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


Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations

8. Medical surveillance



1) An employer shall ensure that an employee is under medical surveillance if –
a) the results of the assessment referred to in regulation 6 indicate that an employee might have been exposed to HBA;
b) the exposure of the employee to any HBA hazardous to his or her health is such that an identifiable disease or adverse effect to his or her health may be related to the exposure, there is a reasonable likelihood that the disease or effect may occur under the particular conditions of his or her work and there are techniques such as pre-clinical biomarkers where appropriate for detecting sensitization to allergens or an inflammatory response associated with exposure to diagnose indications of the disease or the effect as far as is reasonably practicable; or
c) an occupational health practitioner recommends that the relevant employee should be under medical surveillance, in which case the employer may call upon an occupational medicine practitioner to ratify the appropriateness of such recommendation.


2) In order to comply with the provisions of subregulation (I), the employer shall after extensive counseling and education offer the employee the opportunity to have –
a) an initial health evaluation, which should be carried out by an occupational health practitioner immediately before or within 14 days after a person commences employment, where any exposure exists or might exist, which comprises –
i) an evaluation of the employee’s medical and occupational history;
ii) a physical examination; and
iii) any biological tests and other appropriate medical tests or any other essential examination that in the opinion of the occupational health practitioner is desirable in order to enable the practitioner to do a proper evaluation;
b) periodic medical examinations and tests in cases where a HBA is known to be capable of causing persistent or latent infections which –
i) in the light of present knowledge, are undiagnosable, until signs or symptoms develop;
ii) can have particularly long incubation periods;
iii) can result in an illness which is recurrent in spite of treatment; and
iv) are known to have serious long-term effects.
c) All tests and examinations as contemplated in paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be conducted according to a written medical protocol.


3) The employer shall, in accordance with regulation 8 of the General Administrative Regulations, investigate and record all incidents that result or might result in infections or the death of an employee.


4) All occupational health practitioners shall submit to the health and Safety committee for approval a written protocol for procedures to be followed when dealing with abnormal results.