This is the latest version of this Government Notice.
Disaster Management Act, 2002
Consolidated Direction on Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Certain Workplaces
Government Notice R1031 of 2020
- Published in Government Gazette no. 43751 on 1 October 2020
- Assented to on 8 September 2020
- Commenced on 1 October 2020
- [Up to date as at 1 October 2020]
1. DefinitionsIn these Directions, a word or expression bears the meaning assigned to it in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997) or the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993) and in the Regulations made by the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), and published under Government Notice No. R. 480, in Government Gazette No. 43258 of 29 April 2020, as amended, and unless the context otherwise indicates- "BCEA" means the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997); "COVID-19" means Coronavirus Disease 2019; "Department" means the Department of Employment and Labour; "Disaster Management Act" means the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002); "health services" means (a) health care services, including reproductive health care and emergency medical treatment, contemplated in section 27 of the Constitution; (b) basic nutrition and basic health care services contemplated in section 28 (1) (c) of the Constitution; (c) medical treatment contemplated in section 35(2)(e) of the Constitution; and (d) municipal health services; "health worker" includes- (a) a health care provider providing health services in terms of any law including- (i) Allied Health Professions Act, 1982 (Act No. 63 of 1982); (ii) Health Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974); (iii) Nursing Act, 1978 (Act No. 50 of 1978); (iv) Pharmacy Act, 1974 (Act No. 53 of 1974); and (v) Dental Technicians Act, 1979 (Act No. 19 of 1979); (b) any other person who is engaged in the provision of health services including those providing management and support services; "inspector" means a person- (a) designated as an inspector in terms of section 28 of OHSA; (b) with the approval of the Minister responsible for Transport, a railway safety inspector appointed in terms of section 32 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002 (Act No. 16 of 2002) in respect of a "network" and a "railway operation" as those terms are defined in that Act; (c) law enforcement officers appointed with public health responsibilities by a local authority authorised in terms of direction 16(1); "OHSA" means the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993); "PPE" means personal protective equipment; "Regulations" means the Regulations made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) in respect of the declaration of a state of national disaster under section 27(1) of the Act published under Government Notice No.R.303 in Government Gazette No. 43906 of 15 March 2020 as extended in terms of section 27(5)(c) of the Act; "virus" means the SARS-CoV-2 virus; "vulnerable employee" means any employee, as contemplated in the Department of Health Guidelines1 - (a) with known or disclosed health issues or comorbidities or any other condition that may place the employee at a higher risk of complications or death than other employees if infected with COVID-19; or (b) above the age of 60 years who is at a higher risk of complications or death if infected; "worker" means any person who works in an employer’s workplace including an employee of the employer or contractor, a self-employed person or volunteer2; and "workplace" means any premises or place where a person performs work. 1 Guidance on vulnerable employees and workplace accommodation in relation to COVID-19 - see the link in Annexure A. 2 The distinction between 'worker' and 'employee' in the Directions is used to ensure that all persons who in work in a workplace are protected and to locate the responsibility in respect of certain obligations imposed on the employer in respect of its employees such as an application for illness benefits or worker's compensation.
3. Risk assessment and plans for protective measures
4. Administrative measures
5. Social distancing measures
6. Symptom screening
7. Sanitizers, disinfectants and washing of hands
8. Cloth masks
9. Measures in respect of workplaces to which public has access
10. VentilationEvery employer must— (a) keep the workplace well ventilated by natural or mechanical means to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 viral load; (b) where reasonably practicable, have an effective local extraction ventilation system with High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters that- (i) is technically assessed to be functioning effectively; (ii) is regularly cleaned and maintained; (iii) does not recirculate the air; (e) ensure that ventilation vents do not feed back in through open windows; and (f) ensure that ventilation filters are cleaned and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions by a competent person.
11. Specific personal protective equipmentEvery employer must check regularly on the websites of the National Department of Health23, National Institute of Communicable Diseases24 and the National Institute for Occupational Health25 whether any specialised PPE for COVID-19 is required or recommended in any guidelines given the nature of the workplace or the nature of a worker’s duties and the associated level of risk. 23http://www.health.gov.za/ 24https://www.nicd.ac.za/ 25http://www.nioh.ac.za/
12. Small businessesEmployers with 10 employees or less must take the following measures: (a) If the employer is permitted to recommence operations under the Regulations, it must develop a basic plan for the phasing in the return of its employees taking into account those that are able to work remotely and those over the age of 60 years or who have comorbidities; (b) arrange the workplace to ensure that employees are at least one and half metres apart or, if not practicable, place physical barriers between them to prevent the possible transmission of the virus; (c) ensure that employees that present with the symptoms set out in direction 6(1)(a) are not permitted to work; (d) immediately contact the relevant provincial inspectorate26 for instruction and direct the employee to act in accordance with those instructions; (e) provide cloth masks or require an employee to wear some form of cloth covering over their mouth and nose while at work; (f) provide each employee with hand sanitizers, soap and clean water to wash their hands and disinfectants to disinfect their workstations; (g) ensure that each employee while at work washes with soap and sanitizes their hands; (h) ensure that their workstations are disinfected regularly; and (i) take any other measures indicated by a risk assessment of the workplace, including such measures as are appropriate in direction 9(2), if the public has access to the workplace. 26 See the list of telephone numbers for provincial inspectorates in Annexure C.
13. Worker obligationsIn addition to the obligations of employees under the OHSA, every worker is obliged to comply with measures introduced by their employer, as required by these Directions.
14. Refusal to work due to exposure to COVID-19
15. No deduction from employee’s remunerationNo employer may make any deduction from an employee's remuneration, or require or permit an employee to make any payment to the employer or any other person, in respect of anything which the employer is obliged to provide or to do in terms of these Directions.
16. Monitoring and enforcing Directions
17. Sectoral protocols and guidelines
18. Amendment of footnotes Annexure AThe Minister may from time to time amend the footnotes and Annexure A and publish the amendments online without issuing an amended direction in order to update the links to any new applicable guideline or recommendation.
19. Withdrawal of DirectionsThe Directions issued in terms of regulation 10(8) of the Regulations made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act and published under Government Notice No. 639 in Government Gazette No. 43400 of 4 June 2020 are hereby withdrawn.
20. Commencement of DirectionsThese Directions come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette.
- Entire Government Notice
- 1. Definitions
- 2. Application
- 3. Risk assessment and plans for protective measures
- 4. Administrative measures
- 5. Social distancing measures
- 6. Symptom screening
- 7. Sanitizers, disinfectants and washing of hands
- 8. Cloth masks
- 9. Measures in respect of workplaces to which public has access
- 10. Ventilation
- 11. Specific personal protective equipment
- 12. Small businesses
- 13. Worker obligations
- 14. Refusal to work due to exposure to COVID-19
- 15. No deduction from employee’s remuneration
- 16. Monitoring and enforcing Directions
- 17. Sectoral protocols and guidelines
- 18. Amendment of footnotes Annexure A
- 19. Withdrawal of Directions
- 20. Commencement of Directions
History of this Government Notice
1 October 2020 this versionPublished in Government Gazette no. 43751Government Notice commences.
8 September 2020Assented to by council.
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