Regulator news

WorkSafe Victoria news

New targetted COVID-19 advice

  1. Following the COVID-19 outbreak at Cedar Meats, WorkSafe Victoria has developed and issued information aimed specifically at the meat and poultry industry. The guidance provides advice to employers on how to prevent and control employee exposure to the coronavirus. As the guidance explains, "Employees in the meat and poultry processing industry are not exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) through the meat products they handle, however there is the potential for an increased risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) due to tasks that normally require close interaction between employees such as processing lines and the rapid nature of the work."
    Read more: Managing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure: Meat and poultry processing

  2. Also on the WorkSafe site is guidance on managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in clinical and non-clinical settings, including patient transport. Employees in the healthcare and social assistance industry have a high risk of being exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). These employees are likely to come into close contact with patients and clients in facilities and in people's homes, and because they work in high traffic environments.
    Read more: Prevention and management of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in the healthcare and social assistance industry

NSW: Return to work kit for employers

NSW government body icare has created a COVID-19 Recovery Employer Toolkit to support NSW businesses prepare and plan for a safe return to the workplace. The COVID-19 Recovery Employer Toolkit recognises that people may have experienced heightened emotional states such as feelings of isolation, anxiety or stress and offers practical steps to identify operational needs and protective strategies NSW workplaces can use in the current phase of the COVID-19 recovery. 

icare Chief Executive Officer John Nagle said: "Following this unprecedented period of quarantine and social isolation, safely mobilising a sustainable workforce is critical to NSW's economic recovery post COVID-19." 

The COVID-19 Recovery Employer Toolkit provides employers with clear guidance on how to identify risks and implement best practice within the new working environment to create better mental and physical health outcomes for the people of NSW," Mr Nagle said.

The Toolkit identifies the top three areas business leaders and employers can focus on to help their employees feel safe in transitioning to the new work environment:

  • good leadership
  • consistent and clear communication
  • best practice support.

Read more here - and access the toolkit as well as the research report on which it was based. 

Safe Work Australia news

COVID-19 workplace guidance

Remember that there is also plenty of information on COVID-19 Safe Work Australia website which may provide useful information, guidance and tools to help Australian workplaces manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19.  Check the COVID-19 Information page to check for a number of industries, general information, and the COVID-19 Resource Kit, which has information on topics such as how to clean and disinfect the workplace, workplace checklists, and more. 

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia has updated its workplace fatality statistics since last week: as of May 21 there had been 76 worker fatalities notified to the national body - six more since the last update on May 7. We send our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and work mates of those killed. Three of these fatalities were in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector. The fatalities this year have been in the following sectors:

  • 24 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 14 in Construction
  • 11 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 9 in Public administration & safety
  • 8 in Manufacturing 
  • 4 in Mining
  • 2 in Arts & recreation services
  • 2 in 'other services'
  • 1 in Accommodation & food services
  • 1 in Retail trade

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage.

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