Heading back to work? These are the measures your Employer must implement


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Last Friday, South Africa moved into phase 4 four of lockdown in response to the spreading pandemic. With level 4 in place, certain sectors may return to work as well as certain students (grade 7 & 12).

Within level 4 regulations, the public may also exercise between 6 am -9 am but not further than 5km from their place of residence and may purchase a broader list of essentials including stationary as well digital devices and winter essentials.

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Should you be returning to work this week, wearing a face mask will be mandatory as well as the below measures outlined by labour and employment minister, Thulas Nxesi on Sunday.

Read more on the latest COVID-19 related news, right here.

Preparation

“The businesses that are reopening must put measures in place before restarting work. A risk assessment review must be undertaken to adapt the provisions of the directions to the specific requirements of the individual workplaces. The directions in no way reduce the existing obligations on employers in terms of the occupational health and safety act of 1993.” – Thulas Nxesi

Protection of employees

“Employers must take measures to protect the health and safety of everyone in their workplace. This includes contractors, self-employed people and volunteers.” – Thulas Nxesi

Covid-19 in the workplace

“Employers must report any diagnosis of Covid-19 to the departments of health and employment and labour. Investigate the cause and take appropriate measures as it is a contravention not to do so as an employer.” – Thulas Nxesi

Social distancing

“Workplaces must be arranged to ensure a minimum of 1.5m between workers. If this is not practical, physical barriers must be erected and workers must be supplied with personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge.” – Thulas Nxesi

Screening

“Employers must screen workers for symptoms of Covid-19 when they report for work, namely for fever, cough, sore throat, redness of eyes, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, body aches, loss of smell or taste. Workers should inform employers if they experience any symptoms while at work.” – Thulas Nxesi

Hygiene

“Employers must provide sufficient quantities of hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol, ensure that surfaces, equipment and common areas such as toilets, door handles and shared equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected, and paper towels and adequate facilities for handwashing.” – Thulas Nxesi

Accountability

“Any employer who does not comply with the directions may be ordered to close business. Failure to comply and take necessary measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 may result in criminal prosecution.” – Thulas Nxesi


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