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If your employee contracts HIV from a work accident, do this

by , 17 November 2014
The fact that South Africa has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world isn't news. You've heard it before and you've probably stop listening to people that say that.

But if I told you that there were 400 000 new HIV infections in South Africa each year alone, would you take notice then?

With the current number of HIV+ South Africans sitting at 6.4 million, chance are at least one of your employees is HIV+.

It puts your company at a high HIV infection risk.

But what do you do if there's an accident at work and your employee contracts HIV from an HIV+ colleague because of it?

Well, since that's a very real threat, we'll tell you exactly what to do in this situation. But before we do, consider this...

 

Still don't think HIV is a problem in your workplace? Maybe these stats will convince you

 
According to a 2014 article on themailandgardian.co.za the total number of current HIV infected South Africans rose by 1.2-million since 2008 to where it currently sits at 6.4 million.
 
Women between the ages of 30 and 34 (36%) and males between the ages of 35 to 39 (28.8%) have the highest infection rate. 
 
This means, if your workplace is made up of mostly young employees, your HIV risk may be even higher. If there's an accident and an HIV+ employee has an injury, it puts your other employees at serious risk of contracting HIV if they have any sores or are also injured in the same accident.
 
If this happens and your employee contracts an HIV infection, here's what you have to do. 
 
*********** Hot off the press  ************
 
Five ways HIV or Aids can impact your workforce and business 
 
You only need to read the stats about the impact of HIV and Aids on workforces to see it's something you need to worry about as an employer in South Africa.
And it can badly affect your business if you don't do something about it.
 
 
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Do this if your employee contracts HIV because of a workplace accident

 
If your employee contracts HIV because of a workplace accident, he's entitled to compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).
 
This compensation comes from the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Fund (COID). This is the government body that gives employees compensation if they have an injury at work or they contract an illness or disease at work.
To get this compensation, your employee must prove he contracted HIV at work because of occupational exposure to infected bodily fluids.
You have a duty as an employer to help your employee apply for benefits in terms of COIDA. This means you should do everything you can to prove your employee's claim is truthful and he did contract HIV at work.
This compensation will also help your employee receive the ARV treatment he needs to live with HIV and still have a normal life. 
 
But since prevention is always better than cure, train your employees on how to avoid an HIV infection at work. Check out HIV – Training in a Box for everything you need to know to do this. 
 

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