SafeWork SA contacts businesses to manage COVID-19 risks
From 25 May 2020, SafeWork SA inspectors will be contacting employers via phone to provide guidance and support on how to maintain their work, health and safety responsibilities in line with COVID-19 advice, including help to manage the health and wellbeing of workers. This will be aimed at businesses across South Australia, with a focus on educating workplaces on the need to have safe systems of work in place to manage the risks associated with COVID-19.
As South Australia eases COVID-19 restrictions, many workplaces have adjusted their operations or are preparing to reopen in some capacity. SafeWork SA advises that businesses should have safety controls in place to manage their workplace, including consulting with workers and managing those working from home.
Martyn Campbell, Executive Director of SafeWork SA, stated that SafeWork SA recognises the workplace challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the educational campaign intends to support workers and employees to achieve safety outcomes.
“There’s a range of educational resources available for employers to manage the risks relating to COVID-19, and our inspectors will ensure they are provided with targeted guidance and support for their specific industry,” said Campbell.
Psychological health will be a focus, with employers educated to manage the risks associated with this. Working from home could lead to additional risks, such as feelings of isolation, stress associated with caring for children, relationship strain or increased exposure to domestic violence. Employers must do what they can to reduce the psychological risks to their workers.
“We want South Australian businesses to be operating safely during this challenging time. Our inspectors will apply a risk-based approach and consider what is reasonably practicable given the circumstances. Our Statement of Regulatory Intent during COVID-19 explains this,” said Campbell.
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