Every chief executive officer shall as far as is reasonably practicable ensure that the duties of his employer as contemplated in the Act, are properly discharged (16.1).
Without derogating from his responsibilities or liabilities in terms of the Act, a chief executive officer may assign any duty contemplated in the Act to any person under his control, which person shall act subject to the control and direction of the chief executive officer. This appointment is commonly known as the 16.2 appointment.
The persons normally appointed as 16.2 appointees are line managers / departmental managers. In a medium factory we could have the production / plant manager appointed as a 16.2, as well as the maintenance manager, warehouse manager, laboratory manager etc.
These persons will take full responsibility and liability (in terms of the Act) for their unit. In the event of a serious accident, they will have to appear in court with the chief executive officer.
Some CEO’s are not keen to appoint 16.2 appointees. The appointment does not take away any of his / her authority, but it makes the managers more accountable in terms of the law and action tends to be taken faster. “Things will happen faster” if managers are directly accountable instead of waiting for the CEO to do everything. If something is not done that should have been done and this caused an accident, the 16.2 of that unit will be held responsible, accountable and liable together with the CEO.
Written by Frans Wilbrink of Wilbrink & Associates, tel. 031 – 266 9035