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As we slowly look forward to a further lift in restrictions, businesses need to consider how they are going to implement a COVID Safe environment as part of the road to recovery.
A COVID Safe Plan supports a business in the protection of its staff, customers, and visitors. It also prepares for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a workplace. For some states a plan, along with registration is mandatory for specific industries, but all organisations will benefit by having a comprehensive COVID Safe Plan to assist with ongoing risk management and assessment.
A safe and healthy workplace does not happen by chance. A business must consider what could go wrong at the workplace and what the consequences could be if they don’t have a plan in place. Then do whatever is reasonable to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from the business or activity.
A COVID Safe Plan needs to demonstrate how a business will meet all the health and safety requirements set by each state. The plan must be reviewed and updated routinely, and when restrictions or public health advice changes.
When preparing a COVID Safe Plan a business should consider the following:
- Physical distancing and density requirements (such as 1.5 metre distancing and 4 square metres of space per person).
- Face covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.
- What are the hygiene, cleaning, and signage requirements?
- How to prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Procedures for keeping records of contact details for the purposes of contact tracing.
- Is the business a high-risk industry: construction, warehousing and distribution, supermarket and medical distribution centres, abattoirs, and meat processing facilities.
- Do staff need training on how to follow public health directions?
Not all public health directions will be the same in each state and territory or for each business, so it is important to review the directions that apply to the location of a business. Each state has developed the necessary templates and resources for business to utilise. Please refer to your states COVID Safe Plan, or contact our office for assistance.