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Download the Directive By the Minister of Employment and Labour issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of Section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (ACT NO. 57 OF 2002
Occupational Heath and Safety Act 85 of 1993
1. The Purpose of Directive
The Directive does not:
2. Application of Directive
The Directive applies to:
The Directive does not apply to:
4. Measures employers must carry out
4.1. Administrative measures
- All employers must carry out a risk assessment in order to implement the measures stipulated by this Directive
- Employers with more than 500 workers must submit a record of its risk assessment, along with its written COVID-19 health & safety policy, to the Department of Employment and Labour and to its health & safety committee
- All workers must be informed of the Directive’s content and must be given information about how to prevent the spread of the virus
- Workers must be informed that ‘if they are sick’ or have symptoms associated with COVID-19 they must not come to work and to take sick leave in line with section 22 of the BCEA.
- Employers must appoint a manager to address the concerns of workers or workplace representatives.
- The Manager must consult with the health and safety committee, if it exists, on the nature of the hazard and measures to be taken
- The number of workers at the workplace must, as far as practicable, be reduced through ‘rotation, staggered working hours, shift systems’ so that workers keep a safe distance
- Safe distancing must also be ensured where workers interact with the public
- If a worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the DEL must be informed and the risk assessment must be reviewed.
4.2. Social distancing measures
- ensure minimal contact between workers while working, including spacing of 1.5 metres
- reduce, if necessary, the number of workers in the workplace to achieve social distancing
- Where social distancing is not practical, set up physical barriers between workers or, if necessary, supply workers free of charge with PPE
- Ensure social distancing in common areas like canteens and lavatories through queue control. Dividing the workforce into groups or staggering breaks can also be considered.
4.3. Health & safety measures
4.3.1. Symptom Screening
- Undertake symptom screening
- Every employer must screen ‘any worker’ when they report for work for symptoms connected with COVID-19, like fever, cough, sore throat, red eyes or shortness of breath
- Employers must also screen for other symptoms like body aches, loss of smell or loss of taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and tiredness
- Undertake medical surveillance and testing if required to do so by the National Department of Health.
18.104.22.168. Procedures to be followed when symptoms are present:
- worker who has the COVID-19 symptoms must not be allowed into the workplace or to report for work
- Workers must also inform the employer if they suffer these symptoms while at work
- The employer must isolate a worker with COVID-19 symptoms who is already at work and then safely transport the worker for self-isolation, or a medical examination or for testing.
- The employer must then assess if other workers may have been infected and refer them for screening and disinfect the area
- The employer must ensure that the worker is tested or referred to an identified testing site
- The worker with symptoms must be tested and placed on paid sick leave as per the BCEA
- The employer must apply to the TERS if the worker has no more paid sick leave due.
4.3.2. Procedures to be followed when a worker has Covid-19:
- If the worker got COVID-19 at work, the employer must put in a COIDA compensation claim
- The employer must not discriminate against the employee who has tested positive
- An employer can only allow a worker who has had COVID-19 to return to work if the worker has had a medical examination testing negative, observes all the COVID-19 prevention protocols and is monitored by the employer on return to work
4.3.3. Sanitisers, disinfectants and ‘other measures’
- Ensure, free of charge, sufficient quantities of hand sanitizers that have at least 70% alcohol
- Provide hand sanitiser at the entrance of and inside the workplace, which workers and others must use
- Provide workers who work away from the workplace with adequate hand sanitiser
- Provide workers who interact with the public with adequate sanitiser for themselves and for those they interact with
- Disinfect all work surfaces and work equipment before and after work
- Regularly disinfect all work surfaces and work equipment during working hours
- Regularly disinfect toilets, common areas, door handles and shared electronic equipment
- Not use biometric systems or make them Covid-19 proof
- Ensure workers are able to wash their hands with soap and clean water
- Use only paper towels
- Ensure workers interacting with the public are able to sanitise their hands after every interaction
- Regularly disinfect surfaces workers and members of the public come into contact
4.3.4. Cloth mask
- provide every worker with a minimum of 2 cloth masks, free of charge, to wear at work and while travelling to and from work. Masks must meet requirements of DTI.
- Arrange for the washing, drying and ironing of cloth masks
- Require workers to wear mask in the workplace
- Inform and train workers on how to use the cloth mask (The number of masks to be given and how often they must be replace, are to be decided according to sectoral guidelines which have yet to be issued.)
4.3.5. Public access workplace
- Ensure there is a 1.5 metre distance between workers and members of the public
- Ensure that physical barriers are put up or workers are given face shields, where social distancing is not possible.
- Screen anyone entering such workplaces
- Ensure persons entering such workplaces wear masks while inside the premises.
- Keep workplaces well ventilated. This can be done naturally or through a ventilation extraction system that is regularly cleaned and maintained.
4.3.7. Other PPE
- regularly check specific websites to see if any additional PPE is recommended. The websites are those of the National Department of Health, National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the National Institute for Occupational Health.
5. Small Business
Employers with fewer than 10 workers must:
6. Worker obligations
7. Monitoring and enforcing the Directive
8. Sectoral Guidelines
What can you do if your workplace is unsafe?
Report your employer to a Department of Labour provincial inspector:
Eastern Cape 082 908 2318
Free State 066 304 3469
Gauteng 082 900 8131
KZN 060 985 9286
Mpumalanga 081 382 4008
Limpopo 082 880 4297
Northern Cape 082 802 6796
North West 082 908 2308
Western Cape 082 791 4485
Contact CWAO for more advice