On Thursday, 01 October 2020, Notice R.1031 was published in Government Gazette No. 43751, this replaces the COVID-19 Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace issued by the aforesaid Minister on Thursday, 04 June 2020 (Notice 639 of Government Gazette No. 43400).
This notice has been issued under the Labour Relations Act 1995 (LRA) , and is titled Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in certain workplaces, which direction concerns COVID -19 Safety measures which have to be carried in one’ s workplace, which includes ANY place were one performs work. This will obviously include office and home workplaces.
The notice requires that for the duration of the National State of Disaster, all employers and workers are obliged to undertake and participate in the following:
Conduct a risk assessment of each workspace and on the basis of the asssessment, develop a plan, outlining the protective measures which must be implemented to address any COVID risks.
Institute and adhere to various administrative measures in the workplace, which include appointing a COVID-19 Compliance Officer and implementing a COVID-19 policy with related procedures.
Introduce and adopt measures for social distancing and symptom screening.
Supply and manage the use of Personal Protective Equipment which includes the use of hand sanitizers and the washing of hands.
Ensure ventilation control measures are implemented and adhered to at a workplace. This ventilation can be supplied via natural or mechanical means as long as it meets the requirements specified in the directive.
Public Access in the Workplace
Implement specific measures within the workplace to which the public have access. Please refer to the link below for these specific measures.
The notice also covers additional obligations under the OHSA which include the following:
Refusal to Work due to COVID-19 exposure
Be aware that an employee may refuse to work if circumstances arise which pose an imminent risk of their exposure to COVID-19.
Employee Renumeration Deductions
No employer may receive any payment from an employee or make any deduction from an employee’s renumeration in respect of anything which the employer is obliged to provide or to do in terms of these directives.
What to do if a worker presents with COVID-19 related symptoms
- Do not permit the worker to enter the workplace or report for work
- If the worker is already at work, isolate the worker
- Assess the risk of transmission
- Place the employee on paid sick leave
- The worker is only allowed back to the workplace after the mandatory 10 days of isolation
Should you require a copy of this gazette notice or alternatively, if you would like advise on how to develop a COVID Health and Safety Policy, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org