Steve Biko Academic Hospital


Excellence in provision of quality tertiary health care

A caring and compassionate, professional service

A hospital sensitive to the needs of the community

Commitment, innovative ideas and team spirit

Occupational Health and Safety

What is Occupational Health and Safety?

This is a service that is rendered with the ultimate goal to maintain the health and safety of all employees at work

Times and location

Monday – Friday: 07:00 – 16:00 on the 9th floor of the new hospital


Telephone: 012 354-1596/1487
Facsimile: 012 354-2201
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Initial Medical Examinations

Done by appointment by the specific departmentThe total amount of persons to be done on the same day.

Exit medical examinations

Done when an employee leaves the services of the hospital to determine the health status at termination of service.

Medical Surveillance

The aim is to monitor the effect of risks employees are exposed to at regular intervals:

  • Done through periodic medicals e.g. ETO workers, radiation workers, Foodhandlers, etc.
  • Biological monitoring e.g. blood tests, ETO monitoring, etc.

Examinations for medical boarding

  • Done by appointment when a person can no longer perform the normal duties required by the specific post.
  • A full report, with recommendations is submitted to the relevant departments.


  • Notification of all injuries-on-duty must be done at the Occupational Health Department.
  • The Hospital only does the paperwork for the GSSC ands ubsequently forwards it to the Johannesburg office.

Occupational diseases

  • Occupational diseases are usually reported after medical surveillance or during the process of immunisation.
  • Placements done if necessary.

Risk assessment

Done on a regular basis to identify health and safety risks and to ensure health and safety in the workplace.

Control of absenteeism

The EA Group examine all sick certificates and keep record of all absenteeism.

Preventative service

Immunisation against Hepatitis B and flu vaccinations are given to health care workers.

Direct-observed treatment (DOTS)

Any employee treated by Local Government and is arranged with us – medicine given at prescribed times.

Monitoring of chronic diseases

Monitoring of hypertension, etc done by the clinic and referred when necessary.


  • Done by the OH&S Department with help from the Nursing Personnel department.
  • HIV/AIDS management.

Safety Committee

There are two safety committee’s SHER (Safety, Health, Environment) and Risk Management.


  • Inspections get done by the trained Hasreps and the Safety Officer.
  • Waste Management.


Training for Hasreps and Unit managers regarding safety and health matters.


What Dieticians do

Dieticians play an important role with maintenance and improvement of health through good nutrition. Their work requires knowledge of food, nutrients, eating habits and their involvement with the development and treatment of diseases. Their field of expertise involves the following areas:

Clinical Nutrition
This involves planning and implementing nutritional care plans, for individuals and groups, as part of the treatment of specific diseases. Feeding ranges from oral intake to tube feedings or intravenous feeding where required.

Community Nutrition
Developing and implementing nutrition education programs for specific groups in the community to prevent diseases associated with unhealthy lifestyles e.g. diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension and malnutrition

Food Service Administration
Dieticians ensure that patients in hospitals or institutions receive quality food that complies with all their specific nutritional requirements.

The Work Environment

The public sector
Clinics, hospitals and community health centers

The private sector
Private practice, hospitals and companies e.g. pharmaceutical industries and food service companies

Research institutions
Food industries, universities, Medical Research Council and CSIR

At Steve Biko Academic Hospital

Dieticians play an active and important role as part of the multi-disciplinary team in ensuring patients nutritional needs are met and maintained to ensure optimal nutritional status. At Steve Biko Academic Hospital the dieticians deliver their services in the following disciplines:

In-patients (ICU’s and wards)

  • Pediatric, Neonatal and Maternity wards
  • Surgical and Neuro-surgical wards
  • Internal Medicine e.g. cancer, cardiology, nephrology etc.
  • Ear-nose-and throat (ENT)
  • Orthopedics


Dietary counseling is conducted in the following clinics: Diabetic, Neuro Developmental Intervention, Cystic Fibrosis, High Risk Baby, Nephrology, Encopresis and general outpatient clinics.

The role of the dietician in the multi-disciplinary team

The dietician attends medical ward rounds on a daily basis with other members of the medical team where patient treatment and progress are discussed.

  • The multi-disciplinary team attends meetings to discuss patient care
  • The dietician gives valuable input in terms of nutritional care of the patient
  • The dietician plays a role in educating fellow team members / colleagues concerning current nutritional trends and developments through lectures and workshops
  • The dietician is also consulted by fellow team members to educate patients on regarding their dietary needs on discharge thus ensuring maintenance of optimal nutritional status

Medical School interaction

The dieticians are involved with the training of dietetic students of the University of Pretoria. Pre-graduate students are trained yearly at hospital level. Students from Belgium visit the department for supervisory guidance

The Cerebral Palsy Clinic

The Cerebral Palsy Clinic at Steve Biko Academic Hospital is held every Wednesday and Friday morning. Children, 12 years and under, with neurological problems eg. cerebral palsy or spina bifida attends the clinic. It is staffed by a multidisciplinary team, which includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, a dietician, a social work and a paediatrician.

The children and their caregivers attend the clinic once a month. All members of the team assess the child and a home programme is planned in collaboration with the caregiver. The team give advice about assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, orthotics and walking aids, and the caregivers are helped where possible to obtain these.

The caregivers / parents are encouraged as far as possible to become advocates for their children. They are given information about resources within the community eg. crèches, schools, support groups and how to apply for care dependency grants.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Coronary Artery Disease

The cause of coronary artery disease (CAD) has not yet been fully established but several risk factors have been identified:

  • Cigarette Smoking
    Please Note! There are no safe cigarettes
  • High blood pressure
    The higher the blood pressure the greater the risk for CAD. It is therefore very dangerous to stop treatment once the blood pressure has been controlled by medication
  • High blood cholesterol
    The most common blood fat is cholesterol. The body manufactures it own but a lot are taken in by food. You can also inherit high blood cholesterol for your parents
  • Overweight
    Each kilogram of extra weight carried by a person means that the heart has to pump blood through extra 3 kilometres of blood vessel. An overweight person often has high blood pressure and blood fat disorders.
  • Lack of exercise
    Exercise has many benefits on the heart.
  • Stress
    Stress may aggravate angina in patients’ with CAD, which may lead to a heart attack
  • Diabetes
    People with diabetes are inclined to develop CAD more easily and it is therefore essential that their diabetes be controlled as soon as possible

The goals of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is divided into 3 phases:

Phase 1

During this phase the patient is in the hospital and receives physiotherapy in a group or on an individual basis. Most have already experienced phase 1 rehab and have been issued a walking programme to continue with while you were in hospital.

Phase 2

This is conducted on an outpatient basis after discharge from hospital and the goals are:

  • Increase exercise capacity and endurance in a safe and progressive manner.
  • To help patients continue with their exercise programme and progress to an independent exercise programme.
  • Continue with patient education on risk factors and life-style changes.
  • Relieve on anxiety and depression. It has been proven that patients after a bypass or heart attack go through a period of denial, anger and depression and thus cardiac rehab is a process that directs and supports physical, emotional and physiological recovery.
  • Patient education on signs and symptoms and contra-indications to exercise.

Phase 3

This is an ongoing exercise programme that the patient is able to continue independently at home.

Phase 2 helps and prepare the patient for this stage.


Exercise as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation programme has many benefits. This is the good news; the bad news is that these benefits are only as long as you continue to exercise.

When starting an exercise programme you need to start slowly and simply, your body requires time to adapt after your bypass.

Exercise has the following benefits:

  • It increases the breathing rate and therefore improves oxygenation in the body.
  • It strengthens the hearts’ ability to pump, maintains and improves coronary artery flow and encourages the development of new vascular pathways.
  • Weight loss is improved
  • High-density lipoproteins are increased (lipoproteins carry cholesterol from blood to the tissue and are good for the body)
  • Insulin, which converts glucose (sugar) into glycogen, is improved. Exercise is one way in controlling sugar imbalances in diabetic patients.
  • It releases “happy hormones” which reduce stress levels and therefore improves self-esteem
  • It decreases the desire to smoke
  • Stickiness of platelets is reduced thus; the incidence of blood clot formation in the arteries is also reduced
  • It promotes collagen formation so the ligaments and bones become stronger
  • It reduces sudden cardiac death by 25% (according to research)

Contra-indications to Exercise

Certain contra-indications to exercise should be noted, as this may be dangerous to patients. The following are a list to serve as a guideline:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heart beats (cardiac arrhythmia)
  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Unstable pulse speed
  • Heart rate > 120 beats/ min (tachycardia)
  • Heart rate < 50 beats/ min (bradycardia)
  • Fatigue
  • Recent angiogram or angioplasty
  • Flu symptoms

Concerning your pulse speed:

It may not increase by more than 20 beats/ min from rest pulse during any stage of exercising. It will increase initially because you might be scared and overcautious. If this happens, deep breathing exercises will help a lot.

When to stop exercising immediately

  • Sudden drop in pulse speed
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • If you are cold and clammy
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable or angry
  • Sudden continuous rise in pulse speed

Please note! The above serves as a guideline and you should stop exercising if you feel unsure about your health or condition and seek professional advice.

General guidelines regarding your medication

  • You and your spouse/ next of kin should have knowledge of your medication (dosage and how many times/ day you need to take medication)
  • Should you consult another doctor/ dentist/ specialist/ pharmacist inform him/ her of your present condition and medication
  • Do not change your medication without doctor’s consultation
  • You will probably need to take medication for the rest of your life, do not stop taking your medication when feeling better
  • All medication must be taken with water and after meals (unless stated otherwise)
  • All medication must be taken regularly and on time (do not take extra pills if you forget to take medication)
  • Medication have side effects, read insert before taking any medication
  • If you do experience side effects, consult your doctor/ pharmacist
  • Make sure you have enough medication, do not run out
  • If you are on dispirin, aspirin or anti-coagulation therapy
    • Panado, Dolorol or Paracetamol should be taken for a headache
    • No additional medication should be taken without approval (doctor, pharmacist, etc)
    • Be very careful when taking medication for arthritis, gout and influenza (it may strengthen the action of “Aspirin”)
    • Patients on anti-coagulation therapy must keep the intake of alcohol to a minimum
    • Be aware of signs and symptoms of nosebleed, blood in urine and stools

Emergency Information

  • Help Desk :
    012 354 1590/1597
    Office hours only
  • Emergency Patients: Only Priority 1 and 2 patients will be seen at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. These are patients in need of Emergency Specialist Medical Care, i.e. life threatening within 2 hours, which cannot be rendered at the Regional- or District Hospital, the clinic or the Medical practitioner.
  • Steve Biko Academic Hospital is a academic hospital. No walk-in patients will be seen.
  • Out Patients Services
  • Patients Admission / Registration


Visiting hours

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital has strict visiting times - please keep to them:

14:30 – 16:00
19:00 – 20:00.

Children are not allowed to visit in Paediatric wards for infection control purposes.


(8:00 to 15:30 only)
Telephone: 012 354 1597



General email:
Facsimile: 012 354 1702


Privacy Policy :: Terms

Developed by Newsbeat Developments