What is my responsibility as employer regarding Covid-19 in the workplace?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act together with the Disaster Management Act requires the employer to provide and maintain as far as is reasonably practicable a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of workers and to take such steps as may be reasonably practicable to eliminate or mitigate the hazard or potential hazard.
1. Relevant Health and Safety protocols must be adhered to such as:
Daily Screening for anyone coming to the office.
Face mask to be always worn.
Social distancing of 1.5m.
Covid-19 training to be provided to employees.
Sanitizing and disinfecting the workplace and working area.
Covid-19 Risk Assessment needs to be completed.
Legal appointing a Covid-19 compliance officer.
2. Businesses must adhere to all Health and Safety protocols and any sector-specific Health and Safety protocols intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the sector concerned. Sector-specific health protocols may address matters such as:
Working from home.
Special measures affecting persons with underlying vulnerabilities and conditions.
Offences and penalties
1. For the duration of the national state of disaster, any person who hinders, interferes with, or obstructs an enforcement officer in the exercise of his or her powers, or the performance of his or her duties in terms of these Regulations, is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
2. For the purposes of this Chapter, any person who fails to comply with, or contravenes a provision of regulations 68(1) and (3), 70(2), (3) and (7); 80(3)(a), 81(1)(b) and 81(3) of these Regulations commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
William van Greunen: OHS Consultant - Compliance Hub