Author:albert-mushai

Vexing questions

Vexing questions 30th Sep 2022 Over the past year or so, like most people, we have been preoccupied with the Covid-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, most of our contributions over this period focused on this subject, and rightly so. The pandemic brought to the fore the good and the bad sides of government and society at large. Now that the pandemic has shown strong signs of easing, it is perhaps an opportune moment to comment on other subjects of interest as we […]

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Mandatory vaccinations – a turning tide?

Mandatory vaccinations – a turning tide? 1st Aug 2022 It is not surprising that the Covid crisis is abating, but will the call for mandatory vaccinations follow? In South Africa, the enforcement mechanism for mandatory vaccinations did not come directly from an Act of Parliament, nor government decrees, but via employers. The message became clear: employees must be vaccinated or face the prospect of being fired. Some companies did, indeed, fire employees. Another employment enforcement mechanism came in the form […]

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Covid-19 still vexing occupational health

Covid-19 still vexing occupational health 14th Jun 2022 When Covid-19 was first detected in March 2020, it was feared that the pandemic would be another 1918 Spanish Flu or worse. In 1918, however, South Africa lost 3,5% of its population over a six-week period due to that pandemic, with 81 000 people dying per day in this time. While Covid-19 isn’t a repeat of the Spanish Flu, it has still had devastating effects As indicated in previous articles, Covid-19 has had […]

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Covid: a legal game changer?

Covid: a legal game changer? 8th Apr 2022 We seem to now be part of a new dispensation – one not governed by the common law, nor by Parliamentary laws. This is a strange new world; indeed, this is a game changer. The truth of the matter is that society seems to increasingly be operating outside of the law, and much of this is being enforced by employers. Recently, a government official declared that after the state of disaster has […]

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Mandatory Covid mandates: US Supreme Court speaks

Mandatory Covid mandates: US Supreme Court speaks 8th Feb 2022 The question of employers imposing mandatory Covid-19 mandates is very topical right now. Typically, employers take the stance that because they are necessary for occupational health and safety reasons, it is their duty to impose these mandates. Spreading around the world, this notion has also reached South Africa. US President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and White House adviser on communicable diseases Anthony Fauchi are all on […]

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Statutory risk control and Covid-19

Statutory risk control and Covid-19 13th Dec 2021 The first step of any statutory risk control programme is to identify the relevant regulations. Sadly, this is where the problem starts. Since regulations are laws, it should be easy to find a way to ensure compliance … In reality, though, it’s far from easy Tom Bingham, Baron Bingham of Cornhill, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, was invited by Cambridge University to deliver a lecture on a subject of […]

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Risk control and compliance

Confined spaces at heights 15th Oct 2021 What are the complications of applying risk control principles to the problems stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic? Dr Albert Mushai and Professor Robert Vivian address the issues. Historically, the earliest approach to dealing with accidents and diseases was via legislation – in particular, regulations applicable to things. Consequently, extensive regulations, such as machinery regulations, came into being to deal with things. More controversially, legislation then expanded to cover issues, such as conditions of […]

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Counting the cost

Counting the cost 22nd Sep 2021 Events during July, where rampaging mobs of people in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng looted and burnt shops, warehouses and factories, left many perplexed, worried and traumatised. Sadly, more than 270 lives were also lost. Professor Robert Vivian and Dr Albert Mushai make sense of looting losses through an insurance lens. Many business owners had to watch helplessly as their investments were destroyed in front of their eyes. Reports indicate that about 200 malls were looted […]

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The case of Covid-19 vaccines

The case of Covid-19 vaccines 16th Apr 2021 In light of some concerns with Covid-19 vaccines, Professor Robert Vivian and Dr Albert Mushai discuss what it takes to classify a product as being defective. The Covid-19 pandemic is a public health risk of unprecedented proportions. It forced governments to adopt previously unimaginable responses such as locking down economies and prohibiting travel. At the same time, it also put pharmaceutical companies under pressure to develop vaccines within the shortest possible time. […]

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The devil is in the detail

The devil is in the detail 24th Feb 2021 When businesses went into lockdown, as part of the measures by governments to contain the spread of Covid-19, the question arose whether earnings or profits lost in the process were recoverable under business interruption insurance. Professor Robert Vivian and Dr Albert Mushai shed some light on this matter. This question has come before the courts and insurance regulators in many countries, including South Africa. The immediate reaction by insurers was to […]

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