To those that are back or still settling in, all the best to 2021.
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.
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:
Wear Mask at all times - failure to wear a mask in public could cost R1,500.
Adhere to curfew rules - Breaking curfew could result in a R3,000 fine
To adhere to all sector-specific or other health and safety protocols issued to date;
To appoint a compliance officer to enforce compliance with the adjusted level 3 regulations and all other health and safety protocols issued to date;
Prohibit employees from entering the workplace or performing their duties unless an employee is wearing a face mask;
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;
Ensure all persons queuing either inside or outside their premises maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres;
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;
Provide hand sanitiser and ensure all wash their hands and or sanitise regularly