New COVID-19 Regulations: Occupational Health & Safety

Employment and Labour

New Regulations were gazetted on the 1st October 2020. These new regulations have increased the burden placed on employers, especially those that employ more than 50 employees.

MannMade Radio interviewed Tracey about these changes last week. To listen to the interview click on the link below:

The changes include:

  1. New reporting obligations
  2. Employers must submit a record of their risk assessment together with a written policy.
  3. The submission to the Dept of Employment & Labour must be made by email to the Provincial Chief Inspector within 21 days of the commencement of the Revised OHS Direction.
  4. The Policy that is required is quite onerous and must include:
  • The date the workplace will open and hours of trading
  • List of employees permitted to return to work and those required to work from home.
  • Plan and time-table for the phased in return of employees
  • Identify vulnerability of employees
  • Ways of minimising the number of workers at the workplace
  • Workplace protective measures required to be taken
  • Measures for the daily screening of employees and visitors to the workplace
  • Details of Covid-19 compliance officer appointed
  • Procedure to resolve any issue that may arise from the exercise by an employee of the right to refuse to work in the circumstances

5. The following data needs to be submitted to the National Institute for Occupational Health:

  • Each employee’s vulnerability status for serious outcomes of Covid-19
  • Details of the symptom screenig of employees who are symptomatic
  • Details of employees who test positive for Covid-19
  • Number of employees identified as high-risk contacts
  • Details of the post-infection outcomes to those testing positive, including the return to work assessment outcome.

6. Vulnerability status data must be provided once in respect of each employee.

7. Employers must make sure that they have obtained their employees consent to provide such data ito the POPI Act.

Another change to the regulations relates to the refusal to work due to exposure to Covid-19 – this is for all employers and not only those that employ more than 50 employees.

For more information and advice, contact Tracey Mouton at Goldberg & de Villiers Inc. on 041 5019800 | traceym@goldlaw.co.za

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