On Thursday 23 April 2020, President Ramaphosa announced a five-level risk adjustment programme that would help South Africans transition from the strict national lockdown toward a ‘new normal’. Each of the five levels requires a uniquely safe environment for every business permitted to resume. With each province being allowed to manage its own transition from one level to another, additional complexities have now been introduced for businesses with sites across the country.
Our previous article discussed several ways in which Rapid Global software could be used to flatten the curve. Today we’d like to focus specifically on Rapid Induct, and how we can support you in using this tool to effectively and efficiently train your employees and contractors on what will be required of them across each of the five levels in the national risk adjustment plan. As part of our contribution to South Africa’s economic recovery, our support team is on standby to assist you.
You can click here to learn more about Rapid Induct if you’d like or keep scrolling to understand each of the five levels of risk in more detail.
Many businesses were forced to a grinding halt, with only 72hrs to prepare, after the national lockdown was first announced. Supply chains, production lines, quality assurance, and logistics have been severely impacted. Applications were processed in volume, by various government departments and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), to grant essential service status to businesses outside of the obvious and direct healthcare and agricultural organisations.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma recently made adjustments to the national lockdown regulations. This resulted in the auxiliary support tiers for essential service businesses being permitted to resume work, as well as mining sectors feeding raw materials into production lines, for personal protective equipment such as helmets and safety gear. The nine industries permitted to resume work are still experiencing challenges because their own service and supply chains are not entirely back in operation.
Let’s break down the five levels so you can better understand the impact on your own business, your service, and supply chain, as well as your client and customer base:
Level five of the risk adjustment plan is engaged when evidence exists of high viral transmission and reduced capacity of healthcare institutions, to serve their respective communities. Only essential service businesses may operate during this time and under extremely strict health and safety protocol (which you can use Rapid Induct to train your staff on). Essential businesses mainly include healthcare organisations, selected agribusinesses, logistics companies that serve them, and food retailers.
Transport services available to the workforce of these industries are required to operate during specified times and reduce load capacity as well as take on other strict protocol (more frequent and thorough cleaning activity, also enabled through Rapid Induct which is available for taxi associations and fleet managers to use, to train drivers, cleaning staff and conductors, and Rapid Auditor to ensure these tasks are carried out on a regular basis). Private transport companies may also operate during level five restrictions but will need to adhere to allocated schedules and ensure that equally strict sanitation measures are being applied. Logistics businesses may move goods between provinces, provided that all health and safety protocols are adhered to.
The Rapid Induct mobile app enables you to train your employees and contractors, and assess their knowledge and awareness of new safety and sanitation measures before resuming work. If arriving on site for duty, your teams can also be screened at your entry points, by completing a Rapid Access questionnaire. By providing increased accountability, track-and-trace ability, and a full audit trail that shows all of your effort to keep your staff, clients, and contractors safe, the Rapid Global product suite will help you conduct business safely and with minimal negative impact during level five restrictions.
The fourth level of the risk adjustment plan lightens restrictions by a fair amount. It is to be engaged when there is a moderate to high risk of spreading the virus, and a moderate sense of readiness to serve communities, by healthcare institutions. All of the essential services may continue to operate, in addition to the following guidelines:
- Food retailers may now sell their full range of stocked items (the sale of alcohol is still not allowed during level four).
- Horticulture, export agriculture, and other commercials farms producing fabrics like wool and cotton may resume business.
- Documentation currently states that wine farms may resume production, however, the sale of alcoholic beverages is not permitted during level four.
- Forestry, pulp, and paper businesses may resume work, using the new workplace readiness measures set forth by the Department of Labour.
- Opencast mines may resume 100% capacity, using new safety protocol, while underground mines will need to cap on-site workforce operations at 50%.
- All financial and professional services, including global business services for export markets.
- Postal, telecommunications, fibre optic, and IT services may all resume operations.
- Waste recycling facilities for paper, glass, plastic, and metal may reopen.
How to prepare for level four restrictions
What does this mean for you, especially if you operate in any of these industries with multiple sites across South Africa? Retailers will require higher volumes of sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, and personal protective equipment for staff. As more workers return to shop floors, you’ll need to train them on how to safely and hygienically replenish stock, handle payment transactions, and packing of food items into shopping bags.
All agricultural businesses will see workforces resume their activities en masse which means that production facilities need to be re-designed to accommodate for social distancing and proxemics adjustments. A typical production layout that may have spanned over 150m in length, may now physically need to be doubled. Work stations need to be spread out over a larger surface area, and wherever it’s possible for employees to assist each other, they’ll need to be trained on the safest way to go about it.
Work shifts will need to be restructured, as well as your contractor schedules. Rapid Induct enables you to quickly roll out an effective company-wide communication plan that educates employees on how and why this needs to happen. Waste recycling facilities will undoubtedly be expected to amplify health and safety measures for employees on site, and in the field, executing on material collections.
Viral transmission in level three of risk adjustment is considered moderate, with an equal ability for healthcare institutions to serve communities. Industries allowed to operate will include:
- Government services designated by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, including licensing offices
- All eCommerce and delivery services, including takeaway restaurants and fast-food delivery
Liquor retail (hours will be restricted)
- Clothing retail, production, and textile manufacturing (which must be capped at 50% capacity)
- Hardware stores, construction, and maintenance, including SANRAL and Transnet.
- Stationery, personal electronics, and office equipment production and retail, including books and educational products
- Manufacturing of vehicles, chemicals, cement, steel, machinery, and equipment
- Global Business Services
Rapid Induct helps you build your own levels of training and compliance for resuming work. Not only can you help staff adhere to new regulations, but you can personalise your courses according to your departments, divisions, regions, and workforce segments, including your contractor network. This value amplifies for businesses experiencing multiple levels of risk adjustment across various work sites or production lines.
Although level two still presents a moderate spread of the virus, readiness of health institutions in this phase is strong. Additional industries permitted to resume operations include:
- All construction, including residential developments
- All other retail
- All other manufacturing
- All mining establishments may resume 100% production capacity
- All government services
- Installation, repairs, and maintenance
- Domestic work and cleaning services
- Informal waste-pickers
As domestic air travel and car rental services are also permitted to resume in this phase, staff will need to be ready to adhere to much stricter health and safety regulations before filling the airports and rental offices again. The smartest businesses will take advantage of this time, before going back to work, to connect with employees, suppliers, service providers, and contractors and educate them on what will be changing, what new expectations are, and if any disciplinary measures are changing, too.
It can be overwhelming for HR departments to balance the scales on behalf of everyone, so we’re encouraging that you take full advantage of a no-cost conversation with one of our senior team members to get your business going even before you’re allowed to reopen. Click here to book a time that works for you.
Almost a complete return to normal, level one of the risk adjustment plan will permit every business to reopen, and for all domestic travel and transportation of goods to freely resume. Restrictions on international travel, however, will continue to apply, but all modes of public and private transport (including private aviation firms) will be allowed to operate.
If you only start training your employees and contractors in level one, you will have left it too late, and information overload may actually increase confusion, non-compliance, or apathy within your business. Conversations with us won’t cost you anything, so use this time wisely and find out how you can act now toward building the most resilient and purpose-aware workforce you’ll ever have. Click here to book in time with one of our experts.
The South African Department of Employment and Labour. 2020. Workplace preparedness:
covid-19 (sars-cov-19 virus). Document online. Available at: https://www.labour.gov.za/DocumentCenter/Publications/Occupational%20Health%20and%20Safety/COVID-19%20Guideline%20Mar2020.pdf [Accessed 24 April 2020].