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 Information

SOCIAL MEDIA – ITS DANGERS

During the past couple of months, we have seen an increase in disciplinary action taken against employees due to the “incorrect” use of social media. The first point to note is that any adverse posting done by an employee could have a negative effect on the Company....

Our Field Of Expertise

Mediation / arbitration is such a vast field, that any good mediator / arbitrator must specialize in a field. Wilbrink & Associates have, due to their experience and academic background, decided to specialize in the Labour and technical field. Even this field is very...

Why Fight? Mediate Instead

Headings like “Church and residents clash”, or “Community fighting environmental company” makes you think: is fighting the real solution? Both sides have a legitimate case, but is fighting in court the answer. In the case of the church, the community is complaining...

Disciplinary Procedure: A Prerequisite

Every company should have a well documented disciplinary procedure in order to discipline any employee should the need arise. While acting as Chairman of various disciplinary inquiries, I have noticed that a number of companies did not have a proper procedure. The...

STANDARD CLAUSES

After my previous News Letter (Alternate Dispute Resolution) I received a number of calls requesting sample clauses to be added to their documents. I would like to quote the AFSA clauses: Arbitration Clause for incorporation in Standard Contracts or for use before a...

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION – CRITICAL

Prof. Mervyn King, the well known advocate, judge, chairman of listed companies as well as a CEO of a listed company once said ”In order for directors (managing members) to discharge their duty of care to a company they have to ensure that a company has an adequate...

Indemnity

Due to my interest in and knowledge of animals and dogs in particular, I was asked by an attorney to arbitrate over a dispute between a dog owner and a dog club and its event organizers. A well bred 2 year old dog with a couple of accolades already behind his name was...

Wage Negotiations: A different approach

We were requested to assist a company with its wage negotiations. The Company had a very difficult and unpleasant wage negotiation the previous year. We decided to “play the game” slightly differently. We got our Training man to go to the company and train the workers...

MEDIATION vs. LITIGATION

Wilbrink & Associates were recently involved in two very similar cases. Both involved the termination of a lease agreement. In the first case the tenant decided to terminate the lease on grounds that the noise levels emitted from the neighbor were too high. Wilbrink &...

INTERNAL DISPUTES

  Internal disputes within a company can lead to considerable loss of productive time and if not handled correctly it can destroy the good working atmosphere in the company. It is therefore of utmost importance that these matters are dealt with swiftly and correctly....

Disciplinary Hearing: Absence Or Fraud?

Towards the end of 2015 an administrative staff member of a small company submitted a request for leave from 23rd December and returning on Monday the 4th January 2016. The staff member did not arrive on Tuesday the 22nd December for work; neither did he phone in to...

Some Comments From Our Courts

After my previous letter sent to you, some people were under the impression that an Arbitrator or Mediator would replace the Company’s Attorney. This is not the case at all; the Arbitrators / Mediators work very closely with any Company’s Attorney. To give you a...

To Mediate Or Not: The Court’s View

In recent years the Justice Department has changed the emphasis from Litigation in Civil Cases to that of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, i.e. Mediation and Arbitration. The basic reasons for this are that utilizing ADR (a) reduces the load on our...

Mediation: The Right Chemistry

During the latter part of 2015 we were requested to act as mediator between two companies (Company A being an International Trading Company) and Company B (being a small detergent factory). Company A supplied 3ton of a 99% pure chemical to Company B, who manufactured...

Disciplinary Hearing Theft

During the latter part of 2015, we chaired various disciplinary hearings on behalf of our clients. All were successful, (no comeback). I would like to highlight some of the problems encountered that could have been avoided in the next few talks. A delivery truck of...

Functions Of Health & Safety Representatives

The duties of Health and Safety Representatives are very often misdirected. The limited duties are summarised as follows: a. Review the effectiveness of the health and safety program b. Identify potential hazards and potential incidents in the workplace c. In...

Talk 3 on EIAs

The National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) Listing Notice 1: List of Activities and Competent Authorities (Phew! That’s a mouthful!) It’s been sometime since I posted my last talk. What can I say … the business of EIA’s is a busy one! Now let’s recap...

Talk 2 on EIAs

The backbone to the EIA In our last talk you were introduced to some Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) lingo. Let’s throw a few phrases at you to jog your memory – Basic Assessment Process…, NEMA…? It’s hopefully all coming back to you by now. In this talk we’re...

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

FAQ’s The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (Act 107 of 1998) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations provides a list of activities requiring Environmental Authorisation. To obtain Environmental Authorisation, an EIA is required. For most people...

Registers Required

Some of the Registers that companies should have completed on their site (provided they make use of the equipment) are: General Administrative Reg 8 Accident Investigation (including incidents and near misses) - As and when required Asbestos Reg 14(1)(b) Inventory of...

General Administrative Duties Of Employer

In terms of various Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, every employer must keep records regarding matters concerning his / her employees. I always recommend that all record regarding the employee be placed on the employee’s personal file. Under...

Duties Of Manufacturer

GENERAL DUTIES OF MANUFACTURER & OTHERS REGARDING ARTICLES AND SUBSTANCES FOR USE AT WORK In terms of Schedule 10 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, any person who designs, manufactures, imports, sells or supplies any article for use at work shall ensure, as...

General Duties Of Employers

The first section states “every employer shall provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees”. Are there no fumes in the factory, is our ventilation adequate, are the noise levels kept at a low as possible...

Registers

In terms of various Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, registers have to be kept and completed on a regular basis. The frequency varies for different type of equipment. The purpose of these registers is to ensure that a competent person inspects...

Accident Investigation

In terms of Section 24 of the Occupational Heath and Safety Act, the employer shall report to the Provincial Director of Labour any accident where a person dies, becomes unconscious, suffers a loss of limb or part of it, becomes ill or likely to be off work for 14...

Machinery In Hazardous Locations

Many factories work with ‘hazardous’ substances. I have used the word factory rather than chemical factory as this applies equally to bakeries, sweet factories as well as factories manufacturing ‘plastic’ products. The word hazardous is in brackets, as some of the...

Environmental Monitoring

In terms of Reg. 2, 3 and 5 of the Environmental Regulations for Workplaces of the Occupational Health and Safety Act an employer is obliged to conduct a number of different environmental monitoring programs. The first one under Regulation no. 2 requires a heat stress...

Noise In The Workplace

In terms of Reg. 2 of the Noise Induces Hearing Loss Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act no employer may allow a person to enter or work in an area where the noise rating is at or above 85 dBA. In order to know if your workplace has any noise zones...

Material Safety Data Sheets

In terms of Regulation 9A (1) of the Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations every manufacturer, importer or trader of any chemical substance for use at work shall provide the person receiving such substance with a material safety data sheet (MSDS). This MSDS shall...

Medical Surveillance

In terms of various Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, i.e. Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations (Reg. 7 (1)) Lead Regulations (Reg. 8), Asbestos Regulations (Reg. 9) and Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations (Reg. 8), medicals must be...

Air Monitoring

In terms of the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation no. 6 (1), “Where the inhalation of an Hazardous Chemical Substance is concerned an employer shall ensure that a measurement program of the airborne...

Hazardous Chemical Risk Assessment

In terms of Regulation no. 5 of the Hazardous Chemicals Regulations of the OH&S Act, an assessment must be made on all hazardous chemicals used or being manufactured in an operation. This must be repeated at least once every two years. This assessment must point out...