THE EASING OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND THE EFFECT ON WORK, HEALTH AND SAFETY
With various mask mandates easing from Friday, employers need to ensure that they are managing the risk of COVID-19 to workers and others in the workplace.
This means all workplace must have:
• assessed the risk (in consultation with workers) and looked at ways to minimise the risk, assessing work activities that involve close personal contact (less than 1.5m)
• Implemented controls to reduce direct contact with workers and customers. Such as physical distancing; and
• Implemented controls to reduce environmental exposure, such as cleaning and disinfecting and inspection of air condition ventilation systems.
In addition, business must report any hospitalisation (where treatment as an in-patient in a hospital is required), and any fatality, where the worker contracted COVID-19, or is likely to have contracted COVID-19, at the workplace.
Up until now, Safework NSW has taken a practical approach to enforcing the requirements of business in relation to COVID-19, in line with it’s Statement of Regulatory Intent.
In short, it has recognised the burden on industry from COVID-19 and has taken a supportive and educative approach, rather than a stricter compliance approach.
However, Safework NSW reserves the right to vary this approach as appropriate to the circumstances, particularly in cases of significant safety risks to workers or the community.
With the easing of restrictions, it is a fair assumption that Safework NSW will now seek a more regulatory approach, especially so where business has not assessed; managed; and/or implemented controls to minimise risks from COVID-19 at the workplace.
Contact Lou McPherson if you have any questions whatsoever.