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Does your company have a sky high HIV infection risk? Your industry could be to blame

by , 02 December 2014
To protect your employees from HIV at work, you have to assess.

The risk of possible infections between employees at work and a number of factors influence this. For example, if your company is in a rural area with a higher HIV prevalence, your company will have a higher risk.

But if your HIV risk seems higher than it should be, it could be because of one particular factor: Your industry.

This could have a massive affect on your employees' health and their lives.

To deal with this, you have to understand the roll your industry plays in your HIV risk. That's why today, I'm going to tell you why this could send your HIV risk sky high...

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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.

Your industry could be the reason your employees are in danger of an HIV infection

Industries such as construction, mining and manufacturing have some of the highest accident rates. And the more accidents your employees have, the more often they may come into contact with HIV infected bodily fluids. 
For example, if two employees working on a construction site fall off scaffolding and both have serious injuries they could come into contact with each other's blood. 
This immediately sends you HIV infection risk through the roof. 
On top of that, if your industry requires employees to constantly work closely with each other, such as in a mine, they could also come into contact with each other's bodily fluids without realising it. If one of them has an open sore, this could lead to an infection.
The good news is, there's something you can do about this problem to bring down your HIV infection risk.
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Do you want to be fined, jailed or have a criminal record for life?
If an accident occurs in your workplace, and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or 2 years in jail! The CEO or Owner of a company is personally accountable for health and safety at work. 

Here's how you can deal with a high accident rate to reduce your HIV infection risk

If you're in one of the industries with a high accident rate, you have to take greater precautions to protect your employees from injuries. 
First, do an analysis of your company's accident records for the last six months. This will give you a good idea of your accident rate and the kind of accidents that have taken place . 
Then, identify the causes and the best way to way to reduce or remove the risk of future accidents. Give your employees protective gear to protect them from injuries and from coming into contact with each other's bodily fluids. 
Train your employees on what to do if a colleague has a serious injury so they don't come into contact with blood.
Lastly, do weekly medicals on your employees to check for open sores on your employees' bodies. If you find any, bandage the wound properly so your employee can't contract HIV through that injury.
Doing all of this will reduce your accident rate and your HIV infection risk. 
Just remember, if you're in one of these industries, you need to constantly be aware of your HIV infection risk and manage it all the time. 
For more information on how you can do this, check out HIV – Training in a Box

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