First Aid Box Requirements

Image of the contents of a first aid kit

MEDICINES AND THE FIRST-AID BOX CONTENTS

There is an ongoing debate about stocking and dispensing certain medicines, like headache tablets, etc from an Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSAct) provided First-Aid Box.

The OHSAct General safety Regulations section 3 and the attached Annexure in this regard, specifies the minimum contents of a first-aid box, and there are absolutely no medications listed. This is because a first-aider’s golden rule is do not give anything by mouth, but seek and get the patient to medical attention as quick as possible.

The dispensing of medicines and medications is legislated and regulated under the Medicines and Related substances Control Act (Act 101 of 1965), as amended by the 1997 Medicines and related Substances Control Amendment Act. Of interest is section 22A, entitled the Control of Medicines and Scheduled Substances, which prescribes that no person shall sell, have in his/her possession or manufacture any medicine or scheduled substance, except in accordance with the prescribed conditions of this legislation.

These conditions are: (ie. Section 22A (3 to 16)

  • Any schedule 0 substance (eg. Aspirin tablets) may be sold in any open shop.
  • Any schedule 1 substance (eg. Paracetamol tablets) may not be sold by any person other than by a person who is registered under the Health Professions Act, a pharmacist, a medical practitioner, a nurse or similar prescriber person.
  • Any schedule 2 to 6 substance (eg. Ibuprofen tablets, a schedule S2 substance) may not be sold by any person other than by a person who is registered under the Health Professions Act, a pharmacist, a medical practitioner, a nurse or similar prescriber person and that every such sale shall be recorded in a prescribed record that must be held.
  • Any Schedule 7 substance can only be provided to a medical practitioner through the Director-General, who prescribes acquisition and usage conditions.

Section 22A (16a) permits any person to possess a Schedule 0, Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 substance for medicinal purposes and section 22A (16b) allows the possession of any Schedule 3 to 7 substance provided the medication was provided under a prescription issued by an authorised prescriber, a medical practitioner, registered person, etc.

Section 22A (16c) states that any medicine or scheduled substance can be possessed by a medical practitioner, a nurse or any other person who is registered under the Health Professions Act, 1974, for the purpose of administering it in accordance with his/her scope of practice. There is no clause allowing non-registered persons to administer medicine or scheduled substances for medical purposes.

This means that:

  • no medicine substances should be provided in an OHSAct provided first-aid box and that;
  • only properly authorised prescriber people (medically registered people) may administer medication in a work environment. Self-medication is acceptable.

Source: 2008 DIRECTORY OF SAFETY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Pen and Paper donations for the Isolomzi Outreach Programme

Image of Pens and Pencils

Every year Rondebosch Boys High School gathers donations and supplies and take a trip through to the Eastern Cape to educate students and the school Isolomzi. These students are in fact very smart but they lack the basic resources needed for a sound education.

Image of Pens and Pencils

Sancert is proud to have been involved in this initiative for the fist time this year. We understand that many privileged students have extra pens, books and paper which they get rid of at the end of each year in order to start fresh the next year. Sancert set out to collect these unwanted, but still usable, pens and paper so that we could sort through it and give them to the Isolomzi school. We were fortunate enough to be able to collect a number supplies by placing a “pen and paper” box at a number of schools. These boxes were then collected and sorted. Pencils were sharpened, pens in good working condition were kept, files were cleaned and relabelled and any other stationary collected was donated.

Bring on Isolomzi outreach 2015!

Image of files  Image of Pen and Paper boxes

Kelly Nel, one of the students from Cedar house, Kenilworth, who donated stationary.

image of student

Smoking Policy in the Workplace

No smoking sign

The Tobacco Products Control Act provides for the protection of non-smokers – it does not provide any benefit or protection for smokers.

In addition, smoking in the workplace is not regulated by Labour Law but only by the above-mentioned Act.
In terms of this Act, the employer is obliged to take steps to protect non-smoking staff from the cigarette smoke of the smokers.

There is no obligation whatsoever on the employer to provide smoke breaks, and indeed if he/she does provide smoke breaks he/she is entitled to insist that those employees must work in the time taken for ‘smoke breaks’ after hours, without additional remuneration, or he/she can total up the ‘smoke breaks time’ and deduct it from wages at month end.

The employer is entitled to ban smoking completely on his building or in the workplace if he wishes to, and he can designate any area of his choice to be the smoking area. This could be the roof of the building, or the car park, and the employer is under no obligation to provide an alternative smoking area in the event of inclement weather.

In short, the employer is under no obligation to facilitate the addiction of the smoker to the drug nicotine, just as he is under no obligation to facilitate the addiction of any employee who may be addicted to alcohol, narcotics and so on.

When you consider that these no obligation on the employer to provide an alcoholic employee with ‘ drink breaks’, why should there be an obligation on him/ her to provide ‘smoke breaks’ to an Employee who is addicted to nicotine ?

The employer is obligated to comply with the following regulations in the Act if he/she wishes to provide a smoking area:

Section 3 : Tobacco Products Control Act :

Note : A “workplace” falls within the definition of and is regarded as a “public place.”
An employer, owner, licensee, lessee or person in control of a public place may designate a portion of a public place as a smoking area, provided that-
a) the designated smoking area does not exceed 25% of the total floor area of the public place;
b) the designated smoking area is separated from the rest of the public place by a solid partition and an entrance door on which the sign “SMOKING AREA” is displayed, written in black letters, at least 2 cm in height and 1,5 cm in breadth, on a white background;
c) the ventilation of the designated smoking area is such that air from the smoking area is directly exhausted to the outside and is not re-circulated to any other area within the public place;
d) the message: “SMOKING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH AND TO THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN, PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING WOMEN AND NONSMOKERS. FOR HELP TO QUIT PHONE (011) 720 3145” is displayed at the entrance to the designated smoking area,

PLEASE REFER TO THE TOBACCO PRODUCTS CONTROL ACT FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS DOCUMENT