Blogs & News
COVID-19: Safe Reintegration of Workers into the Workplace – Safe Work Australia Resource Kit
Ariane McGing, Senior Associate
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to be lifted, employers are faced with the task of safely reintegrating their employees back into the workplace.
The National Cabinet has issued COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles. These recognise the right of all workers to a healthy and safe working environment and the central role of Safe Work Australia (“SWA”) in providing work health and safety guidance and tools that can be used by workplaces to manage COVID-19 related health and safety risks.
To assist with this task, SWA has issued a COVID-19 Resource Kit (the “Kit”). The Kit contains fact sheets for specific industries, infographics, checklists and signage and posters on handwashing, hygiene and physical distancing designed to keep workers safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
There are six categories SWA is encouraging workplaces to look at to manage health and safety successfully during COVID-19.
Working from home
If this works for you and your workers, remembering to educate workers on safe practices for working at home
Keeping 1.5 metres distance, reducing physical contact including face-to-face meeting, rearranging the workplace to spread out workers and looking at working in shifts to minimise numbers in the workplace.
Handwashing and hygiene
Appropriate equipment should be provided including soap and hand sanitiser and SWA has published posters for the workplace to remind workers of good hygiene practices.
Frequently touched objects should be cleaned with disinfectant several times a day, and cleaning of frequented areas at least daily.
Posters informing workers of symptoms of COVID-19 should be displayed and a culture of staying at home if unwell and self-reporting any concerns should be fostered.
Develop a plan to ensure business continuity if there is a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID‑19 in your workplace, consider how you will clean the workplace if there is an outbreak and put protocols in place for reopening.
The Workplace Checklist provided by Safe Work Australia can be found at: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/COVID-19_Workplace-Checklist.pdf