LACK OF COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENTS AND PLANS AT YOUR WORKPLACE CAN LEAD TO HEFTY FINES AND EVEN IMPRISONMENT
Whilst we hate to be bearers of bad news, we must act in the best interest of our employers and safeguard them against the dire potential consequences of non-compliance with Government’s COVID-19 regulations for health and safety in any employer’s workplace.
What are the potential consequences of non-compliance?
As stipulated by the latest amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA): “Any employer who does or omits to do an act, thereby causing any person to be injured at a workplace, or, in the case of a person employed by him, to be injured at any place in the course of his employment, or any user of plant or machinery who does or omits to do an act in connection with the use of plant or machinery, thereby causing any person to be injured, shall be guilty of an offence if that employer or user of plant or machinery, as the case may be, would in respect of that act or omission have been guilty of the offence of culpable homicide had that act or omission caused the death of the said person, irrespective of whether the injury could have led to the death of such person, and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding R100 000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”
For context, it is important to understand the definition of “workplace” according to the OHSA, which is “any premise or place where a person performs work in the course of his employment.” When referred to “premise,” it means any building, vehicle, vessel, train or aircraft.
As set out by the law, the basic COVID-19 workplace requirements that every employer must adhere to during alert level 4 of our national response to this crisis, can be summarised as follows:
- Ongoing COVID-19 risk assessments
- A COVID-19 workplace plan
- A plan that outlines the details of the phased return of workers
- COVID-19 awareness training material and initiatives
- Daily COVID-19 screening
- COVID-19 health and safety practices and measures
Daily use of COVID-19 personal protection equipment (PPE)
How can we help you?
Preparing your workplace for a novel crisis that we have never been faced with before in history, can be a daunting task. To assist you with legal compliance and to safeguard your people during these times when we are all exposed to the risk of being infected by this virus, the SAUEO (South African United Employers Organisation) has joined hands with WHM Health & Safety Advisors to compile a COVID-19 Occupational Health & Safety Management Toolkit that can easily and quickly be implemented at your workplace.
What is included in the COVID-19 OHS Management Plan and Toolkit
This comprehensive plan and toolkit consist of the following 16 critical documents:
- Template index for a COVID-19 OHS plan
- COVID-19 health policy
- COVID-19 workplace plan
- COVID-19 hygiene protocols
- COVID-19 risk assessment template (generic)
- COVID-19 employee screening template
- COVID-19 daily screening template
- COVID-19 Toolbox Talk – Awareness
- COVID-19 Toolbox Talk – How to remove gloves & masks
- COVID-19 Toolbox Talk – Social Distancing
- COVID-19 Toolbox Talk – COVID-19
- Communication attendance register
- PPE issue register
- COVID-19 Compliance Officer designation
- COVID-19 reference for health workers
- COVID-19 toolkit manual
- COVID-19 PPE waste management protocols
This must-have COVID-19 OHS Management Plan and Toolkit is now available to you at just R595 (VAT incl.). To order it now, simply follow this link: https://businessunite.kartra.com/page/HDC20
Industry-specific COVID-19 safety practices
This generic COVID-19 OHS Management Plan and Toolkit can easily be adapted to any industry-specific requirements. For assistance with on-site COVID-19 risk assessments, consultations and tailored COVID-19 OHS policies and practices, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about WHM Health & Safety Advisors
Our primary objective is to aid clients in managing the compliance of health and safety legislation and regulations. As such, WHM Health & Safety Advisors’ consulting services range from inspections and audits, to the compilation of safety files. We conduct a thorough, detailed analysis of clients’ industries and requirements and draw up an offering that is ideally suited – at a reasonable cost. Our team is always prepared and up-to-date on the latest legal procedures and rulings in the health and safety industry. WHM Health & Safety Advisors’ team attends regular training and conferences to ensure that our knowledge is current.