What is COVID-19?
According to the Department of Health human Coronaviruses are common throughout the world. There are many different coronaviruses identified in animals but only a small number of these can cause disease in humans.
On 7 January 2020, ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed as the causative agent of ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’ or COVID-19.
The majority of the case-patients initially identified were dealers and vendors at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in China. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 100 countries, including South Africa.
How is it transmitted?
According to the Department of Health, while the first cases probably involved exposure to an animal source, the virus now seems to be spreading from person-to-person.
The spread of the disease is thought to happen mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
Thus far, the majority of cases have occurred in people with close physical contact to cases and healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19.
What is expected of Employers with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ms Moiloa the Inspector General at the Department of Labour was on the news on 05/04/2020 @ 16:00 with regards to COVID 19 requirements in all companies when it comes to Health & Safety regulations.
Ms Moiloa, Inspector General of the Department of Labour, urges all employers to comply with the Occupational Health & Safety Act, if not, serious steps will be taken against any employer who does not. According to Ms Moiloa, employers need to, most importantly, comply with Section 8 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, taking into consideration the COVID19 virus. This must be complied with during the lockdown and after as Ms Moiloa specifically indicated that the inspections by the Department of Labour will still carry on after the lockdown has been lifted.
Ms Moiloa, Inspector General of the Department of Labour, insisted that the following must be in place with no exceptions:
- Sound workplace risk assessments covering the COVID19 outbreak.
- Enforcement of said Section 8 of the Occupation Health & Safety Act:
- Section 8 (1) – Duties of Employers to Employees
- Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees.
- Compliance to COVID19, regulation on social distancing.
- Use and supply of proper PPE in the workplace.
How can WHM Health & Safety Advisors assist you with compliance?
WHM Health & Safety Advisors can assist you with a COVID 19 risk assessment to indicate what are the possible risks are in your company, so that solutions can be implemented.
The solutions we will implement will be:
- Risk Assessments for the Coronavirus.
- Procedures for preventing the spread thereof.
- Policies to ensure staff adhere to the above mentioned health and safety regulations.
- COVID-19 awareness talks to communicate the risk.
These Risk assessments and amended documentation should be implemented now already and also be maintained definitely after the lockdown, so that we can maintain a safe working environment for your company.
How can we implement and communicate the Risk Assessments and relevant documentation?
The exciting part is we can do this remotely by means of an electronic application at no extra costs during and after the lock down. This will entail, that we can conduct risk assessments, COVID-19 awareness talks, health and safety meetings with management, approval of health and safety policies and so much more via a video conference and all documentation can be signed electronically and the whole meeting is recorded on video as well.
After the lockdown has been lifted, we will come to your premise to ensure that the required risk assessments and procedures are implemented and maintained accordingly.
WHM Health and Safety Advisors are there to serve and protect your company.
Below you will find documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic, from WHM Group of Companies