Klass Looch Associates

Employer OHS Champion since 1986 

Draft OHS Amendment Bill 2015

Section 32. Formal inquiry.

(1) The chief inspector may, and shall when so requested, by a person producing prima facie evidence of an offence, appoint a presiding inspector to conduct a formal inquiry into any incident which has occurred at or originated from a workplace or in connection with the use of plant or machinery which has resulted, or in the opinion of the chief inspector could have resulted, in the injury, illness or death of any person;

(2) For the purposes of an inquiry referred to in subsection (1), a presiding inspector may subpoena any person to appear at a predetermined place on a day specified in the subpoena and to give evidence or to produce any book, document or thing which in the opinion of the inspector has a bearing on the subject of the inquiry;

(4) Any inquiry under this section shall be held in public: Provided that the presiding inspector may exclude from the place where the inquiry is held, a person whose presence is, in the opinion of the presiding inspector, undesirable or not in the public interest;

(7) An affidavit made by any person in connection with the incident in respect of which the inquiry is held, shall  at the discretion of the presiding inspector upon production, be admissible as proof of the facts stated therein, and the presiding inspector may, if so required, subpoena the person who made such an affidavit to give oral evidence at the inquiry or may submit written interrogatories to that person for reply, and such interrogatories and any reply thereto purporting to be a reply from such person shall likewise be admissible in evidence at the inquiry: Provided that the presiding inspector shall afford any person present at the inquiry the opportunity to refute the facts stated in such document, evidence or reply.

(10) The evidence given at any inquiry under this section shall be recorded and a copy thereof shall be submitted by the presiding inspector together with his or her report to the chief inspector, and in the case of an incident in which or as a result of which any person died or was seriously injured or became ill, the presiding inspector shall submit a copy of the said evidence and the report to the chief inspector;

(10A) The chief inspector shall submit the report to the National Prosecuting Authority within whose area of jurisdiction such incident occurred, within 90 days of the conclusion of the inquiry;

(12) Upon receipt of a report referred to in subsection (10), the National Prosecution Authority shall deal therewith in accordance with the provisions of the Inquests Act, 1959 (Act No. 58 of 1959), or the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977), as the case may be.