Safe Work Australia news
COVID-19 workplace guidance
Safe Work Australia has continued to develop guidance. In the past week the following has been added to the SWA website:
- Gyms and fitness centres – new industry added
- Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems – information about restarting HVAC systems
- Hospitality industry information has also been updated, with additional guidance on Physical distancing and Hygiene for dine-in services.
Guidance on end of trip facilities in the COVID-19 guidance for Offices. To minimise risks to health and safety from COVID-19, it is important to consider physical distancing and hygiene for all parts of the workplace, not just where people perform tasks or congregate for meetings. This includes ‘end of trip’ facilities such as showers, bicycle cages, change rooms and lockers. Safe use of end of trip facilities is best achieved through a combination of measures. This includes measures to control the number of people needing to use end of trip facilities at any one time.
For information on other industries, go to the SWA website which has 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.
A piece of guidance we have just recently become aware of is: Incident notification - COVID-19. This fact sheet provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) on the approach to COVID-19 incident notification laws in each jurisdiction, including details on how to notify when required.
In Victoria, employers must notify WorkSafe Victoria when they become aware of a case of COVID-19 where it is the cause (or suspected causes) of a death at a workplace. Incident notification procedures are detailed here.
Notification must be made regardless of whether the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is already aware of the case.
National Fatality Statistics
Safe Work Australia has not 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. 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.