A fuel station in Brits was closed by the Department of Employment and Labour in the North West during the lockdown for failing to comply with Covid-19 regulations and for not adhering to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. It was reopened hours later after taking the necessary measures to adhere to the regulations .
“The SASOL fuel station in Brits was closed for business after it was found to be non-compliant in terms of putting in place the necessary measures to ensure that its employees and customers are protected from COVID-19. These included amongst others, ensuring that precautionary measures are in place to protect cashiers against the virus; that social distancing was maintained; and that petrol attendants and all employees in the shop were trained in terms of how to protect themselves in the workplace and how to prevent the spread. However, this prohibition notice was lifted hours later, after the employer abided by the rules and put into place the necessary measures as required,” said the North West provincial chief inspector, Boikie Mampuru.
Mampuru said the department is shocked by the level of non-compliance and ignorance shown by some employers. He said the department will continue to ensure that stringent measures are taken against those who are not adhering to the OHS act and the COVID-19 regulations as they put the lives of their employees and that of their families at risk.
This follows a series of inspections throughout the province, targeting employers who are classified as essential service providers to ensure that they abide by the OHS act and the COVID-19 regulations aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. Through these inspections the department has to date issued eight prohibition notices, two contravention notices and one improvement notice. These notices are related to non-reviewing of risk assessments by employers to include Covid-19.
“It is worrying that during these difficult times, we still find employers that are taking people’s lives for granted. As the department, we will do everything in our power to ensure that these employers are brought to book. We would also like to commend SASOL in Brits for acting with speed by ensuring that the labour regulations are adhered to and that the necessary measures are in place to curb the spread of COVI-19 “ said Mampuru.