Businesses failing to comply with safety regulations will be closed: Dept of Labour

Written by on 4th May 2020

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has warned that any employer who does not comply with level 4 regulations to protect staff may be ordered to close business and legal action taken against them.

On Sunday Nxesi announced a set of regulations that businesses will have to adhere to as a number of workers return to their jobs on Monday , May 4.

Economic activity is expected to resume, with various sectors going back to full operation under level 4 of the nationwide lockdown.

” Failure to comply with the Occupational and Health Safety Act is a criminal offense, failure to take necessary measures to prevent transmission of covid-19 may result in prosecution and investigation,” said Nxesi.

Nxesi stressed that returning to work cannot be business as usual in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

 

Steps employers need to take to protect workers:

– The employer must provide workers with personal protective equipment , including face masks and alcohol based sanitisers.
– Employers must minimise contact between workers: 1.5 meter between workers or physical barriers must be created.
– Workspaces must be well- ventilated and sanitised frequently , including restrooms, or handles and general public work spaces.
– Workers who display Covid-19 symptoms are prohibited from being at work and be granted paid leave or apply for covid-19 TERS benefits.- The employer needs to appoint a manager within the existing structures to address the concerns of employees and workplace representatives.

Nxesi added that it is crucial for employees to play their part in enforcing safety measures in the workplace.

“Workers should immediately inform employers if they experience any symptoms at work, workers must wear masks at work at all times. Employers must also require members of the public entering the workplace to wear masks,” said Nxesi.

Inspectors will be deployed across the country to monitor  compliance with the regulations.


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