COVID19 - Getting Back to Work Safely

So the three stage roadmap has been released. What's next for you, your business and your people?

At a National level, this is set. But the first step is to make sure that you stay updated from your State's perspective. So be sure to regularly check in with the NSW Government and its' current guidelines and advice.

Working from home

Until there is further notice, it is encouraged for employees “to work from home if it works for you and your employer”. Some factors need to be considered here, including whether work can be adequately and effectively performed from home, whether the employer has a preference on where you work from and the all important consultation with your employees.

Make a plan, a COVID Safe plan

Your number one priority with returning to any workplace is managing the risk of contracting COVID-19 and making a COVID safety plan for your workplace is going to be the first step.

Using this plan to help transition back to the workplace will help identify unique risks posed to your employees within the work environment and where some things are going to need to adapt.

So your plan is going to need to include the risks of exposure, their likelihood, their control measures and then how you will monitor and review them, especially if there is a trigger event. You also need to consider adjusting your incident reports to include notification to health departments should the worst happen and exposure has happened.

Other topics to cover:

  • workplace cleaning
  • hygiene supplies
  • PPE if necessary
  • Common areas in your workplace
  • High risk areas in your workplace
  • Making sure staff stay home if at all unwell

So this seems like a lot of work

It is and it isn't. There are some great resources available to guide you through this step by step and you can customise based on your individual business and workplace. 

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has created an online planning tool to help keep you, your employees and your customers safe as we look to reopen.

Get the NCCC Toolkit

SafeWork Online Hub

So this toolkit works alongside all the new resources that are available in the Safe Work Australia Online Hub, and using these together should give you a great head start.

The COVIDSafe app

More information on the government led app is available here. National and State Governments have encouraged everyone to download this. It isn't compulsory but it is highly recommended and you can do your bit encouraging your employees to consider downloading.

Lastly, please remember

It is so important that while you are developing these plans that you work together with your employees and allow for adequate consultation and feedback. They might have some ideas on control measures that will help and can give certainty and a sense of care that is really necessary for a happy and safe workplace.