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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:

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. 

Notification requirements

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.

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