SHEQ Solve https://www.sheqsolve.com/ Health and Safety Thu, 04 May 2023 11:11:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.4 https://www.sheqsolve.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Sheq-Solve-logo-140x140.png SHEQ Solve https://www.sheqsolve.com/ 32 32 To those that are back or still settling 2021 https://www.sheqsolve.com/to-those-that-are-back-or-still-settling-2021/ https://www.sheqsolve.com/to-those-that-are-back-or-still-settling-2021/#respond Tue, 30 Nov 2021 11:08:00 +0000 https://www.sheqsolve.com/?p=1219 The breakdown in social distancing that occurred over the holiday period have affected our employees during the well-earned break and we are already experiencing an increase in the COVID-19 prevalence amongst our employees. That requires us to reassess our risk exposure and the mitigation that we have in place. There may not be enough time …

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The breakdown in social distancing that occurred over the holiday period have affected our employees during the well-earned break and we are already experiencing an increase in the COVID-19 prevalence amongst our employees. That requires us to reassess our risk exposure and the mitigation that we have in place.

There may not be enough time available for employers to prepare for the resumption of operations on 1 May, therefore SHEQ Solve have compiled a list of the minimum requirements which we believe employers will have to comply with, as a basis for the proposed measures likely to be affected by Government.

You are reminded to screen your employees before starting up (open business), those that are positive for COVID 19 or so-called PUI (Person under investigation), close contacts or casual contacts needs to be reported and investigated. The following information will be required:

Name and Surname, ID number, date of testing positive or being exposed, company number and a contact number.

Symptoms: Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

I believe that we are all painfully aware of the increase of COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa. This has prompted our president to announce an increase in our preparedness level two Level 3 lockdown.

 

Obligations at the workplace

 

As management, I believe that we were proactive in the arrangements that we have made for when our employees return to work in January after the summer break. The rules that we currently have in place are very much aligned with the Level 3 rules as announced earlier this week.

 

In terms of the adjust level 3 regulations, an employer has the following obligations and responsibilities:

  1. Wear Mask at all times – failure to wear a mask in public could cost R1,500.

  2. Adhere to curfew rules – Breaking curfew could result in a R3,000 fine

  3. To adhere to all sector-specific or other health and safety protocols issued to date;

  4. To appoint a compliance officer to enforce compliance with the adjusted level 3 regulations and all other health and safety protocols issued to date;

  5. Prohibit employees from entering the workplace or performing their duties unless an employee is wearing a face mask;

  6. Determine the floor plan area of the workplace and the number of persons who may enter the workplace based on the floor plan area, while still maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres;

  7. Ensure all persons queuing either inside or outside their premises maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres;

  8. Take measures to enforce physical distancing of 1.5 metres in its workplace, including implementing measures such as remote work, restrictions on face-to-face meetings and taking special measures in relation to employees who are considered vulnerable due to their age or co-morbidities;

  9. Provide hand sanitiser and ensure all wash their hands and or sanitise regularly

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COVID 19 – lockdown level 4 OHS guidelines https://www.sheqsolve.com/covid-19-lockdown-level-4-ohs-guidelines/ https://www.sheqsolve.com/covid-19-lockdown-level-4-ohs-guidelines/#respond Wed, 03 Nov 2021 10:07:00 +0000 https://www.sheqsolve.com/?p=1212 The Government has not yet published the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations with the requirements that apply to employers who may commence operations under Level 4 lock down on 1 May 2020.   There may not be enough time available for employers to prepare for the resumption of operations on 1 May, therefore SHEQ …

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The Government has not yet published the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations with the requirements that apply to employers who may commence operations under Level 4 lock down on 1 May 2020.

 

There may not be enough time available for employers to prepare for the resumption of operations on 1 May, therefore SHEQ Solve have compiled a list of the minimum requirements which we believe employers will have to comply with, as a basis for the proposed measures likely to be affected by Government.

Please note that FINAL REGULATIONS ARE STILL PENDING!

Please remember that you will still need to continue with all Occupational Health and Safety activities in your workplace, apart from those suggested in the following requirements.

Before any employee is exposed or may be exposed to HBA and after consultation with the health and safety team established for the section of the workplace, ensure that the employee is adequately and comprehensively informed and trained on both practical aspects and theoretical knowledge with regards the following requirements, according to the current information and relevant regulations, be compulsory in every Level 4 workplace:

Risk Management

Employers need to go back to basics, re-assess their daily activities, and identify the risk in order to implement social distancing in their activities.

 

Personal Hygiene Policy

  • All employees should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds – (Hum the Happy Birthday song twice)
  • NO physical contact is allowed between employees or employees and visitors /clients like handshakes and/or hugs …
  • Employees should sanitize their hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with an alcohol content of at least 70%, after contact with any person or after contact with frequently touched surfaces;
  • Employees must cough into the fold of their elbow or in a tissue which must be discarded in a waste bin immediately, and wash their hands immediately
  • Employees must avoid touching their face: eyes, nose, and mouth.

Things to consider:

  • Disinfect your hands – think of what is in your pocket or what you are holding in your hands (Cell phone; Handbag; wallet; key)
  • Feet walking into facility

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The employer will be compelled to introduce a COVID-19 PPE policy in respect to all employees and visitors to the workplace, and to provide PPE, as to be determined by the regulations. We propose, in preparation, to introduce the following PPE measures in the workplace:

  • the issuing of masks to all employees – all employees must wear these masks;
  • the employer may not allow any visitor to enter the workplace without the proper PPE as per the regulations and/or the employers’ policy;
  • the employer should inform all visitors that they are to provide their own PPE in order to enter the workplace, alternatively, issue all visitors with the required PPE;
  • the employer should train employees on the correct use, necessary hygiene practices and proper disposal of PPE in order to avoid cross-contamination from PPE to the user’s hands or clothes;
  • supervisors should monitor and enforce wearing, sanitizing and disposal of the appropriate PPE;
  • the employer should perform non-invasive temperature testing of all employees and visitors upon entering the premises.

Social distancing measures

It is probable that the regulations will enforce social distancing measures in the workplace, as social distancing is one of the main strategies in preventing the spread of the virus. Employers will likely be expected to implement the following measures:

  • employees must practice social distancing of at least 1.5 to 2 meters away from any other person in all circumstances;
  • the employer should introduce staggered tea and lunch breaks to avoid a gathering of people and should also enforce social distancing protocols during these breaks;
  • the employer should adopt and enforce a policy to avoid face to face meetings and, where possible, conduct meetings via electronic platforms (such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams);
  • the employer should, where possible, adopt a work from home policy, particularly in respect of vulnerable employees;
  • the use of paper towels on door handles, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces should be enforced;
  • the employer should implement measures for the regular cleaning of the office and commonly touched areas;
  • the employer should introduce rules confining employees to their workstation, wherever possible.
 

Travel restrictions

The employer must enforce a strict ‘no travel for business purposes’ policy, subject to the exceptions as per the regulations, i.e. cargo that may be moved across provincial borders.

Policies and procedures to be implemented in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace:

  • the employer must develop a policy and protocol which is to be implemented when a case of COVID-19 infection has been detected in the workplace. It is not yet clear what this protocol will contain as the Government has not yet provided guidance on this issue;
  • the employer should train employees on their responsibilities and the relevant procedures in terms of the protocol;
  • employers should use a checklist to make sure they comply with all the OHS requirements.

On request a COVID-19 Pack with documents & checklist will be provided as part of a toolkit that SHEQ Solve will sell. The aim is to allow the Employer to edit and make use of the COVID-19 Toolkit to make it site-specific.

It is strongly advised that a dedicated manager should be identified to monitor and enforce compliance with all of the above and SHEQ Solve can provide you with services to guide your company.

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COVID 19 – Novel Coronavirus https://www.sheqsolve.com/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/ https://www.sheqsolve.com/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/#respond Sat, 30 Oct 2021 09:40:00 +0000 https://www.sheqsolve.com/?p=1187 What is it? A coronavirus is a large group of viruses that cause illness in animals and humans. In people, coronaviruses can cause illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new coronavirus is now known as COVID 19 and has similar symptoms to SARS and MERS. The …

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What is it?

A coronavirus is a large group of viruses that cause illness in animals and humans. In people, coronaviruses can cause illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new coronavirus is now known as COVID 19 and has similar symptoms to SARS and MERS. The virus has been known to spread not only from animals to people, but is now spreading at an increased rate from person-to-person. More than 68000 cases have been diagnosed and as of February 16, 2020, the death toll was 1665. However, the number of new cases of the virus has dropped.

Symptoms include:

• Runny Nose

• Headache

• Cough

• Sore Throat

• Breathing difficulties

• Fever

• Vomiting

• In some cases diarrhoea

In advanced cases: Respiratory failure and kidney failure.

People with a weakened immune system (the elderly or very young) are more prone to develop a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

What to do?

  • Wash your hands often with soap under running water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash and prepare food carefully
  • If you are mildly sick, keep yourself hydrated, stay at home, and rest.
  • If you are concerned about your symptoms, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Make sure that you speak to your doctor before going in so that they can be aware of your symptoms and so that the necessary precautions can be taken.

How is it transmitted?

  • Direct contact with infected patients
  • Droplets from patient’s coughing and sneezing
  • Contact with patient’s belongings, followed by touching your nose, eyes or mouth without washing your hands

There is not yet an antidote for this new COVID 19 virus, however, the spread of this virus can be minimised by obeying basic laws of hygiene and quarantine.

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