How long must a company retain COVID-19 records?
The Covid-19 virus falls under the Hazardous Biological Agents (HBA) regulation and the HBA defines the requirements for record retention within clause 9. In this case the records are obviously related to Covid-19 and as you can see below, all records must be kept for a minimum of 40 years by the organisation.
Clause 9 of the HBA states:
9.(1) An employer shall
- keep records of all assessments, monitoring results and medical surveillance reports required by regulations 6, 7 and 8 respectively: Provided that personal medical records shall be made available only to an occupational health practitioner;
- subject to the provisions of paragraph (c), make the records contemplated in paragraph (a), excluding personal medical records, available for inspection by an inspector;
- subject to the formal written consent of an employee, allow any person to peruse the records with respect to that particular employee;
- make the records of all risk assessments and monitoring results available for perusal by the health and safety representative or health and safety committee;
- keep all records of risk assessments and monitoring results for a minimum period of 40 years;
- keep all medical surveillance records for a minimum period of 40 years, and if the employer ceases activities, all those records shall be handed over or forwarded by registered post to the relevant provincial director;
- and keep a record of the examinations and tests carried out in terms of regulation 12(6) and of any repairs resulting from these investigations and tests, which records shall be kept for at least three years;
A self-employed person shall keep records of all risk assessments for a minimum period of 40 years, and if the self-employed person ceases activities, all those records shall handed over or forwarded by registered post to the relevant provincial director.