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Scania SA was awarded for its HIV/AIDS programme. Here's 5 tips to get your programme started...

by , 03 November 2015
As reported on MAKROSAFE, Scania South Africa, a large automotive company, has won an international award for its HIV Prevention and AIDS support programme.

John Viner, Programme manager at Swedish Workplace HIV/AIDS Programme (SWHAP), which presented the award, said: 'The employee support programme assists in HIV prevention, early diagnosis, access to treatment and continuous support for employees and their families. Currently over 90% of Scania South Africa's employees are aware of their HIV status and most of the HIV positive employees are on treatment.'

According to the article, 'HIV prevention and support in the workplace is part of health and safety of any workplace,' and that includes your workplace!

Educating and making your employees aware of HIV at work will not only have a positive effect on health and safety in the workplace, but will also trickle out of the workplace and into your employees' lifestyles.

Start your own programme and promote awareness around HIV in the workplace, and working with HIV, with these 5 useful tips:

Wear gloves if you're going to be making contact with blood or other bodily fluids, which could contain blood – such as urine, vomit, faeces etc.
Cover cuts, sores or skin breaks with bandages. This would apply to both those with as well as those without HIV.

If you think HIV in the workplace is only your HR manager's concern... Think again!

I know HIV sounds like an area only your HR manager should worry about. After all, they are the managers who run your internal communications and campaigns, and look after your employees' wellbeing. And it's up to them to tell your employees how to prevent catching and spreading it. Isn't it?

It's your legal duty as a health and safety officer to provide a safe working environment. This includes minimising the risk of exposing your employees to HIV at work.

Click here for an easy way to meet your obligations.

Wash your hands and other parts of your body immediately after contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
Don't put caps back on needles or attempt to remove them from syringes. Throw needles away into puncture-proof bio-hazard containers which are out of the reach of children or visitors.
Consistently go for HIV tests so that you can know your status (You, as the employer, could possibly sponsor these tests in the workplace). If HIV positive, seek counselling (Again, look into the possibility of having a counsellor on HIV and AIDS).
*Those were five useful tips to communicate to your employees about working with HIV. Remember that the HIV status of any employee should be respected and that any ostracism, in any way, around an employee's HIV status, should not be tolerated.
To learn more tips to give your employees, on working with HIV, subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor.

Attention! Health and Safety specialists face fines imposed by the DoL!
Recently, the Department of Labour (DoL) conducted over 190,000 impromptu health and safety inspections. It even shut down a company for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Employers have been warned that there will be many more inspections.
Don't let them show up at your door unannounced.

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