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NDoH COVID-19 OHS Resources
COVID-19 Training-per presenter
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The use of either one or both depends on the protection desired as informed by the risk assessment which looked at various activities within the workplace. The shield is to protect the worker from droplets and splatter and also protects the eyes, however a surgical mask is designed to contain inhaled droplets from being expelled into the environment by the wearer/user. A cloth mask is not considered as a PPE as it does not have a protective factor and merely aids in reducing droplet spread.
It is important to procure good quality masks made of cotton material which is less irritating. It is unlikely that several workers in one workplace will have an allergic type reaction to the cloth mask. However, irritant reactions are possible thus it is important to obtain good quality masks. If the worker has a history of allergies which should be in their medical file, this will be another clue of whether the condition is new or was existing before. Surgical masks can be used if cloth mask are a problem.
There is limited scientific evidence available on this matter and neither has it been recommended by NDOH or WHO. However, the main concern is that this may affect the worker’s respiratory symptoms as the chemicals used may be allergenic or irritant in nature. The contact time and coverage on all surfaces is also questionable. Currently workers are advised to maintain respiratory and hand hygiene as control measures and surface disinfection of potential contaminated objects is recommended.
A household is still a workplace for some individuals, so a risk assessment, even if it is very basic, would have to be in place. As long as it identifies all the hazards the employee is exposed to and lists the control measures which have been implemented, that should be fine. It should not only include domestic workers inside the house, but outside the house as well, such as gardeners. The OHS Act does not differentiate between informal and formal work, as long as there is an employer/employee relationship and they meet the definition of the two.
The threat or hazard is SARS-CoV-2, however different jobs may have different activities and possibly multiple exposures, and thus have different risk profiles for each hazard. Therefore, the risk assessment must assess each activity and exposure as it may have a multiplicative or additive effect on the health of workers.
In addition, some tasks may involve more touching of surfaces and may increase breathing rates putting workers at additional risk.
Please note that no control measure reduces risk 100%, therefore when determining which control measure to implement it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, maintenance and technical data sheets. http://www.nioh.ac.za/covid19-guidelines/
Yes, and the employer must provide the permits to an employee which should meet the requirement of the level 4 regulatory conditions in accordance with regulation “permit to perform an essential or permitted service” in terms of regulations issued in the Disasters Management Act. A law enforcement agent may request this permit at any time.
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.