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Can employees sleep on my premises?

by , 01 July 2014
Have you ever caught your employees sleeping on the job? Do you know if your employee is allowed to sleep on your company premises when he's off duty? Here's what our expert has to say...

Dear Reader,

I'll bet you've caught your employees sleeping on the job more than once…But can your employee sleep on your company premises when he's off duty?

Keep reading to find out what our expert has to say…

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Can employees sleep on my premises?

Even if your company premises are private property, you can let your employees sleep on site. It could be a problem if your property is demarcated as an industrial area.

If you let your employees sleep on the premises when they're off duty, you must provide sufficient facilities as part of this lodging. I.e. toilet, shower and food preparation areas. The area should also be private and separate from your work area. You and your employees should address security matters. The most important thing to check for is the lodgings should be away from any hazardous exposure like chemicals and noise.

And now, just for a little fun, I thought I'd share with you a humorous email I received about literally sleeping on the job (please be aware these aren't valid excuses)...

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Attention! Health and Safety specialists face fines imposed by the DoL!

You must comply with the OHS ACT!

Click here to find out how to ensure you're complying

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14 Excuses employees have for sleeping on the job
  1. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."
  2. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to."
  3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper."
  4. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"
  5. "This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"
  6. "I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance"
  7. "Actually I was doing a "Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan"(SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend."
  8. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory towards people who practice Yoga?"
  9. "Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."
  10. "The coffee machine is broke...."
  11. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot."
  12. "Boy that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"
  13. "Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!"
  14. "I wasn't sleeping. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without using my hands."
Stay safe,

Louise Harty
Managing Editor, Health and Safety Advisor

P.S: If you have any burning health and safety questions, join the www.healthandsafetyclub.co.za and get answers from our experts and your like-minded peers.


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