Tuesday 2021-09-21

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SWASA EASES COVID-19 MANAGEMENT

By BY NONDUDUZO KUNENE | 2021-01-10

Local organisations will now easily manage COVID-19, all thanks to a document to be soon released by Eswatini Standard Authority (SWASA). SWASA is urgently processing a document that will give guidance and effective functioning for businesses as the nation at large. Following challenges and lifestyle change brought by COVID-19, Eswatini has recognised the need for a comprehensive yet generic guidance on protecting staff while continuing to function effectively. SWASA Executive Director Mavela Vilane said they are in a process of nationalising ISO/PAS 45005:2020 occupational health and safety management. These are general guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The specification standards to be found in this document they have been recently released by the international organisation for standard (ISO) where SWASA is also a correspondent member. Once the document is domesticated Vilane said it will assist local organisations on how to manage the risks arising from COVID-19 so that they are able to protect work related health, safety and well-being of everyone in the workplace. “It will also provide guidance relating to the protection of workers of all types,” he said. The document will not cover respiratory protecting devices such medical face masks, filtering face masks and breathing apparatus and it will be available at E109.46. The process of converting the specifications into a national document will be fast tracked and will not follow the normal standards development process based on its urgency. He therefore envisaged that the specifications would have been gazetted in the next two to three weeks and available for organisations to procure and use. The ISO 25005:2020 is expected to bring the total number of documents currently adopted by SWASA in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently SWASA has two working specifications related to COVID-19 which specifications for alcohol based hand sanitisers which is SZNS ARS 1470:2019 and non-medical face masks specification which is listed as SZNS US 2552-2020. Furthermore, SWASA has an in-house laboratory capacity test for the alcohol based hand sanitisers at a cost of recovery fee rate of E340 per sample representative of one batch or consignment. In collaboration with partners in the fight against COVID-19, during ‘Operation Bopha’ SWASA routinely conducts spot test in public places to ascertain the quality of the alcohol based hand sanitisers for public safety assurance. “We urge members of the public, the business community and the entire nation to take advantage of these standards,” he said. Vilane said it would be very beneficial if regulators especially in the health sector, and all other relevant parties to reference the standards as they will be applicable to organisations of all sizes and sectors.

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