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Health registers & temperature checks: back to work under Covid-19

Companies will have to provide employees with two cloth face masks to wear in the office and while commuting to and from work.
Companies will have to provide employees with two cloth face masks to wear in the office and while commuting to and from work.
Image: Pixabay/Alexander Droeger

Companies that have resumed operations during level 4 lockdown have implemented measures to prioritise the safety of their employees, a snap poll of Johannesburg firms showed on Monday.

Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi said on Sunday that he had issued  directives setting out measures that employers are required to take to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in the workplace. This comes as SA moves to level 4 of the lockdown, with an estimated 1.5-million workers returning to work on Monday.

At a car dealership in Cresta, all staff members are being screened before entering the building. All employees are requested to wear face masks and work stations around the dealership are frequently sanitised.

A manufacturing company in Randburg has also implemented safety procedures, including that staff members have their health status recorded on a register each day.

Teams would rotate according to the demand and skills required, the company said. It was also enforcing the compulsory wearing of face masks at all times and social distancing, as well as regular disinfecting of work stations, regular washing of hands or disinfecting hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser. Workers who could work from home, would continue to do so.

However, an employee at the company, who asked not to be named, told TimesLIVE that more could have been done to ensure the safety of workers. 

“The building was not sanitised before the employees returned to work and employees were not tested properly when they returned.

“I feel more could have been done.”

Baggio Fredericks, who works for a small courier company, said, “Our employer has given us all the necessary gear including gloves, face masks, wipes and sanitiser.”

Fredericks said when he does deliveries at certain companies, he gets screened before he is allowed to enter the building.

“At most companies you are asked to get out of the vehicle and requested to fill in a form where they ask you whether you came in contact with anyone who has the virus. They then scan you to check you temperature and write it out.”

He said the company had been hit hard financially by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. 

“At the moment we are also not getting our full salary, which is really tough. It is really difficult.”

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