Sunday, 21 April 2024

    Prepare a safe return to work

    Is your workplace COVID-19 safe? As the cases of COVID-19 are slowing in Australia, businesses need to begin preparing to return to work in a COVID-19 safe environment.

    On 24 April 2020, the National Cabinet agreed to the National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles. These principles will be enforced nationally and outline the protocols staff and businesses will be expected to uphold.

    “COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency,” the Principles state. Therefore, “all actions in respect of COVID-19 should be founded in expert health advice.”

    Key principles include:

    • All workers, regardless of their occupation or how they are engaged, have the right to a healthy and safe working environment.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic requires a uniquely focused approach to work health and safety (WHS) as it applies to businesses, workers and others in the workplace.
    • To keep our workplaces healthy and safe, businesses must, in consultation with workers, and their representatives, assess the way they work to identify, understand and quantify risks and to implement and review control measures to address those risks.
    • As COVID-19 restrictions are gradually relaxed, businesses, workers and other duty holders must work together to adapt and promote safe work practices, consistent with advice from health authorities, to ensure their workplaces are ready for the social distancing and exemplary hygiene measures that will be an important part of the transition.
    • Businesses and workers must actively control against the transmission of COVID-19 while at work, consistent with the latest advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), including considering the application of a hierarchy of appropriate controls where relevant.
    • Businesses and workers must prepare for the possibility that there will be cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and be ready to respond immediately, appropriately, effectively and efficiently, and consistent with advice from health authorities.

    Safe Work Australia has also prepared a resource kit for businesses – including checklists, infographics, fact sheets for industry and posters on handwashing, hygiene and physical distancing.

    PPE Solutions

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and coveralls will be vital inventory in protecting employees, stakeholders and customers and establishing a safe workplace during and beyond COVID-19.

    View Procurement Australasia’s full list of PPE Solutions: Personal Protective Equipment


    Preparing for a COVID-19 safe return to work (Procurement Australasia)

    National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles (Safework Australia)

    Safe Work Australia resource kit for businesses


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