The Federal and State Governments are encouraging employers to commence planning the transition back to the workplace. Therefore, it is essential that you start planning for the return of your employees with a view to making your workplace “COVID-safe”.
Employers and employees must work together to adapt and promote safe work practices consistent with advice from relevant health authorities in order to make your workplace “COVID-safe”. Employers must ensure their workplaces are ready for the social distancing and hygiene requirements that will remain in place to limit the spread. Employers are obliged under health and safety legislation to provide a safe workplace.
We can assist with the management of your health and safety obligations regarding workers returning to their workplace so you can continue to do what you do best. These include:
Facilitate a ‘Return to Work’ Risk Assessment:
Moving from ‘working from home’ back to the workplace will look different for everybody.PJRA can help you get your teams back quicker by developing a ‘Return to Work’ Risk Assessment to ensure safe systems of work are in place. The risk assessment will look at the site-specific risks and establish a risk management action plan to implement effective and practical control measures tailored to your specific needs.
COVID-19 Recovery Plans:
All businesses need to develop a COVID-19 Recovery Plan, documenting the steps to be taken to reduce the risk of infection in the workplace. We can assist you with the development of risk-based COVID-19 Recovery and Return to Work Plans based on the following principles:
Prepare the Facilities - Where a workplace has been left unattended for a period, it is essential that employers take steps to ensure the facilities are safe for a return to work, including air conditioning, electrical equipment and emergency systems.
Consult Workers - Prior to returning to the workplace, consult workers on the measures being taken to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Responsibilities – identify and communicate responsibilities to ensure implementation of control measures.
COVID-19 Cases - Employers should take steps to prepare for managing potential or confirmed cases in the workplace.
Educate Workers - Ensure workers know how to comply with hygiene guidance in day to day activities.
Control Access - Establish a process for controlling access to the workplace including health screening for employees, managing visitor access and managing deliveries.
Social Distancing - Develop a plan for adhering to the Government’s guidance on social distancing, allowing for 1.5 metres between persons or 1 person per 4 square metres.
Hygiene Controls - Establish additional controls to support personal hygiene, including the provision of soap, paper towel and hand santiser.
All organisations should develop a process for identifying ‘high risk’ employees and make sure they comply with relevant COVID-19 health advice. PJRA can help develop a health screening checklist and supporting documentation to identify at risk employees and visitors and restrict their access to the workplace.
It is essential that you plan for the future by continually evaluating your systems and processes which were implemented in response to COVID-19. PJRA can assist you to develop a Pandemic Plan appropriate to your business, considering the following:
Do you have a plan to ensure business continuity if restrictions are once again implemented by Federal or State Governments?
Do you know what to do if a staff member or one of their close relatives is found to have COVID-19?
Can your organisation’s systems and processes be improved to prepare for future pandemics?