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Thursday, 14 May 2020
Dunlop Tyres SA


Dear Colleagues, Partners and Stakeholders,

We received confirmation from the Laverna Medical Centre in Ladysmith that an employee of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

The employee reported to work on Monday, 11th May 2020 for night shift. During the mandatory daily temperature screening, the employee did not exhibit or declare any symptoms. However, as the shift progressed, he felt ill, reported to the Production Manager and was referred to the site clinic. After a thorough examination, the nursing sister on duty referred him to the Laverna Medical Centre.

Operations started on Saturday, 2nd May 2020, in high prevention mode at our factory in Ladysmith and the sales and services sites are operating under strictly controlled health and safety conditions, to minimise the risk from coronavirus to our employees and their families.?

Therefore, as soon as our colleague exhibited symptoms, we approached the matter with speed and took collective responsibility in ensuring safe transport to the medical centre via an ambulance service. We are pleased that the latest report received from the doctor is that the concerned employee whilst still in hospital is doing better and in good spirits.

We would like to commend our company doctor, Dr Sibiya who has played an instrumental role in providing us with clear recommendations on equipment cleaning and to identify those individuals who have been exposed quickly and the necessary steps required to ensure containment.

To that end, contact tracing has been done and all relevant employees have been self-quarantined, and are subsequently undergoing testing. We have also initiated a disinfection and sanitization with great care being taken to ensure that all hygiene protocols and activities are addressed for further prevention and detection in the factory. This is in addition to the current strict disinfection and sanitization protocols already implemented.

The factory will resume operations on Monday, 18th May 2020, once the disinfection process is completed.

In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces, an investigation is currently being conducted together with further preventative hygiene measures as prescribed by the Directive. Furthermore, we have had invaluable support and advice over the last two weeks from the Department of Employment and Labour, in our efforts to improve our COVID-19 Strategic Health and Hygiene protocols.

Since the incident, consultation and engagements with the Department of Employment and Labour and the Department of Health have taken place to ensure all protocols are followed. Both departments have also been very proactive in their investigation and expressed satisfaction with our response and timing to the incident.

We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 is here to stay. Large-scale social and behavioural changes will be the best defence in tackling the virus.

In response to curb further infections, Sumitomo Dunlop launch the Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other! initiative on 24th April 2020.

The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness and to be mindful that even though the coronavirus, if not controlled may spread rapidly, how we respond and behave towards it really matters.

Respect the virus, it does not discriminate and does not work office hours. We need to develop and live in high prevention mode 24/7.?

Remember the importance of washing your hands with soap and water or sanitizing with alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly, wearing your cloth masks when outside and practicing social distancing at all times to protect You from Me.

Our top priority has always been the wellbeing of our employees, partners, customers and communities. During a time of crisis, the conditions change day by day, and we need to be resourceful and protect each other by continuing to take all precautionary measures necessary to curb the spread of the virus. Furthermore, we will always continue to drive our efforts in ensuring the utmost safety for our employees whilst at work.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Stay Safe!
Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee

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