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What to do when an employee contracts HIV from an accident at work

by , 25 October 2013
You have a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to provide and maintain a work environment that's safe and without risk to the health of your employees. While the risk of contracting HIV in the workplace is minimal in most contexts, accidents do happen: An employee CAN get infected with HIV while at work. Read on to find out what to do if one of your employees contracts HIV from an accident at work.

According to the Aids Foundation South Africa, South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS compared to any other country in the world. 2011 statistics show that 5.6 million South Africans live with HIV and there were over 270,000 HIV related deaths that year.

This means, you can't afford to ignore HIV and Aids in your workplace. And you should know what to do if an employee contracts HIV from an accident at your work.

Here's what the law says you must do if an employee contracts HIV at work

If your employee gets infected with HIV as a result of an occupational accident, then he'd be entitled to compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Fund (COID) is the government body that compensates workers who've been injured at work or who've contracted an illness or disease at work.

To qualify for such a claim, your employee will have to prove he was occupationally exposed to infected blood.

As an employer, you have a duty to assist your employee to apply for benefits in terms of COIDA.

So make sure you're registered for COID so your employees can benefit even when they contract HIV from an accident at work.

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