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An Employer’s Obligation When The Taps Run Dry

With water shedding becoming a more frequent occurrence as the drought hits the Eastern Cape taps occasionally run dry at the home and work.

Having access to water is a basic human right, but does the employer have any obligation to provide drinking water to employees when the taps run dry?


In 2004 the Occupational Health And Safety Act published regulations which requires employers to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water is available for employees at the workplace and clearly and conspicuously mark such taps and pipes which supply water which is not fit for human consumption.

The conclusion to be drawn from this is that even if the taps run dry, an employer needs to make sure that there is an alternative water source for the purposes of drinking water for employees.

Contact our labour law experts on 041 363 6044 or info@kaplans.co.za for help navigating the various provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure compliance.


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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.