File picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The chairperson of the portfolio committee on labour, Lemias Mashile, has called on employers to take steps that ensure compliance with health and safety standards. 

This comes as two tragic incidents in Cape Town and Johannesburg this week highlighted the urgent need for steps to review safety measures within work environments to safeguard workers. 

An explosion at a munitions factory, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), in Macassar in the Western Cape‚ left at least eight people dead on Monday, while three firefighters died on Wednesday while trying to battle the blaze that erupted at provincial government offices in Johannesburg inner city.

Mashile said the Department of Labour, through labour inspectors, must be at the forefront of ensuring high levels of safety standards and that employees must at all times also report unsafe work places. 

"It is of utmost importance that government departments undertake a comprehensive review of buildings they own and inhabit to ensure that they comply with safety standards, as custodians of these standards," Mashile said.

"Above all, a comprehensive investigation must be undertaken to get to the root cause of the fire in Johannesburg and preventative measures must be put in place to avert such incidents from occurring again."

African News Agency (ANA)