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PRESS RELEASE COVID-19 Alert: Your risk assessment could save your business!

Monday, 06 July 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tracy Mphaphuli
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Dear SAIOH member

 

Section 16(6) of the Disaster Management Act released on the 29th April 2020 prescribes the establishment of risk management protocols including the appointment of a Compliance Officer to develop and implement a (risk assessment) plan and adhere to the standards of hygiene and health protocols relating to COVID-19 at your workplace.

The need for a thorough Risk Management Plan is not only your legal responsibility but, more importantly, the key to the sustainability of your operations.

In the event of an employee testing positive at your business,  your operations will likely be suspended pending an investigation by the Department of Employment and Labour inspectorate. This has already occurred on several occasions across South Africa. This investigation will include and immediate audit of your Risk Assessment, broad COVID-19 testing of your workforce, contact tracing and disinfection. There is a strong possibility that, if your Risk Management Strategies are not robust, you could remain closed beyond the quarantine period (14 days). Then there could another case, and the cycle is repeated.

In developing your Risk Management Protocols, you should know the answers to these questions:

  1. Have you Identified and Risk Ranked your operations, facilities and tasks?
  2. Do you have Training, Risk Zoning, Contact Demarcation and Awareness Campaigns in place?
  3. Have you got social distancing included in your work organisation?
  4. Do your sanitisation and disinfection programme cover high-risk areas adequately?
  5. Are your colleagues using the necessary precautions at work, on the way to work and at home?
  6. Are their families and friends doing the same?
  7. How well are the schools that your kids attending managing their Barrier Controls?
  8. Are your Supply Chains taking the same (necessary) precautions?
  9. What happens when you get a COVID-19 positive case at work?
  10. How does keeping healthy protect your job, your company and your livelihood?

 

While we accept that that managing this epidemic is everyone's’ responsibility, as an employer, you have been given specific duties in containing the spread of the disease, and a SAIOH member can help you.  SAIOH Members are the recognised professionals in Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessments. They are trained and examined on their ability to conduct Risk Assessments and as such have already been integrated into the National Department of Health COVID-19 Response Framework, developing protocols for both Risk Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment. They have additionally been specifically targeted to undertake facility risk assessments for the Department of Health and have already completed several Risk Assessments at government facilities, including Quarantine Centres, COIDA Offices and Laboratories.

 

The rendering of Occupational Health and Safety (incl. Occupational Health) services is in accordance with Alert Level 4 Essential Services as per the stipulations of Section 16 (3) and Annexure D (B)(1) (Health) of the Disaster Management Act Regulations, 29 April 2020.

 

 

For information on how to access a SAIOH Risk Assessment specialist, please contact our Chief Administrator, Kate Smart at info@saioh.co.za.

 

 


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