Company Operational Requirements in accordance with Level 4
In April 2020, the South African Government announced new regulations to manage the new restrictions to be imposed during Level 4. The announcement came with extending of other business sectors to resume operations and for companies to implement new and strict protective measures to safeguard employees from contracting COVID-19. Companies need to take heed of the following requirements in preparation of Level 4 commencement.
COVID-19 Contingency and Strategy plan
- All businesses that have been permitted to resume operations must create a COVID-19 plan of action. The plan must contain details of how employees will return to work and the measures implemented to keep the office safe for its employees.
- A plan of action with details of social distancing measures to be followed and implemented in the office: in shared spaces such as cafeterias, bathrooms, kitchen, break areas as well as health measures the company will implement.
- The company must also appoint a COVID-19 Compliance Officer to oversee the implementation and compliance of the plan.
- Companies with large numbers of employees must also include a plan on the establishment of a testing station within the company.
Employees in the workplace
- All companies must ensure that they have strict measures in place to minimize contact between employees and reduce the spread of the virus.
- Employees with pre-existing health conditions and over 60 years old must be allowed to work from home.
- Where possible, employees must be allowed to work from home to minimize contact and movement.
- Employers must provide employees with face masks and limit face to face meetings.
- Employees must practise social distancing at all times.
- Employees must ensure that they wash their hands and keep their workspaces clean and disinfected.
- Employees exhibiting symptoms must stay at home.
- Companies must ensure compliance with the social distancing requirements.
- A Compliance Officer must be appointed by the company to ensure that there is compliance with the Contingency Plan.
- Ensure that all employees and everyone in the premises observes two metres distance between individuals.
- The company must provide hand sanitizers in the premises as well as the entrance of the premises.
- Ensure that employees temperatures are checked and recorded each day.
- Regulation 16 (2) of the COVID-19 regulations on Health and Safety in the Workplace, published by the Minister of Employment and Labour on 29 April 2020, require companies with more than 500 employees to submit a record of its risk assessment together with a written policy concerning the protection of the health and safety of its employees from COVID-19 as contemplated in section 7(1) of OHSA.
- An employer must make sure that all surfaces are regularly disinfected.
- Employers must make sure there is enough ventilation in the premises and that these are cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
- Companies must also be in possession of an operational permit issued by CIPC.
Movement of people
- All individuals travelling for work as regulated in Level 4 must be issued with a Travel Permit as per Form 2, annexure A of the Regulations as well as the Operational Permit of the business by the employer.
- All employees in possession of the Permit will be allowed to commute between provinces and metropolitan areas for work purposes.
- The South African government has implemented a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am, except for permitted essential services or emergency services.
- Jogging or running will be permitted between the hours of 6am to 9am and must not be carried out in groups or organized running.
The Department of Labour has announced that it will shut down companies that do not follow strict health and safety measures as well as impose criminal charges on non-compliant companies.
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