Hisense Atlantis factory reopened after Covid rules shutdown

Hisense Atlantis factory reopened after Covid rules shutdown

A Hisense factory in Atlantis, north of Cape Town, was reopened on Friday after it was temporarily closed by government over allegations it was not compliant with Covid-19 regulations.

In a report on Sunday, Eyewitness News said the department of employment & labour had revoked a prohibition notice issued to Hisense last week. The factory, which makes televisions and refrigerators, was shut down after an inspection last Wednesday found it was in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.

In a statement posted on its website on 23 July, the department of employment & labour said its officials in the Western Cape had closed the Hisense factory and asked the company to present its risk assessment papers.

“However, the assessment presented was an outdated document that did not speak to the latest Covid-19 regulations,” the department said.

“During a walkabout, it was also observed that the company did not follow some of the basic principles associated with the OHS Act and Covid-19 regulations. The employer could not produce any sanitising plan, which in turn affected the operations plant, and the department had no option but to close the entire plant due to non-compliance.

“Further interrogation revealed that a group of Chinese workers were cramped into a small space, which contravened social distancing. A temporary boardroom was also used to house a different group of employees and this also affected adequate social distancing from being practiced.”

There was also no equal distribution of personal protective equipment at the company, it said.