Safe Work Australia (SWA) has published new information via a ‘COVID-19 Information for workplaces’ online resource. “Under the model work health and safety laws, employers have a duty of care for the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace,” Michelle Baxter, SWA Chief Executive Officer, said. “This duty extends to managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. For example, workplaces can reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by ensuring good hygiene and cleanliness in the workplace, implementing physical distancing and using personal protective equipment as appropriate.”
The new information released by SWA includes: the sections ‘Information for workplaces’, ‘Information for small business’ and ‘Information for workers’; two infographics — ‘What to do if a worker has COVID-19’ and ‘5 things to do in your workplace: COVID-19’; two employer fact sheets — ‘How to keep workers safe — COVID-19’ and ‘Workplace Checklist — COVID-19’; and industry/profession-specific information and fact sheets on minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19. “Safe Work Australia has developed website content and information to help workplaces respond to COVID-19, including information for specific industries such as building and construction and retail,” Baxter said.
The Federal Safety Commissioner, David Denney, welcomed the release of SWA’s building and construction resources. “The advice provides practical guidance to building and construction companies in protecting their workers and the public from COVID-19,” Denney said. Other new industry- and profession-specific information SWA has released pertains to:
- delivery drivers,
- early childhood education and care,
- fly‑in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers,
- food processing and manufacturing,
- health and aged care providers,
- in-house services (including child minding, dog walking, domestic cleaning, garden and home maintenance, and trades entering a client’s home),
- marine and airline workers,
- National Disability Insurance Scheme providers,
- office workers,
- public transport,
- road freight,
- taxi and ride-share services, and
warehousing and logistics.
Among the new information and resources released, SWA has also issued a Statement of regulatory intent for COVID-19. The statement sets out the enforcement approach that work health and safety (WHS) regulators (excluding Victoria) will take throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure compliance with Australian WHS laws. SWA intends to constantly update these online resources with more information to assist workplaces throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will continue to add to this content as the situation changes and different work health and safety risks are identified,” Baxter said. Workplaces can access these new and future COVID-19 WHS resources via SWA’s ‘COVID-19 Information for workplaces’ page. This online resource also includes links to various agencies to assist workplaces in keeping up to date with COVID-19 advice. For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Australia, which is changing rapidly, visit www.australia.gov.au.
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