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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations

11. Personal protective equipment and facilities


1) If it is not reasonably practicable to ensure that the exposure of an employee is adequately controlled as contemplated in regulation 10, the employer shall in the case of –
a) airborne HBA, provide the employee with suitable respiratory protective equipment and protective clothing: and
b) HBA that can be absorbed through the skin, provide the employee with suitable impermeable personal protective equipment.


2) Where respiratory protective equipment is provided, the employer shall ensure that –
a) the relevant equipment is capable of preventing the exposure to the HBA concerned;
b) the relevant equipment is correctly selected and properly used;
c) information, instructions, training and supervision which would be necessary with regard to the use of the equipment are known to the employees; and
d) the equipment is kept in good condition and efficient working order.


3) An employer shall as far as is reasonably practicable –
a) not issue personal protective equipment which has been used to an employee, unless it is capable of being decontaminated and sterilised prior to use;
b) provide separate containers or storage facilities for personal protective equipment and protective clothing when not in use; and
c) take steps to ensure that all protective equipment and protective clothing not in use are stored in a demarcated area with proper access control.


4) An employer shall as far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that all contaminated personal protective clothing issued is cleaned and handled in accordance with the following procedures –
a) Where such clothing is cleaned on the premises of the employer, care shall be taken to prevent contamination during handling, transporting and cleaning;
b) where the clothing are sent off the premises to a contractor for cleaning purposes, the clothing shall be placed in impermeable, tightly sealed colour coded containers and such containers shall be clearly identified with a biohazard, label as depicted in Annexure D to these Regulations as contaminated; and
c) ensure that the contractor as contemplated in subregulation (4)(b) is fully informed of the requirements of these Regulations and the precautions to be taken regarding the handling of contaminated clothing.


5) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (4)(6), an employer shall ensure that no person removes dirty or contaminated personal protective equipment and personal protective clothing from the premises: Provided that where contaminated personal protective equipment has to be disposed of, it shall be treated as HBA waste as contemplated in regulation 17.


6) Subject to the provisions of the Facilities Regulations an employer shall, where reasonably practicable, provide employees using personal protective equipment and clothing as contemplated in subregulation (1) with –
a) adequate washing facilities which are readily accessible and located in an area where the facilities will not become contaminated, in order to enable the employees to meet the standard of personal hygiene consistent with the adequate control of exposure, and to avoid the spread of HBA;
b) two separate lockers labeled "protective clothing" and "personal clothing" respectively, and ensure that the clothing is kept separately in the locker concerned: and
c) separate "clean" and "dirty change rooms if the employer uses or processes HBA to the extent that the HBA could endanger the health of persons outside the workplace.