A sigh of relief. Under new restrictions easing in Victoria, many businesses can open their doors for the first time in months. Under new rules, you will need a COVIDSafe Plan to reopen.
To ensure that staff are safe, employers now have higher OH&S obligations, which includes planning for COVID safety for their workforce. In the event of an outbreak, the Department will be asking to see your COVIDSafe plan.
1- What do I need to include in a COVIDSafe Plan?
a- List the actions you will take (as employer) to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace. These differ from industry to industry. It may include:
> Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves
> Density limits > Hygiene practices such as the use of hand sanitizer, hand washing on arrival and at specific intervals in the day > Staff rostering to ensure that if one team is affected, other people can stand in
b- A process to maintain records of everyone who comes to the work premises. Exaples may include a sign in book or an app.
c- Set the level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn. This depends on the risk profile of your industry and will differ between head office and operational sites. Head office staff should work from home if able to do so.
d- Write a process to respond to a suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace. This will involve the means of contacting the relevant people, isolation, care for people's wellbeing, deep cleans, paperwork to complete and notifying the department.
e- At the bottom, you will need to confirm that as an employer, you understand your responsibilities and obligations.
f- Sign and date it.
2- When does my COVIDSafe plan need to be ready by?
If you plan to reopen on Wednesday, you need a COVIDSafe plan ready by midnight 27 October 2020.
3- Do businesses with multiple sites need multiple plans?
Yes, each location needs its own COVIDSafe plan.
4- Do I need to lodge or send my plan to the Victoria government department?
No, but you will need to present it in the event of an outbreak or an inspection.
Here to help you. Should you have any questions or would like free access to our close contacts tracing app, please do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 8691 3128.
Warm regards, Caroline Mense from Legal Enablers