Hisense manufacturing plant closed due to non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations

The electronics manufacturer has been shut down despite being a major employer in the area.

The Department of Employment and Labour in the Western Cape has closed the premises of electronics manufacturer Hisense for being in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Situated in Atlantis Industrial area, which is approximately 50 kilometres outside the Cape Town CBD, the Hisense building was inspected after it produced an outdated document when requested to present its risk assessment. The document in question did not speak to the latest Covid-19 regulations and, upon inspection, it was found that the company did not follow some of the basic principles associated with the OHS Act and COVID-19 regulations.  

“Further interrogation revealed that a group of Chinese workers were cramped into a small space which contravened social distancing.  A temporary boardroom was also used to house a different group of employees and this also affected adequate social distancing from being practised.  Ventilation was also affected due to certain staff being cordoned off.  It was also observed that there was no equal distribution of PPE at the company,” said the Department in a statement. 

The Department said that Hisense, which employs approximately 400 workers, was also unable not produce any sanitising plan which in turn affected the operations plant and that this left the Department with “no option but to close the entire plant due to non-compliance.

Prohibition notices essentially mean that no work may take place at the premises where the notice was served.     

Provincial Chief Inspector David Esau said in the statement the company is one of the major employers in the area and the non-compliance to Covid-19 regulations may have a detrimental effect on the community at large. 

“All role-players need to play their part when it comes to slowing the spread of the disease. As part of reversing the prohibition notice, the employer must provide evidence that processes have been put in place to address all the concerns raised", he said.