Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Managing staff and safety during COVID-19 spread

The World Health Organization (WHO), has officially classed COVID-19 as a pandemic.

With the virus spreading internationally, it has increased dangers economically and socially, having a major impact on the retail sector.

As originally stated on the AACS website:

The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws require a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.

Exposure to COVID-19 is a potential hazard for workers and other people at workplaces.

A range of actions that may be undertaken include:

  • Closely monitoring official Government sources for current information and advice.
  • Reviewing and promoting your organisation’s policies and measures for infection control.
  • Ensuring workers are aware of the isolation/quarantine periods in accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health.
  • This includes information on when staff should not attend work.
  • Providing clear advice to workers about actions they should take if they become unwell or think they may have the symptoms of coronavirus, accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health and state or territory health department.
  • Eliminating or minimising international work travel, in line with the travel advice on the Australian Government’s Smarttraveller website.
  • Providing regular updates to workers about the situation and any changes to organisational policies or procedures.
  • Contingency planning to manage staff absences.
  • Providing workers with information and links to relevant services should they require support.

Workers duty of care

 Workers should also remember to:

  • Wash hands often, with soap and water, or carry hand sanitizer.
  • Covering mouth when coughing or sneezing, but not using hands to do so.
  • Seeing a healthcare professional if feeling unwell.
  • If unwell, avoiding contact with others (including handshakes, hugging, other forms of touch).

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