Definitions for the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2020


To understand the changes that will take effect with the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2020, it is imperative to understand the different definitions contained in it and the meaning of each.

For an in-depth view of the definitions that employers can expect, consult the sections below

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Definitions for the OHS Amendment Bill 2020

While most of the definitions in the OHS Act have remained unchanged, there are, however, some that have been affected. The definitions indicated below contain information that has been affected and the definitions that have been changed by OHSA Bill 2020.


Approved Inspection Authority

Refers to an accredited organisation which is approved by the Chief Inspector. The Approved Inspection Authority is regarded as an inspection authority relating to any service in terms of this Act.


Danger refers to anything that could cause injury, adverse health effects, or damage to any person, persons, or property.


Refers to the Department of Employment and Labour.


Employee refers to any person who is employed by, or who works for, an employer, and who subsequently receives, or is entitled to receive, any remuneration, and who works under the direction or the supervision of an employer.


The term ‘employer’ refers to any person, institution, or organisation which can include government, who employs and provides work to an employee. In addition, it also refers to any person who supervises or tacitly, expressly undertakes to remunerate, such an employee for the services that were rendered by the employee.

Employers’ Organisation

This refers to the employers’ organisation as it is defined in Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66 of 1995).

Hazardous Substances

Refers to any toxic, harmful, erosive, corrosive irritant, or an asphyxiate substance, or a mixture of such substances which poses a significant risk to health.



Relates to an incident as it is contemplated in Section 24 (1).

Listed Work

Refers to any work which may pose a risk to the OHS that requires certain precautionary measures that must be implemented.

Local Authority

Refers to a local municipality which is defined in Section 1 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998).


This refers to the Cabinet member who is responsible for labour and labour relations.

Occupational Disease

This refers to occupational disease as it is defined in Section 1 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 1993 (COIDA – Act 130 of 1993).

Occupational Health Standard

Relates to the standard which, if it is applied for the purpose of this ACT, will promote the occupational health of employees, or the health of any other persons in terms of this Act.

Occupational Hygienist

Relates to a person registered with a body and who is recognised by the Chief Inspector. This person must have the knowledge, training, skills, experience, and required qualifications in the field of Occupational Hygiene Techniques. This person is responsible for the assessment and evaluation of levels associated with OHS hazards that employees is, or may, be exposed to in the workplace.


Relates to an officer or an employee as defined in Section (1) of the Public Service Act, 1994 (PROCLAMATION 103 of 1994).

Permanent Disablement

Refers to the permanent disablement as stipulated in Section (1) of COIDA, 1993 (130 of 1993).


Refers to the probability that personal injury, illness, or death of an employee, or any other person, or damage to property, will occur.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment specifically refers to the process involved in evaluating the risks to the OHS to employees arising from workplace hazards. A risk assessment is regarded as a systematic assessment of all aspects of works which considers the following:

  • A complete hazard identification
  • The identification of all who may be affected by a specific hazard
  • How that person or persons may be affected
  • The analysis and evaluation of the risks
  • Prioritisation of the risks


Risk Management

This refers to the identification and the mitigation of risks through the application of appropriate control measures.

Safety Management System

Safety Management System, also known as a OHS Management System, is a coordinated, comprehensive set of interrelated, interacting elements. This is to establish occupational health and safety policies as well as objectives to optimally manage OHS in the workplace.

Safety Standard

This relates to any standard, which, if applied to the purposes of this Act, will serve to promote the safety of employees and any other person in terms of this Act.


SANAS refers to the South African National Accreditation System.


Relates to an individual who earns his or her income by conducting operations considered profitable, arising from a trade or business, which is operated directly by the individual.


This relates to any provision occurring in any of the following:

  • A specification, compulsory specification, code of practice (COP), or a standard method as prescribed in Section 1 of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act 8 of 2008).
  • A specification, code, or any other directive that has standardisation as its aim, and which is issued by an institution or organisation in- or outside the Republic. This can either be generally or it can be with respect to a particular article or matter, internationally or in any specific country or territory, seeking to promote standardisation. However, anything required to conform to this Act must first be subjected to the required SANAS tests to ensure conformance to a specific standard.

Trade Union

Refers to a trade union as specified and defined in Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66 of 1995).


A user can refer to the person who uses the premises, articles, substances, plant, or machinery for his or her own benefit. It also refers to the person who has the exclusive right of control over the use of the premises, articles, substances, plant, or machinery.

This, however, does not include a lessor of, or any other person who is employed in connection with the associated premises, articles, substances, plant, or machinery.





This relates to a person who willingly provides a service to an institution or an organisation. This may include a government body, organisation, or a non-governmental organisation, without remuneration for services that were rendered.



Work relates to work either as an employee or a self-employed person. For this purpose, an employee is deemed to be at work during the time that he or she is in the course of his or her employment. A self-employed person is deemed to be at work during such a time that he or she devotes to work as a self-employed individual.



Relates to any premises or a place where persons perform work during his or her employment.


How does SafetyWallet support its subscribers?

There are continuous changes, improvements, and updates being made to legislation to ensure that health & safety across all industries can be guaranteed, SafetyWallet will keep you posted every step of the way.

Many organisations may be left behind as he or she is unable to balance compliance with business as usual, and therefore he or she needs someone like SafetyWallet to support and help them ensure full compliance.

With SafetyWallet, organisations can remain one step ahead of his or her competitors while ensuring that he or she are consistently compliant to the OHS Act. The OHS Amendment Bill of 2020 should not scare you, and with the help of SafetyWallet, you can apply the changes effortlessly.

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Posted date: 30th Jun 2021
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