Department of Employment and Labour shuts several businesses down in Knysna

Companies contravening Covid-19 regulations were served with prohibition notices last week.

Employers whose businesses were found to be non-compliant with Covid-19 regulations were served with prohibition notices last week. The Department of Employment and Labour in the Western Cape announced that, after the Inspectorate found them to be in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, several businesses in Knysna were forced to close their doors.
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The Inspectorate conducted ten inspections in Knysna central business district on Thursday, and served notices to six out of the ten employers. Checkers, Clicks and Spar were among the employers to receive full or partial prohibition notices, meaning that no work may take place at any of the areas where notices were served. 

Among the main biggest concerns was that many of the employers were not reporting positive cases, which meant that no tracing was being done.

“Knysna is fast becoming a hotspot with over 100 cases already confirmed, all role-players need to play their part when it comes to slowing the spread of the disease,” said David Esau, the provincial chief inspector, in a statement.

"As part of reversing the prohibition notice, the employer must provide proof that the affected areas have been sufficiently disinfected and present evidence that processes have been put in place to address all the concerns raised", he said. 
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The Department confirmed that the focus will now shift to responding to complaints at various workplaces and encouraged workers to come forward to report non compliance. 

"The Department is working closely with all partners to ensure compliance and prevent the spread of the disease at workplaces. The intention is not to permanently close businesses, but to get businesses to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations as set out in the law", said the chief inspector 
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A follow-up visit will be conducted by the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspectors once the employers have confirmed that all minimum standards have been put in place to ensure the safety of both employees and clients. If the inspectors are satisfied with the efforts of the respective employers, the prohibition notices will be lifted.
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OHS inspectors will continue to visit workplaces in the area to monitor compliance, act on tip-offs and implement the necessary actions where required.