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Employers must "ensure health and safety conditions for workers" warn officials

The Center for Safety and Health at Work (CSST) warned that employers are required to "ensure health and safety conditions for workers" due to covid-19, and must create "isolation areas" for possible cases.


According to the general director of the CSST, Isabel Cardoso, the obligation of the employer towards the worker, in periods of epidemics or not, has legal support and "all this must take into account the general principles of prevention".

"Just as the employer must collaborate with the health authorities to eradicate epidemics or local endemic situations, in this case of the pandemic we are experiencing," said the official, speaking to Lusa.

The "minimum requirements" to protect the safety and health of workers against the risk of exposure to biological agents, which is what is currently experienced in the context of work, he noted, are established in Executive Decree No. 62/11 .

The authorities updated, on 18 March, the Guide for Preparing the Contingency Plan in Companies for the Prevention, Control and Surveillance of the Disease Pandemic by the new Coronavirus, prepared by the CSST.

The director of CSST, a public institution supervised by the Ministry of Public Administration, Labor and Social Security, says that the prevention, control and surveillance of the pandemic at the level of the workplace is the foundation of the instruction.

"In the end we are cooperating with the health authorities, which is one of our duties, in line with the contingency plan prepared by the Ministry of Health to minimize the introduction and spread of the virus", he added.

Occupational health services, according to the Guide of the Center for Safety and Health at Work in Angola, have an important role in the elaboration, coordination and application of the companies' contingency plan for covid-19.

The contingency plan, the document adds, focuses on "informing and training workers and managers about this new threat, defining prevention measures, medical surveillance and identifying possible cases".

Companies, in the light of CSST regulations, must also establish an "isolation area" (room, office, section or zone) with the purpose of "avoiding or restricting" direct contact between workers and the sick worker or with symptoms of the disease .

Large companies or companies with several establishments can define more than one "isolation area", he recommends. "The isolation area must be a place with natural ventilation, or a mechanical ventilation system, and have smooth and washable coverings", the document reads.


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