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Frequently Asked Questions




  • Who is the DoL?

DoL stands for the Department of Labour. They enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993) (also known as OHSA).


  • Who is the DMR?

DMR stands for the Department Mineral Resources. They enforce the Mine Health and Safety Act 1996 (Act No. 29 of 1996) (also known as MHSA).


  • Who is DEAT?

DEAT stands for the Department Environmental Affairs. They enforce the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (also know as NEMA).


  • What is SANAS?

SANAS stands for the South African National Accreditation System and is recognised by the South African Government as the single National Accreditation Body that gives formal recognition that Laboratories, Certification Bodies, Inspection Bodies, Proficiency Testing Scheme Providers and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) test facilities are competent to carry out specific tasks in terms of the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Act (Act 19 of 2006).


  • What is an AIA?

AIA stands for an Approved Inspection Authority. The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993), defines an AIA as: “any person who with the aid of specialised knowledge or equipment or after such investigations, tests, sampling or analysis as he may consider necessary, and whether for reward or otherwise, renders a service by making special findings, purporting to be objective findings, as to:
a) The exposure of any person
b) The safety or risk to health of any work, article, substance, plant or machinery, or any condition prevalent on or in any premises
c) The question of whether any particular legislated standard has been or is being complied with, with respect to any work, article, substance, plant or machinery, or with respect to work or a condition prevalent on or in any premises or with respect to any other matter, and by issuing a certificate, stating such findings, to the person to whom the service is rendered.”
In terms of the Act, an inspection authority can only operate if it has been approved by the Chief Inspector. The inspection authority approved by the Chief Inspector with respect to any particular service shall be an Approved Inspection Authority with respect to that service only.


  •  What is a HIRA?
  • What is a BHRA?

BHRA stands for Baseline Health Risk Assessment.


  • What is a EIA?

EIA stands for an Environmental Impact Assessment.


  • What is MSDS?

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheets. A MSDS is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures.


  • What is OHS?

OHS stands for an Occupational Hygiene Survey.


  • What is OHMP?

OHMP stands for an Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Programme.


  • What is COP?

COP stands for Code of Practice.


  • What is a HEG?

HEG stands for Homogeneous Exposure Groups. It is a group of workers who experience exposures similar enough that monitoring exposures of any representative subgroup of workers provides data useful for predicting exposures of the remaining workers.


  • What is NIHL?

NIHL stands for Noise Induced Hearing Loss. It is a hearing decrease caused by loud sounds or continuously emitted high noise levels.


  • What is HPD's?

HPD stands for Hearing Protection Device. It is a form of personal protective equipment, such as ear-muffs or ear-plugs, worn by persons who are exposed to high noise levels.


  • What is NRR?

NRR stands for Noise Reduction Rating . It is a rating system developed to give guidelines about the potential hearing protection that hearing protectors can provide in a noisy environment. The amount of noise reduction is measured under controlled laboratory conditions and is given as an NRR number in dB - the higher the number, the more hearing protection. The "real-life" protection provided by hearing protectors is less than the ideal or measured value.


  • What is WBV?

WBV stands for Whole Body Vibration.


  • What is HAV?

HAV stands for Hand Arm Vibration.


  • What is Heat Stress?

Heat Stress is the sum of metabolic (Energy flux released by a living organism due to chemical reactions that occur in its cells) and environmental heat loads.


  • What is Cold Stress?

Cold Stress is excessive heat loss resulting in compensatory mechanisms (increased respirations and nonshivering thermogenesis) to maintain core body temperature.


  • What is Lux?

The unit of measurement of illumination levels.


  • What is NIR?

NIR stands for Non-Ionising Radiation.


  • What is EMF?

EMF stands for Electro Magnetic Field which is an area of the electromagnetic spectrum of Non-Ionising Radiation and includes: power frequencies, microwaves and radio frequencies.


  • What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the science and practice of designing systems to fit people so that the tasks required of the human user are within his/her limitations, but also to ensure that best use is made of functional capabilities. The term "ergonomics" is derived from the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (laws).


  • What is IAQ?

IAQ stands for Indoor Air Quality.


  • What is LEV?

LEV stands for Local Extraction Ventilation.


  • What is HCS?

HCS stands for Hazardous Chemical Substances. A hazardous chemical is a substance classified by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (85 of 1993) as a substance that is both toxic and reactive and whose potential for inflicting harmful health effects is high if released.


  • What is Alpha Quartz?

Alpha Quartz is a Polymorphic form of crystalline silica. In nature, the alpha (or low) form of quartz is the most common. This form is so abundant that the term 'quartz' is often used in place of the general term crystalline silica.


  • What is OEL?

OEL stands for Occupational Exposure Limit. An OEL is the Time-weighted average (TWA) concentration for an 8-hour work day and a 40-hour work week to which nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed without adverse health effects.


  • What is PPE?

PPE stands for Personal Protectice Equipment. It refers to protective devices, eg. clothing, helmets, goggles, respirators or other garments and equipment, designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or harmful hazards in the working environment.


  • What is an Asbestos Contractor?

An Asbestos Contractor is a certified company or individual, registered with the Department of Labour, who deals with the removal of Asbestos.


  • What are VOC's?

VOC's stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. VOC's compounds are found in many household products, paints, petroleum products and industrial solvents. People who ingest these compounds (whether directly or indirectly) could experience damage to liver, kidneys, spleen, or circulatory system, or changes in the blood. There is also an increased risk of cancer associated with most of these compounds.


  • What is DDP?
DDP stands for Dust Deposition Program which is a casual term for Fallout Dust Monitoring.


  • What is the SAMOHP Codebook?

SAMOHP is the South African Mines Occupational Hygiene Programme Codebook, issued by the Department Mineral Resources’ Directorate: Occupational Hygiene, to give guidance to the employer with regard to establishing an Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Programme.


  • What is SHE, HSE, ESH, SHEQ?

SHE stands for Safety, Health & Environmental.

HSE stands for Health, Safety & Environmental.

ESH stands for Environmental, Safety & Health.

SHEQ stands for Safety, Health, Environmental & Quality.


  • What is VOHE?
VOHE stands for Ventilation, Occupational Hygiene & Engineering.




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