By Safe Work Australia
Australia is continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Cases of the COVID-19 virus are increasing in Australia and the situation is changing rapidly. You can access the latest information from australia.gov.au.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has advised that employers should allow workers to work from home wherever and whenever they can. Here you will find advice on how to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in your workplace and help limit the spread.
All employers are also encouraged to consider alternative ways of delivering their business practices and services, such as switching to online ordering, payment and delivery. If it is not possible to work from home or redesign practices, it is vital that no worker comes to work if they have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. If unwell, workers should contact their primary health care provider, who can liaise with the local public health authority to determine when it is safe for them to return to work.
To keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19, every employer should do the following at their workplace:
- allow workers to work from home, where possible
- know what to do if an employee has COVID-19– https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/what-do-if-worker-has-covid-19-infographic from a WHS perspective, there is not an automatic requirement to close down an entire workplace, particularly if the person infected, or suspected to be infected, has only visited parts of the workplace. You must follow the advice of health officials at all times.
- ensure physical distancinghttps://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing-for-coronavirus-covid-19by keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres between people
- encourage all workers to frequently wash their handshttps://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/How_To_HandWash_Poster.pdf?ua=1 for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and to practise good hygiene https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/good-hygiene-for-coronavirus-covid-19%5d
- be aware of how to spot COVID-19 symptomshttps://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/healthdirect-coronavirus-covid-19-symptom-checker (fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) and make sure workers do not come to work if they are unwell
- make sure your workplace is regularly cleanedhttps://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/environmental-cleaning-and-disinfection-principles-for-covid-19.pdfand disinfected
- have signs and postershttps://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/signage-and-posters-covid-19around the workplace to remind workers and others of the risks of COVID-19 and the measures that are necessary to stop its spread.