Meeting your health and safety obligations during COVID-19

As an employer, you have legal obligations to take care of the health and safety of your staff, clients and any visitors to your workplace, and it is ever so imperative during this health pandemic. Safe Work Australia has specific industry guidelines to address this, stating that you must eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 if reasonably practicable.

If you are not able to eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, you must minimise that risk, as far as is reasonably practicable.  This may include requiring workers to practice physical distancing (at least 1.5m apart) or cleaning the workplace regularly and thoroughly.

You also must ensure that you do not put the health and safety of others, such as your clients, at risk of contracting COVID-19.  Measures you may need to take could include meeting clients virtually and working remotely.

Your staff also have a legal obligation to take reasonable care of themselves and not do anything that would affect the health and safety of others at work, for example coming to work when unwell.  They must also follow any reasonable health and safety instructions you provide as their employer.

Rules and enforcement of Work Health and Saftety (WHS) Laws are governed by your state so please check with your relevant state regulator to ensure you understand and comply with your obligations.
Click here for your state information.

Posted: Wed, 22nd July 2020

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