Workplace health and Safety – COVID-19 – What should employers do?

Article By: Joey Tass Cappello Rowe Lawyers Sydney

Employers have a duty under work health and safety laws to provide information to employees about health and safety in the workplace. It is imperative for employers to provide regular updates to their employees about the status of COVID-19 that are consistent with information being provided by the Department of Health and the WHO.

It is important for employers to provide updates to their employees addressing:

  1. The current status of COVID-19 in Australia (to clarify the situation and dispel any myths);
  2. Advice on good hygiene practices for work and home.

General hygiene precautions

The WHO has identified the following measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace which include:

  1. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Keeping your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and washing your hands.
  5. If tissues aren’t available, coughing or sneezing into your flexed elbow.
  6. When wearing a face mask be sure to cover both your mouth and nose – avoid touching the mask once it’s on.
  7. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  8. If any employee has cold-like or viral symptoms, it is strongly suggested that they stay home during this sickness and for medical attention to be sought immediately, as well as avoiding close contact with others.

Further to the measures that should be taken by employees, workplaces should also:

  1. Display signage reminding employees to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly;
  2. Consider installing hand sanitiser dispensers in bathrooms, meeting rooms and high pedestrian areas such as reception.
  3. Employees who share equipment such as phones or laptops should wipe down this equipment with a sanitising wipe after use.

Cappello Rowe are here to help you and your business work through this crisis. Call our office on 6962 3433 or contact us via email at . In the meantime, stay safe and well!