Original Research

Some international perspectives on legislation for the management of human-induced safety risks

Alfonso Niemand, Andries J. Jordaan, Hendrik Minnaar
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 8, No 2 | a170 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v8i2.170 | © 2016 Alfonso Niemand, Andries J. Jordaan, Hendrik Minnaar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2015 | Published: 13 January 2016

About the author(s)

Alfonso Niemand, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, South Africa
Andries J. Jordaan, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, South Africa
Hendrik Minnaar, Bureau for International Risk Assessments, Helderkruin, South Africa


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Abstract

Legislation that governs the health and safety of communities near major-hazard installations in South Africa is largely based on existing legislation that had been developed in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries. The latter was developed as a consequence of several major human-induced technological disasters in Europe. The history of the evolution of health-and-safety legislation for the protection of vulnerable communities in European Union (EU) countries, France, Malaysia and the USA is explored through a literature survey. A concise comparison is drawn between EU countries, the USA and South Africa to obtain an exploratory view of whether current South-African legislation represents an optimum model for the protection of the health-and-safety of workers and communities near major-hazard installations. The authors come to the conclusion that South-African legislation needs revision as was done in the UK in 2011. Specific areas in the legislation that need revision are an overlap between occupational health and safety and environmental legislation, appropriate land-use planning for the protection of communities near major-hazard installations, the inclusion of vulnerability studies and the refinement of appropriate decision-making instruments such as risk assessment. This article is the first in a series that forms part of a broader study aimed at the development of an optimised model for the regulatory management of human-induced health and safety risks associated with hazardous installations in South Africa.

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