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covid-19, work from home, quarantine, JobKeeper

Working COVID-Safe

Federal and State Governments are beginning to roll back the COVID-19 related restrictions. For many businesses, this means working COVID-Safe.

An employer’s obligations under Workplace Health and Safety Laws to do what you can to ensure your workers have a safe and healthy workplace remains. In the case of COVID-19, this means doing everything reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk of exposure to the virus.

COVID-Safe Workplaces and Return to Work Requirements

As State Government’s ease restrictions, specific requirements are being set on an industry by industry basis. In some cases, plans must be presented to authorities by the businesses concerned.

Industry by industry, as well as State by State, these requirements are different. We recommend that business owners make themselves fully aware of the requirements that apply to them. A link to the State Government websites detailing these requirements is provided at the end of this article

Safe Work Australia has developed industry by industry guidelines on managing a COVID-Safe Workplace. These guidelines contain information sheets, checklists, posters and other useful resources. A link to this website is provided at the end of the article.

What does “Reasonably Practicable” mean?

The term ‘Reasonably practicable’ can be defined as “that which is reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety. This requires taking into account all relevant matters including:

a. the likelihood of the hazard or the risk concerned occurring; and
b. the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or the risk; and
c. what the person concerned knows, or ought reasonably to know, about the hazard or risk, and about the ways of eliminating or minimising the risk; and
d. the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk; and
e. after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk”

“Reasonably Practicable” in the COVID-Safe environment

You are required to do what can be “reasonably practicable” in your workplace to protect your employees and all others who enter your workplace. This can include:

  • implementing working from home arrangements 
  • requiring workers to stay home when sick.
  • cleaning the workplace regularly and thoroughly. 
  • insist on the practice of physical distancing, including through contact less deliveries and payments  
  • require the practice of good hygiene, and 
  • requiring others to stay away from the workplace, unless essential, e.g., such as family, friends and visitors.  

Need Assistance:

For more information on Working From Home During COVID-19, please contact People Smartz Pty Ltd on:

Safe Work Australia – COVID-19 Information for Workplaces

Industry by Industry information for Workplaces on Managing COVID-19

State Websites for COVID-Safe Workplaces

More information on State Laws regarding COVID-Safe practices, can be found at:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Queensland
Victoria
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Tasmania
South Australia
State Workplace Health and Safety Websites

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