Page 114 - Faculty of Health Sciences

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UCT Research Report '11
pesticide risk management is structured around the United
Nations Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of
Pesticides and has been developed in conjunction with
the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations.
The first 17 students from all over Africa, Figi and St.
Lucia plan to graduate in 2012. The second intake
represent South Africa, Eritrea, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania,
Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
A broad range of students have actively participated
in research projects in the H HRMP both from the
Health Sciences Faculty (SSM, 4th year blocks, MPH,
PhD) and anthropology (undergraduate, honours and
master’s). Students have developed risk communication
tools, and presented findings at conferences and to health
professionals (e.g., Environmental Health Professionals
and Community Health Promoters).
The HRMP also develops a range of risk communication
materials, algorithm, and policy briefs based on research
findings. These mediums are used in order to disseminate
and translate research findings for a broad range of
stakeholders. In 2011, the Head of HRMP, Dr. Hanna-
Andrea Rother, was nominated as a WHO panel expert
for the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management
Industrial Health Resource Group (IHRG)
Within the COEHR, the Industrial Health Resource Group
(IHRG) operates as an action research and socially
responsive development group, providing occupational
health and safety research, curriculum development,
training, advice, and resource development services for
trade unions and their members. The work of IHRG is
guided by a vision of building the capacity of trade unions
and their members to independently monitor, enforce,
defend and advance the workplace health and safety
rights of workers.
IHRG does representation, investigative and advocacy
work for workers and trade unions in relation to workplace
health and safety incidents and cases of work-related
injury and disease. In this regard, IHRG engages
with Department of Labour’s (DoL) Compensation
Commissioner and the Health and Safety Inspectorate, as
well as with the Public Protector. Important experiences
during 2011 and 2012 include IHRG working with Cosatu
to engage the Department of Labour and the NPA on
the DoL recommendations for prosecutions following
their findings of employer negligence in Section 31
investigations and a 32 formal enquiry; the submission of
a Section 91 appeal; and Section 56 applications to the
Compensation Commissioner for increased compensation
due to employer negligence. IHRG continues to engage
the Compensation Commissioner on an incomplete
Section 56 hearing which remains unresolved since 2011.
IHRG assisted several trade unions with injury cases.
Notable cases include exploring the compensation rights
of labour broker workers injured in an underground tank
fire; engaging the DoL on unreported cases; responding
to requests for assistance on compensation claims
and access to medical surveillance information from
large groups of organised unemployed workers (ex-
Mineworkers and ex-employees exposed to asbestos).
IHRG continues to work closely with the labour federation
Cosatu around cases concerning temporary total disability
payments and permanent disability awards. IHRG supports
workers with medical referrals to occupational health
practitioners, medical specialists, occupational therapists
and psychologists in the process of securing medical care
and evidence in determining whether health problems are
IHRG plays an advocacy role within a national, regional
and global context of deregulation, outsourcing and
casualisation of labour - trends which enable public
and private sector employers to avoid responsibility
for workplace health and safety. In this regard, IHRG is
collaborating with the Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging
and its South African partners in a campaign for decent
work that is directed particularly at vulnerable workers.
Our work with vulnerable workers currently includes
contract cleaning workers, community health care workers,
workers who have been injured or made sick by their work,
labour broker and sub-contracted workers, and farm
workers. Our advocacy work includes issues relating to
the administration, enforcement and the amendment of the
OH&S legislation, and interpreting the role of trade union
representatives in monitoring employer compliance with
labour laws relating to OH&S.
IHRG works in partnership with trade unions in a variety
of programmes. During 2011and 2012 IHRG has been
involved with Naledi and Satawu in a project that looks
at the working conditions, organisational rights and
health and safety issues in the contract cleaning sector.
Training workshops and participatory action research
projects have been carried out with contract cleaning
workers at OR Tambo airport. IHRG has also continued
its partnership with Numsa and the German trade union
confederation DGB-BW, to build the capacity of Numsa
shop stewards and organisers to engage with German
multi-national companies in the negotiation of workplace
level organisational rights agreements including Health
and Safety Agreements with their employers.
IHRG collaborates locally, nationally, regionally and globally
with other labour service organisations, non-governmental
organisations, adult educationists, occupational health
experts, various academic programmes, and health
research institutions. During 2011 and 2012, IHRG
collaborated with - amongst others – Public Services
International, Frederick Ebert Stiftung, Federatie
Nederlandse Beweging, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund,
Naledi, Ditsela, Workers World Media Productions,