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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


Asbestos Regulations, 2001

9. Medical surveillance


(1) An employer shall ensure that an employee is under the medical surveillance of an occupational medical practitioner if—
(a) an employee is exposed or is likely to be exposed to asbestos dust exceeding the OEL for asbestos; or
(b) an occupational medicine practitioner certifies that the relevant employee should be under medical surveillance.


(2) In order to comply with subregulation (I), an employer shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that a structured medical surveillance programme be drawn up by an occupational medicine practitioner which shall include at least the following :
(a) An initial health evaluation, carried out by an occupational health practitioner immediately or within 14 days after a person commences employment, which comprises—
(i) an evaluation of the employee’s medical and occupational history;
(ii) medical examinations and tests which should include chest X-rays, pulmonary function testing and an appropriate physical examination; and
(iii) any other essential medical examination which in the opinion of the occupational medicine practitioner is necessary in order to enable such practitioner to do a proper evaluation; and
(b) subsequent to the initial health evaluation contemplated in paragraph (a), evaluations of the relevant employee as contemplated in paragraph (a)(ii) and (iii), at intervals not exceeding two years, or at shorter intervals specified by an occupational medicine practitioner.


(3) An employer shall not permit or allow an employee who has been certified unfit for work by an occupational medicine practitioner to work in a workplace or part of a workplace in which he or she will be exposed or is likely to be exposed to asbestos dust: Provided that the relevant employee may be permitted to return to work if he or she is certified fit for that work beforehand by an occupational medicine practitioner.


(4) Where the reason for the employee being certified unfit as contemplated in subregulation (3) is as a result of exposure to asbestos in that workplace, the employer shall record and investigate the incident in compliance with regulation 8 of the General Administrative Regulations.