Our in-house legal team specialise exclusively in the field of HSE law and have the necessary expertise, experience and skills to ensure that Clients receive the best representation for matters such as:
Project Implementation and Advice; Administrative Processes including, Licence Applications, Appeals, Follow ups and Engagement with Government Departments; Legal Reviews; Legal Opinions; Litigation; Incident Reporting; Incident Investigations; Negotiations and Contracts; Representation during Inspection, Pre-Compliance, Compliance, Directives and Orders.
Here is a breakdown of our Legal Services:
- Consultation with Clients, other parties, Government Officials
- Drafting of any Notices, Opinions, Contracts, Formal Correspondence
- Review of any Notices, Opinions, Formal Correspondence
- Drafting of any informal correspondence via E-mail and alike
- Appearance will be charged at a flat rate
All of the above will be confirmed upon consultation and may vary depending on the matter. A detailed accounting will be made available to the Client upon request. Monthly invoicing will occur that must be settled within 30 days of invoice date. Holding deposits may be charged in case of litigation.
When problems do occur it may be necessary to engage in litigious matters, and it is often the party who manages the case best from inception that is in a stronger position towards the end. Managing a case begins with charting a strategic route and laying a paper trail to build the case on. Good supporting documentation, the so called paper trail, has often been the deciding factor in achieving a victory or amicable settlement. We understand the strategic reality of building cases either as plaintiff or defendant and have assisted several clients in defusing potentially disastrous situations by taking the correct strategic route.
We work alongside several legal firms should any matter require litigation. We provide specialist input to the process in order to ensure our clients are protected. The incremental nature of decision making in the environmental context requires that the entire project cycle be integrated with environmental and planning legal considerations.
As Government agencies and the public have become more sophisticated in their interaction with organisations, activities such as performing Environmental Impact Assessments have become more complex, and detailed legal compliance has also become more important. GGC provides their clients as well as other consulting firms with assistance in this regard.
Why the need for HSE training?
HSE awareness training is required by HSE related legislation, and also by the ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 standards. Moreover, the training of employees and contractors is a prerequisite for reducing potential liabilities of organisations, company directors and managers. The training of employees is considered a reasonable measure to ensure that employees are aware of their scope of responsibility in as far as they are required to protect the environment / mitigate health and safety hazards and / or risks in the workplace. Companies who perform training thereby reduce exposure to liability for environmental degradation / incidents in the workplace caused by errant employees.
Training Course Development
Our training packages have been developed after extensive consultation with, and input received from our industrial and mining clients. We believe the products represent a benchmark in HSE Awareness training for employees at all levels. We have created the training material to be interactive and site as well as job specific. Our training courses can be used as stand-alone one-day training, or can be shortened to act as a module within another induction or training course.
We are continuously updating our existing material and developing new training courses for clients with specific needs for example, ranging from the military to the chemical industry.
Accredited courses and trainers
Our higher level course is approved by Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) CESA-236-01/2016, and has a Continual Professional Development credit to the value of 10 notional hours.
Highest quality training material
Our training material has been proven to be of the highest quality. Our visual material abounds with colourful pictures in storyboard fashion to ensure maximum understanding and retention of training information. All students are provided with comprehensive “take home” A4 booklets containing great detail of the course material presented to act as a resource for future use.
Special needs: We cater for semi-literate requirements
We provide clients with facilitators where needed, and our employee level course is based extensively on picture storyboards, making the material accessible for semi-literate, and in certain instances for illiterate employees. Likewise, the assessment is picture and photograph based to ensure learners understand the assessment.
One of the core reasons for training employees is to ensure that they understand their scope of responsibility in as far as they are required to protect the environment/ mitigate health and safety hazards and/or risks in the workplace. Learners are therefore assessed to ensure proof of competency in the course material. The assessments are also easy to understand to ensure that students who are assessed scores in a fashion that accurately reflects their understanding. This is an important tool to ensure that corporate and director liability for environmental degradation caused by employees are reduced. Feedback on the course is provided to the client.
All successful learners receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.
Type of Audit conducted
HSE Legal Compliance Audits
The aim of these audits will be to determine the organisation’s level of compliance with both formal and operational environmental and/or health and safety legal obligations as set out by all relevant South African National, Provincial and Local By-laws. The time required to conduct audits will largely depend on the scope of the audit with regard to the size and complexity of the site to be audited. As an example, an audit for a small manufacturing plant may be one day yet a large mine with a beneficiation plant may take up to 5 days to complete.
The usual audit process is as follows:
- Providing Clients’with an audit pack that include basic information such as the audit plan and agenda as well as an audit questionnaire and other information required for audit preparation.
- A desktop review of various activities on site;
- Identifying the applicable legislation in respect of activities conducted on site;
- Identifying possible authorisations, permits, certificates, exemptions and/or licenses required;
Identifying of possible new/future projects and possible legal impacts in respect thereof:
- Verifying compliance of conditions to existing authorisations/ permits or licenses, if any;
- Identifying areas of legally relevant pollution risk to the environment;
- Identifying possible unsafe areas and/or work methods and risk to employee’s health and safety;
- Verify the monitoring of HSE impacts/risks such as Emissions, Effluent Hygiene surveys and illumination;
- Interviewing relevant employees regarding site activities and procedures;
- Performing a site walkabout, taking samples and photographs as evidence where necessary;
Verifying documented record to illustrate compliance of items sampled during the assessment
The report will provide an executive summary on findings. The report will focus on areas of non-compliance. Findings will be related to the legal obligation that it contravenes. Suggested corrective actions will also be provided per finding. Where applicable, photographic evidence will be appended. The audit report will encompass both legal and other requirements relevant to the client. Report will be made available electronically in draft format for perusal and approval by client. After comments are incorporated into the report, the report will become a final document.
Compliance auditing experience includes the following industries:
Mining (Platinum, Coal, Manganese, Titanium, Lime, Diamonds, Phosphorous, Iron ore, Chrome and Bentonite), Vehicle Manufacturing and OEM partners, Pharmaceuticals, Food manufacture and retail, Hospitality, Medical, Waste management, Transportation and logistics, Agriculture, Nuclear, Paper manufacturing, Smelters (Steel, Platinum, Gold, Lead, Chrome, Stainless steel, Manganese, Titanium), Telecoms, Chemical, Paint, Engineering, Tobacco, Plastics, Adhesives, Petrochemicals manufacture, Petroleum Storage, Petroleum retail, Light and heavy industry in rural and urban settings, Defense, Development and Industrial Park, Construction, Railways, Harbours, Office environment, Power generation coal and renewables, Local Authorities, Government agencies and departments, Financial institutions, Research facilities and Specialist consultant to other Environmental consultancies and Consulting Engineers.
Audits are conducted in a similar fashion as described above.
License Conditions Auditing (Waste Management Licenses / Water Use Licenses / Environmental Authorisations)
It is often a legal requirement of an authorisation such as a Water Use License, Waste License, Atmospheric Emissions License, Scheduled Trade permit that the holder of the license/permit be audited periodically by an external qualified party to determine the levels of compliance to the often complex and numerous conditions contained in the authorisation. GGC has extensive experience in providing Permit and License compliance auditing services.
Auditor qualifications and expertise
Qualified HSE legal practitioner that is either an admitted attorney or member of the association of advocates or subject expert, if specifically, so required will be used to conduct the audit.