The Department of Employment and Labour (DOL) issued the COVID-19 directive on Health and Safety in the Workplace on 28 April 2020, stipulating measures that must be taken by employers to protect the health and safety of workers and members of the public entering their workplace or exposed to their working activities.
Employers must do a risk assessment before resuming operations, taking into account the circumstances of their specific workplace and what can reasonably be done to protect workers and others from exposure to COVID-19.
Med Medical assist employers to assess and address the levels of risk associated with various worksites and job tasks workers perform at those sites.
A. Identification of exposure levels
Identify risk levels in the workplace and determine any appropriate control measures that can be implemented to minimise the exposure.
Identify where, how, and at what sources employees might be exposed to the COVID-19 virus while at the workplace. The risk assessment procedure varies depending on the nature of the work performed or type of workplace.
Consider the risks for the company as a whole, including categories of all workers in the business who may fall under different exposure classifications. Based on their exposure classification, the control measures put in place to address the risk will differ.
B. Identification of ‘high contact’ activities
Identify activities within the workplace that require employees to be exposed to the general public and co-workers and consider strategies to minimise face-to-face contact. The employer must ensure minimal contact between workers and as far as practicable ensure that a distance of at least 1,5 meters between workers while they are working is maintained.
C. Identification of vulnerable workers and special measures for their protection, including protection against unfair discrimination or victimisation
Conduct a risk assessment of employees who are vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19. Employers must consider the characteristics of the worker, features of the workplace and the nature of the work when determining whether the employee can be considered a vulnerable employee.
Employers who resume operations without a proper risk assessment and implementation of necessary protection measures, risk fines or imprisonment and if an employee is exposed to COVID-19 while at work the business might have to shut down their operation.