All states & territories now require or encourage workplaces to have some form of a COVIDSafe Plan (or similar). A COVIDSafe Plan sets out:
your actions to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 in your workplace
the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
how you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your workplace.
Good practice COVIDSafe principles include:
ensure physical distancing (1.5 metres)
wear a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth
practice good hygiene
keep good records and act quickly if staff become unwell
avoid interactions in close spaces
create workforce bubbles.
The rules around COVIDSafe workplaces continue to evolve. For example, employers in Victoria are now responsible for their own contact tracing and informing staff and visitors of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.
Public health directions differ between each state and territory and for different businesses or industries, so it is important you review the directions that apply to your workplace (scroll to the bottom of this article for links to the directions in your jurisdiction).
Reminder: Each time COVIDSafe requirements change, employers should review their COVID plans and processes.
All Australian organisations and employers who are responsible for a workplace must take action to meet your work health and safety duties and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes the following employer obligations:
▶︎ Have a COVIDSafe plan in place that is regularly updated
▶︎ Ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so
▶︎ Collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises
▶︎ One worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas
▶︎ Where possible, ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, or for multiple employers
▶︎ Ensure that workers are in good health - workers cannot work if they are unwell and employers must not require workers with symptoms to work
▶︎ If your worker is unwell, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result
▶︎ Report any positive cases of COVID-19 to the government health department and workplace safety authority in your jurisdiction, your health and safety representatives, and notify your workforce
▶︎ Regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies
▶︎ Undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.
As enforceable government directions are being made regularly, we encourage you to regularly check the links below for more information:
Fair Work Ombudsman
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Tasmanian Government - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Resources (under the heading 'Current Directions')
If you need further assistance or information, please contact us today.