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Advice on Retention of COVID-19 Records?2020-06-25T10:43:38+02:00

How long must a company retain COVID-19 records?

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:

COVID-19 Records


 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;

9. (2)

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.


When Should I Migrate to ISO 45001:20182020-06-24T21:06:25+02:00

It’s Time To Migrate to ISO 45001;2018 NOW!

Migration ISO 45001

With OHSAS 18001:2007 expiring in less than a year and replaced with ISO 45001:2018, it is time to start your migration process. After the 12th March 2021, all OHSAS18001 certificates will expire, and you will no longer be certified.

March 2021 may sound like a long way off, but it is important to remember that this is a migration and not just a transition (as was ISO 9001:2015) so you need to plan well in advance. As a mentor of mine, Bruce Mills of Kaizen SHEQ always advises his clients, you need to work backwards from the cutoff date to determine when implementation needs to begin. In terms of ISO 45001 and with the expiry date of OHSAS 18001 being March 2021, here are some aspects that need to be considered:

  • Allow the certification body about 2 months to evaluate the auditor’s report and for any amendments to be made and finalized. This takes us from March to January 2021
  • Traditionally, most industries are closed for Christmas between early December and mid-January. This takes us to end of November 2020
  • This means that the latest date for the certification audit to be conducted is November 2020
  • The management review meeting (MRM) must be held prior to certification audit so depending on the availability date for the certification audit, the MRM should not be later that the beginning of November 2020.
  • The internal audit must be conducted before the MRM so that the results of the MRM can be discussed and evaluated as part of the MRM. This takes the date for the internal audit to October 2020
  • Your management system must be implemented and running for at least 3 months prior to the certification audit. If the audit takes place in November 2020, your ISO 45001 must have been running since August 2020
  • In order to achieve certification by March 2021, as of end of June 2020, you now only have about 6 weeks to complete your implementation or migration

With this information, it’s time to ask the question: How ready is your company?

What are the benefits of ISO 45001:2018?2020-06-24T21:38:51+02:00

ISO 45001 Benefits

ISO 45001


The new Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System provides a framework for an organisation to identify and control its health and safety risks, reduce the potential for accidents, comply with legislation and improve operational performance. It uses a risk-based thinking approach and leadership by Top Management to create a system that is aligned to the business strategies of the company.


Summary of ISO 45001 benefits:

  • Improved employee safety
  • Increased stakeholder confidence
  • Increased productivity
  • Potential reduction of insurance premiums
  • Management involvement & accountability
  • Reduced workplace and operational risk
  • Ability to identify opportunities
  • Increased competitive advantage
  • Engagement of employees in safety
  • Development of a proactive approach to safety


What are the benefits of ISO 9001:2015?2020-06-10T21:53:16+02:00

Why ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is a well recognised mark of quality that assists companies in winning new business. The benefits of ISO 9001 certification are many and include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction by providing a better quality product or service
  • a common  system with standard processes that is easy for your employees to understand
  • improved efficiency resulting in reduced costs
  • less errors and improved processes should you encounter an error
  • improved reporting and management control

ISO 9001

A well implemented Quality Management System will certainly enhance your business efficiency. The risk and process based system will allow you to easily identify where your procedures are failing. Each process will be defined with a required input and a desired output with checkpoints along the way with the goal of preventing bad outputs from “Process A” to incorrectly becoming the input for “Process B”. In essence, the early identification of a non conforming product or service will save your organisation both time and money – the time needed to re-run the job means the next money generating job is held back and money in terms of the extra and unplanned cost of raw materials and labour needed for the re-run and possible overtime costs.

ISO 9001 certification or compliance?

What is the difference between certification and compliance and which option is best for my company?  The only difference between certification and compliance is the certificate and associated costs of certification. There is no set cost for certification as there are a number of factors that can affect the cost (e.g. type of industry, number of employees, number of sites, number of shifts).

But up to the point of certification, a well implemented ISO 9001 management system will be compliant and will have followed all the clauses and requirements of ISO 9001 standard: Context of the Organisation, Leadership, Planning, Support, Operations, Performance Evaluation and Improvement.

Why would I want to be certified?

There are a number of possible reasons for becoming certified, but typically many organisations are required by their existing or potential customers to be ISO 9001 certified. Other organisations just see the benefits of implementing ISO 9001 to have an efficient, process based system – whatever your reason may be and whether you want to be certified or compliant is entirely up to you.

If you need any questions, advice or assistance with your implementation, please contact Bawith SHEQ Services 


When will OHSAS 18001:2007 be withdrawn?2020-06-24T20:53:15+02:00

OHSAS 18001 has been a recognized occupational health and safety management system (OH & SMS) standard since 1999 but has been replaced by ISO 45001:2018. All OHSAS 18001 certifications are valid until the 12th March 2021, after which they will be withdrawn.
It is important to begin migration to ISO 45001 as soon as possible to avoid cancellation of your certification. Contact Bawith Sheq Services for assistance with your migration

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