Covid-19 has changed the way we do business. There are now changes to awards, safe workplace regulations and minimum requirements for business’s in order to be compliant with workplace health and safety regulations. No business wants a Covid outbreak so what are your obligations as a business to make sure you are protecting yourself and your staff?
1. Manage hygiene
- Ensuring your workplace is kept clean and hygienic using the checklist provided by Safe Work Australia and that staff are maintaining appropriate social distancing measures. Although an employer can direct that employees wear PPE including masks in the workplace, consider if this measure is necessary for your business
2. Put social distancing measures in place
- Ensuring employees and all site visitors are practicing social distancing and that rostering is appropriately managed to ensure minimal staffing measures are applied.
3. Take staff with you on the journey
- Ensuring that all staff are aware of their obligations to maintain a safe and healthy workplace it is recommended that you print some or all of the below posters and put them in the relevant areas and include some of this information in your toolbox discussions with staff.
What if a staff member reports that they have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID19?
Should an employee have symptoms or suspect that they might have Covid-19 they are to be isolated until such a time as they have an appropriate diagnosis. Please note according to changes to some awards including the clerk and building industry award employees are entitled to receive 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave even if they have sick leave or annual leave available.
If an employee is found to have contracted the virus and confirmed through medical testing you are required to contact Safe Work Australia. The work area needs to be appropriately cleaned (please see WHS info attachment on how to ensure this is done correctly) and all close contacts notified. Please note only workers who have come into contact with the infected person need to be notified. There is also a requirement that Safe Work Australia receives notification of the incident, however this is usually completed by the medical practitioner, not usually the business themselves.