Is your workplace Covid-19 compliant, and what rights do you have if it isn't?
As nearly 8 million South Africans returned to work this week the Labour Department revealed its concerns that only 55% of businesses were complying with health and safety regulations aimed at keeping workers safe from coronavirus.
In the Western Cape, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has put together resources for employers and employees to use.
The department's Helen Davies joined Kieno Kammies to explain more about the work they're doing:
To help businesses ensure they're putting in the right practices to ensure workplace safety...that's to protect the health of their employees and customers...and to protect businesses to stay open.Helen Davies, Chief Director: Green Economy - Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Western Cape
Occupational health and safety is a whole thing on its own and its a tricky thing for businesses to get right.Helen Davies, Chief Director: Green Economy - Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Western Cape
We really appreciated that a lot of this is new and it's tough for businesses.Helen Davies, Chief Director: Green Economy - Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Western Cape
Davies says they've put together guidelines to help businesses navigate the rules around compliance, and adds that
When we get complaints about non-compliance our first point of call is to engage with a business.Helen Davies, Chief Director: Green Economy - Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Western Cape
Davies outlines some of the key factors for businesses to consider:
- Identifying where key points of congestion might be in the workplace.
- Looking at how they can protect vulnerable employees.
- Maintaining a 'work from home' policy for staff where possible
- Daily employee screening for Covid-19.
- Ensuring employees have appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Considering how they can impose social distancing.
- Ensuring adequate cleaning of the workplace.
Click below to find out what your rights are as an employee if your employer is not Covid-19 compliant:
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