention has been ended prior to that date.
(3)If the officer appointed under section 21 is of the opinion that the risk of serious injury is imminient, he may serve a prohibition notice directing that the activities shall cease immediately, and shall not be restarted until the contravention is ended.

30. Appeals

(1)An improvement or prohibition notice may include instructions on the method of ending any contravention.
(2)An improvement notice relating to a building shall not direct any measures which are more onerous than necessary to conform to the building regulations which would be applicable if the building was being newly erected.
(3)An officer appointed under section 21 shall consult the Chief Fire Officer before serving a notice requiring measures affecting fire escapes or other fire precautions.
(4)A person on whom an improvement notice or a prohibition notice is served may within 15 days of the receipt of the notice appeal to the Minister who may cancel, amend or affirm the notice.
(5)An appeal against an improvement notice shall suspend the execution of the notice until the appeal is finally disposed of.
(6)An appeal against a prohibition notice shall not suspend the execution of the notice unless the Minister directs otherwise.
(7)Any decision of the Minister on an appeal under subsection (4) shall be final.

31. Imminent danger

(1)If an officer appointed under section 21 has reasonable cause to believe that any article or substance creates an imminent danger of serious personal injury, he may render it harmless, and shall prepare a report on his action, a copy of which shall be given to the employer or person having control of the article or substance.
(2)An officer appointed under section 21 preparing a report under subsection (1) of this section shall forward a copy thereof to the Minister who may take such further action as may be necessary to rectify the situation.

Part VI – Obtaining and disclosing information

32. Obtaining information and reporting of accidents

(1)An employer or the person in charge of any premises shall inform the Director of any accident, dangerous occurrence (Classified in Part II of the Schedule), occupational poisoning, injury or disease within such premises within 48 hours after such event or where it is not practicable to do so in the circumstances, as soon as possible after such event.
(2)The Director or any person authorised by the Director may, by written notice, require an employer, or the person in charge of such premises to furnish the Director or the person authorised, with such information as may be specified in the notice, within such time as may be so specified.
(3)Where the information referred to in subsection (1) or (2) relates to an event resulting in the death of an employee or absence of an employee from work for not less than 3 days, the information shall be in the form set out in Part 1 of the Schedule.
(4)A medical practitioner attending on or visiting a person who suffers from a disease specified in Part IV of the Schedule, or illness related to an occupation specified in Part V of the Schedule shall forthwith inform the Director thereof in the form set out in Part IV of the Schedule.
(5)An employer, a person in charge of premises or a medical practitioner shall, in giving information under subsection (2) or (3) complete the forms in Parts I and III of the Schedule and send them to the Director.
(6)Where an employee is disabled as a result of an event referred to in subsection (1) he may make an application to the medical board appointed under the Social Security Act to be examined for the purposes of that Act, and such application shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the medical practitioner who attended on that employee.

33. Restrictions on disclosure

(1)No information obtained under the Decree shall be disclosed without the consent of the person by whom it was furnished, except—
(a)to the Board or to the Director or to an officer appointed under section 21 for the purposes of the functions under this Decree;
(b)for legal proceedings or any official investigation or inquiry under this Decree.
(2)Nothing in subsection (1) or in any other written law which restricts the disclosure of information shall prevent or penalise the disclosure by an officer appointed under section 21 to the Director or by the Director to the Board of information obtained in the discharge of functions under the Decree.

Part VII – Regulations

34. Regulations

The Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Decree and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing such regulations may make provision for all or any of the following matters—
(a)regulation or prohibition of—
(i)the manufacture, supply, or use of plant;
(ii)the manufacture, supply, storage or use of substances;
(iii)the carrying on of processes or operations;
(b)requirements for the design, construction, guarding, siting, installation, commissioning, use, examination, repair, maintenance, alteration, adjustments, dismantling, testing or inspection of plant;
(c)requirements for the marking of plant or components, including containers and packaging;
(d)prohibition or regulation of the import, export or transport of plant, articles and substances;
(e)prohibiting any activity except under licence or with other official approval;
(f)providing for the grant, renewal, variation, amendment, transfer and revocation of licences;
(g)requiring any person, premises or thing to be registered in specified circumstances or as a condition for the carrying on of specified activities;
(h)requiring the appointment of persons to perform specified functions, and imposing duties or confering powers on them;
(i)restricting the performance of functions to persons possessing specified qualifications or experience;
(j)regulating or prohibiting the employment in specified circumstances of all persons or a class of persons;
(k)securing the health of persons at work or other persons, including by medical examinations and health surveys;
(l)monitoring the atmosphere and other conditions in which persons work;
(m)requirements for the conditions in which persons work, including the structure, condition and stability of premises, exits and entrances, cleanliness, temperature, lighting, ventilation over crowding, noise vibrations, ionising and other radiation, dust and fumes;
(n)securing appropriate welfare facilities for persons at work including water supply, sanitary conveniences, washing and bathing facilities, ambulance and first aid arrangements, sitting and refreshment facilities;
(o)requirements for the provision and use of protective clothing and equipment;
(p)requirements for fire precautions;
(q)prohibiting or imposing requirements on the emission and monitoring of gas, smoke or dust or any other substance or material;
(r)prohibiting or imposing requirements on the emission and monitoring of noise, vibrations, or ionising or other radiations;
(s)requirements for the instructions, training and supervision of workers;
(t)requirements for warning and other signs;
(u)requirements for preservation of records, plans, maps and other documents;
(v)requirements for precautions against dangers to which work premises or persons therein may be exposed by reasons of conditions (including natural conditions) in the vicinity;
(w)provisions for the evacuation of premises;
(x)conferring powers to search a person for any article likely to cause a fire or explosion if there is a risk or explosion, and power to seize and dispose of any such article; and
(y)restricting, prohibiting or requiring specified acts where an accident or similar event has taken place.

35. Penalties and appeals

All such regulations may provide penalties for their contravention and shall provide for appeals against decisions taken under them.

Part VIII – Offences

36. Offences

Any person who—
(a)without reasonable excuse fails to discharge a duty to which he is subject under sections 4,5,6,7, 8 and 32;
(b)contravenes sections 9 or 24 or 33(1); or
(c)fails to comply with a prohibition or improvement notice served under section 28 or 29,
is guilty of an offence.

37. Penalties

Any person who commits an offence under section 36 shall be liable on conviction—
(a)in the case of an employee, to a fine of R.2,500;
(b)in the case of any other person, to a fine of R.10,000;
(c)in the case of an offence under section 36(c), in addition to any penalty under paragraph (a) or (b), to a further fine of R.1,000 for each day the non-compliance continues after conviction, and in the case of an offence under section 36(a) or (b), in addition to any penalty under paragraph (a) or (b), to a further fine of R100 for each day the failure to discharge the duty or the contravention continues after conviction.

38. Enhanced penalty

Where in a prosecution for an offence under this Decree the court is satisfied that the act or omission constituting the offence was occasioned by gross misconduct or neglect on the part of accused, the court may, in addition to or in lieu of any penalty under section 37, impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years.

39. Diligence a defence

It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this Decree to prove that he exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence.

40. Direction to remedy or comply

Persons convicted of an offence under this Decree may be directed by the court to remedy or comply with the act or omission constituting the offence in addition to or in lieu of the penalty for the offence.

41. Closure, destruction or forfeiture

After having given the employer or the person in control, as the case may be, an opportunity to be heard, the court may order the closing of an enterprise or the destruction or forfeiture of an article or substances if imminent danger or serious personal injury exists.

42. Officers may prosecute

An officer authorised by the Minister may prosecute an offence under this Decree in a Magistrates' court.

43. Saving of Attorney General's powers

Nothing in section 42 derogates from the powers of the Attorney General in respect of the prosecution of criminal offences.

Part IX – Miscellaneous

44. Display of summary

Every employer and person in control of premises covered by this Decree, shall display in a prominent place a non‑legal summary of this Decree which shall be provided by the Director.

Schedule (Section 32)

Part I – Information regarding accident or illness at work

Name of employer: ________________Address of employer: ________________Name of affected employee: ________________Date of birth of ________________Employee: ________________Address of employee: ________________Occupation of employee: ________________Date of accident: ________________Time of accident: ________________Description of Accident: e.g. fall from building under construction (giving height) fingers caught in... etc.________________________________Machine Involved if any:________________________________Make, type and purpose (eg. Robinson combined woodworking machine.)________________________________Nature of Injury: (e.g. Tip of forefinger of left hand severed, broken wood-working machine)________________________________Monthly earnings at the date of the accident:Rs ________________Nature and type of work being done at time of accident:________________________________Estimated Length of Absence:________________If fatal, the official cause of death (e.g. fractured skull, internal injuries, shock, etc.________________________________________________________________Date:________________________________Signature of employer/personIn charge of premises/Medical practitioner

Part II – Classes of dangerous occurrence (Section 32(1))

1.Bursting of a revolving vessel, wheel, grindstone or grinding wheel moved by mechanical power.
2.Collapse or failure of a crane, derrick, winch, hoist, piling frame, or other appliance used in raising or lowering persons or goods or any part thereof (except breakage of chain or rope slings), or the overturning of a crane.
3.Explosion or fire causing damage to the structure of any room or place in which persons are employed, or to any machine or plant contained therein, and resulting in the complete suspension of ordinary work in the room or place or stoppage of machinery or plant for not less than 5 hours, where the explosion or fire is due to the ignition of dust, gas or vapour or the ignition of celluloid or substances composed whollv or in part of celluloid.
4.Electrical short circuit or failure of electrical machinery, plant or apparatus, attended by explosion or fire or causing structural damage thereto, and involving its stoppage or disuse for not less than 5 hours.Explosion or fire affecting any room in which persons are employed and causing complete suspensionof ordinary work therein for not less than 24 hours.Explosion or failure of structure of a steam boiler, or of a cast iron vulcaniser, or of a receiver or container used for the storage at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure of any gas or Cases (including air) or any liquid or solid resulting from the compression of gas.

Part III – Particulars of accident/dangerous occurrence (Section 32(5))

Nature of injury

AbrasionsConcussions and internal injuriesFracture
AmputationCutsMultiple injuries Freezing
Burns (heat)Effects of electric currentPoisoning
Bruises and contusions Puncture wound
  Sprains and strains

Part of body injured

Head & BodyUpper extremitiesBodyLower
SkullUpper armsChestThigh
TeethPalm Toes
FaceFinger Multiple Locations

3 - Type of accident/dangerous occurrence

Struck against objectsContact with temperature extremesStruck by sliding, failing, flying or other moving objectsExposure to or contact with electric currentCaught in or between objectsExposure to or contact with harmful substances or radiationFall or slip on same levelInhalations, absorption, ingestion, poisoningFall to different levelDrowningOverexertionOthers

4 - Agency of accident/dangerous occurrence

MachineFloors or level surfaceLiftingLaddersTransport equipment or vehicleScaffolds and stainsHand toolsStairs or stepsPressure vesselsExplosive or inflammable substancesFurnaces, ovens, kilnsPoisonous substancesElectrical equipmentsOthers

Part IV – (Section 32(4))

1. List of notifiable industrial diseases:

Aniline PoisoningAnthraxArsenical PoisoningAsbestosisBarotraumaBeryllium PoisoningByssinosisCadmium PoisoningCarbon Bisulphate PoisoningChrome UlcerationChronic Benzene PoisoningCoi-npressed Air IllnessEpitheliomatous Ulceration(due to tar, pitch, bitumen, mineral oil or paraffin or any compound product or residue of any such substances)Industrial DennatitisLead PoisoningLiver AngiosarcomaManganese PoisoningMercurial PoisoningMesothelionaNoise-Induced Deafnessoccupational Asthmaoccupational Allergyoccupational MalignancyPhosphorous PoisoningSilicosisToxic AnaemiaToxic HepatitisSuch other diseases as may be prescribed by regulations.

2. Form of confidential notice of patient suffering from industrial disease

Name of Patient ____________ Age ________ Sex ______ Date of Birth __________NIN ____________Residential address ____________Present occupation ____________Name and address of Employer ____________Diagnosis ____________lf patient is deceased, state date of last attendanceName of Doctor ____________Name and address of Hospital/Clinic ____________Tel. No. ____________Doctor's Ref ____________Date ____________Signature of Doctor ____________

Part V – Occupations involving special risks to health (Section 32(4))

Any occupations involving the use or handling of, or exposure to fumes, dust, vapour or substances involved in the following enterprises or physical, chemical, or biological hazards in such enterprises
(a)Quarries and mines
(b)Electricity generation plants
(c)Woodworking establishments
(d)Canning or bottling plants
(e)Pesticides and petroleum products
(f)Asbestos, lead, mercury, arsenic, carbon bisulphate, benzene, chromate, organic phosphates and chlorine, bitumen, mineral oil, silica, cadmium, solvents & radio-active substance
(g)Hazardous waste
(h)Sewage and garbage disposal
(i)Agricultural and livestock farms plastic and paint manufacture and handling
(k)Printing, photography, and X-ray enterprises[Please note: numbering as in original.]
(l)Tobacco manufacture
(m)Food handling establishments
(n)Operators of passenger vessels for commercial purposes in the air, sea or land
(o)Diving and compressed air operations
(p)Exposure to excessive noise, dusts and fumes
(q)Health care workers and occupations subject to biological hazards
(r)Building construction
(s)Handling of dyes
(t)Fibre glass
(u)Laundries and chemical laboratories
(v)Work in the outer islands
(w)Plastic industries

Part VI – Processing required provision of goggles or screens (Section 32(o))

Dry grinding of metals, or articles or metal, by a revolving wheel or disc cal power at which a person is employed.Turning (external or internal) of non-ferrous metals, or of cast iron, or of ch metals or such iron, where the work is done dry, other than turning where the use of goggles or a screen would seriously interfere with or turning by means of hand tools.Welding or cutting of metals by means of anelectrical oxy-acetylene-or similar process.The following processes when carried on by means of hand tools or other tools:
(a)fettling or metal castings involving the removal of metal
(b)cutting out or cutting off (not including drilling or punching back) of cold rivets or bolts from boilers or other plant or from ships
(c)chipping or scaling or sandblasting of boilers or ships' plates
(d)breaking or dressing of stone, concrete or slag
(e)the handling of wood by mechanical process.

Part VII – Occupational safety and health decree improvement notice (Section 28)

Name of person: ________________Address: ________________Nature of Business: ________________You are hereby given notice that the following activities, namely: ________________ which are being carried out by your establishment at ________________ risk of serious personal injury and that the matters which give rise to the risk are:________________________________and that the said matters involve/will involve contravention of the following statutory provisions: ________________I hereby direct that you remedy the said contravention within 21 days of the date hereof.________________Director________________Date

Part VIII – Occupational safety and health decree prohibition notice (Section 29)

Name of person: ________________Address: ________________Nature of Business: ________________You are hereby given notice that the following activities, namely: ________________ which are being carried out by your establishment at ________________ risk of serious personal injury and that the matters which give rise to the risk are:________________________________and that the said matters involve/will involve contravention of the following statutory provisions: ________________I hereby direct that you cease the said activities immediately and remedy the situation.I further direct that the said activities shall not be resumed until written permission is granted by the Director for resumption.However you may appeal to the Minister within 15 days from the date hereof________________Director________________Date
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History of this document

30 June 2012 this version
14 December 1978

Subsidiary legislation

Title Numbered title
Occupational Safety and Health (Dock Work) Regulations, 2012 Statutory Instrument 7 of 2012
Occupational Safety and Health (Safety Officers) Regulations, 2012 Statutory Instrument 6 of 2012